The table and the word: Translation, priority, and the periodic system of chemical elements

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Abstract

In the late 1860s, chemistry was rocked by a priority dispute over who discovered the periodic system of chemical elements: St. Petersburg chemist Dmitrii I. Mendeleev (1834-1907) or southern German chemist Lothar Meyer (1830-1895)? The dispute hinged upon whether publications in the Russian language "counted" within the credit system of European chemistry. This article excavates this dispute and places it in the context of the limited publishing opportunities in both Russian and German for chemists within the Russian Empire, and argues for the role of this particular argument in establishing the status of Russian as a viable international chemical language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-82
Number of pages30
JournalAb Imperio
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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