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Science for All
Science stories to 
reflect on the history and future of science & society. By P. Gomez-Romero
En español, por favor. En español
Great Old News
Old science news are a great introduction to the history of science.

We begin this section with a centennial celebration. 

Aspirin Centennial Celebrated
          LEVERKUSEN, Germany (AP) March 6 1999
          Bayer AG celebrated the 100th anniversary of its wonder drug  -aspirin- Saturday by turning its company headquarters into the world's largest pillbox.
           Using 242,190 square feet of cloth, hung from scaffolding by 50 mountain climbers, Bayer turned the 400 foot tall building into a giant Bayer aspirin carton. Bayer spokesman Heiner Springer said he hoped to get the event listed in the Guinness Book of Records.
           The giant package, visible for miles around, is to remain up for two weeks before the cloth is taken down and turned into shopping bags.
           Springer declined to say what the project cost. ``Certainly less than 1 percent of annual aspirin sales,'' he joked.
           Bayer last year sold $555 million worth of aspirin worldwide.

Aspirin. German poster, 1952.

Who could have predicted the great and sustained success of this discovery (or should we call it invention?)

          On Aug. 10, 1897 , a young Bayer researcher, Felix Hoffman, first synthesized acetylsalicylic acid, aspirin's active ingredient. Saturday's celebration marked the 100th anniversary of the day the name ``aspirin'' was first registered as a trademark at the Imperial Patent Office in Berlin, on March 6, 1899.


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©Pedro Gómez-Romero, 1998,1999