The Galvani-Volta controversy

6. Another inconclusive situation
Up till now, although he had managed to reinterpret all Galvani’s experiments in terms of artificial electricity, Volta had not produced any new material. He had not been able, either, to get rid of the need for some organic body (frog, tongue) to reveal the minute quantities of electricity he assumed to be excited by contact between different conductors.
The unresolvable situation between the two research programmes was well summed up by Galvani: “He (Volta) considers this electricity common to all bodies; I think of it as peculiar to animals. He opines that the imbalance comes from the difference between the devices used, particularly metals; I favour the animal machine. In short, he attributes everything to the metals and not to the animal; I everything to the latter and nothing to the former, where only disequilibrium is though of.