Fritz Haber is an undisputed genius and is considered one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th Century. He’s an incredibly complex person, who has given so much to the world, but whether his inventions and intentions are good or evil are up for debate.
Dalllas is joined by Dan Charles, Author of Master Mind: The Rise and Fall of Fritz Haber, the Nobel Laureate Who Launched the Age of Chemical Warfare to discuss the life and inventions of Fritz Haber and ask the complex question – was he evil?
In 1918 Haber won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his invention of the Haber–Bosch process. At the time intensive farming was depleting the nitrogen in the soil, raising fears of a global food crisis. However Haber invented a method to synthesise ammonia from nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas. His process led to the synthesis of fertilisers, which helped feed the world’s growing population and dwindling supply of food.
However in WWII, Haber devoted his research and resources to meeting Germany’s wartime demands, using chlorine gas as a chemical weapon and essentially birthed modern Chemical Warfare. After the war, Haber was criticised for his involvement in the gas-warfare program and thus leads us to ask the question. Was Fritz Haber an evil Inventor?
Please note, this episode discusses topics of suicide and self-harm. If these topics are triggering, please skip this episode. You can seek help by calling Samaritans on 116 12.
Edited by Alex Carlon, Produced by Alex Carlon & Freddy Chick. Senior Producer is Charlotte Long.