The Life of Flow Injection Analysis and Academic Mass Innovation

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations


The study I will present has taken its offset in a group of artefacts from the historical collection at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The artefacts stem from the emergence of the flow analysis platform FIA and the further development of FIA. At DTU this development started in 1974. A tale of academic innovation between chemical science, industry, engineering academia and political spheres spun from these artefacts. The stories have a number of typical straits of a recent technoscience development in academia and in the talk I will discuss these traits. The people involved had to negotiate their way between the ethos of science, patent systems, the cooperate world and funding systems. A number of coincidences as well as conscious efforts brought FIA forward onto the international scene. The uneven distribution of wealth in this world opened a path for a technology for mass chemical analysis on the cheap. The fight for resources and enrollment was on. Money was not a goal but a means to sustain continued work. Honour, novelty and opportunity were precious commodities. FIA was not an island; others were on the same trail. I will look into how and why it was perceived as new by some and not by others.

Period1 Sep 2017
Event titleICHC International Conference on the History of Chemistry: 11ICHC
Event typeConference
Conference number11
LocationTrondheim, Norway
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Chemistry
  • Innovation
  • flow injection analysis
  • academia
  • Network Analysis
  • Novelty
  • Technoscience
  • heritage