3 Cheers for Mendele'ev

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by exchemist, Jan 13, 2019 at 9:25 PM.

  1. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    150 yrs since the Periodic Table was invented, apparently: https://www.theguardian.com/comment...eriodic-table-better-living-through-chemistry

    Very perceptive article, I thought, identifying the key feature of chemistry as its messy complexity, compared to the idealised simplicity of physics, and the intangibility of its concepts compared to biology. The identification of the chemical elements was a very difficult process and occurred long after the key principles of physics were well established.
     
    Xelasnave.1947 likes this.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    A retiring British banking official, international mining company director, international policy advisor, and media figure,

    a top guy in the economic workings of the planet for decades,

    marvels at this amazing thing he just found out about - his recent, last year's, discovery - the Periodic Table of the Elements:
    https://www.ft.com/content/d765bf0e-0212-11e9-bf0f-53b8511afd73
    To bring it home: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Pennant-Rea
    This guy was and is a major and influential figure in international banking, mining, agriculture, economic policy, and related media (such as editor of the "Economist").
     
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  5. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    ...thus providing evidence of the narrowness of the English education system in that era.

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    One of the legacies of the class system seems have been a rather c.19th view that anything involving practical work - with your hands - was beneath a real gentleman. Science was never really accorded equality of esteem with the Humanities. At best it was seen as a sort of hobby. (The preparatory school I went to in the 1960s - up to the age of 13 - did not even have science on the curriculum at all! That is one reason I chose the physical science path as soon as I could - I used to love the science lessons at my main school.) This is in contrast with France, where Napoleon's system of Grandes Ecoles, focused mainly on science and engineering, has led to a society in which Dipl. Ing. is highly prestigious and opens the door to the best jobs.

    But, to do Pennant-Rea justice, he is not afraid to write about his former ignorance and he is clearly open-minded and intelligent enough to see what he has been missing, all his life.
     
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