From the NY Mineralogical Club: An Historical and Philosophical Tour or the Periodic Table of Elements

Information provided by Diane Beckman, NYMC Co-President and Bulletin Editor. MSDC is invited to attend by RSVP – attendance limited to the first 100 people.

If you were ever curious about how we ended up with such a thing as the period table of elements, this lecture should be of great interest to you. Dr. Eric Scerri has written numerous publications on both chemistry and the periodic table, but you don’t need to be a PhD in either subject to enjoy this presentation. 

On Wednesday, December 13th, via Zoom at 7pm, Dr. Eric Scerri will present 'An Historical and Philosophical Tour or the Periodic Table of Elements'. This lecture is open to the public by RSVP to

Throughout its history, some of the most advanced and brilliant minds of our day were involved, in some way in the creation and development of the periodic table. Here you will find the influence of Lavoisier, Dalton, Döbereiner, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, Pauli and of course, Mendeleev, the individual to whom history has given the lion’s share of the table’s existence as we know it today.

During its evolution, the formation and understanding of our current table faced many challenges. What appears now to be a perfectly logical arrangement of elements, in fact, had equally compelling arguments and justifications for being arranged based on several completely different criteria.

Seemingly unrelated discoveries in science such as the noble gases, X-rays, radioactivity and the electron each impacted both our understanding of, and subsequent ordering of both known and yet to be discovered elements.

And yet, with the discovery of new and different types of elements, science still poses the question ‘Have we found the optimal form of the periodic table?’