Points critical: Russia, Ireland, and science at the boundary

Michael D. Gordin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This essay compares the way in which Russia and Ireland have defined themselves since the mid-nineteenth century as scientific nations (or not) by following the careers of D. I. Mendeleev (1834-1907) and Thomas Andrews (1813-85), both of whom were involved in the discovery of the "critical point" boundary between liquids and gases. Mendeleev and Andrews deployed their critical-point research in a similar fashion to integrate science into the national identity for their respective countries, a strategy that proved far more successful for Mendeleev than for Andrews.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-119
Number of pages21
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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