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International Symposium “Celebrating D.I. Mendeleev’s Periodic System. A Historical Perspective” Satellite symposium to XXI Mendeleev Congress 2019 in St Petersburg

We are pleased to announce an International Symposium “Celebrating D.I. Mendeleev’s Periodic System. A Historical Perspective” which will be held in St Petersburg  on 10-13 September 2019.

 The Symposium is a satellite event of the XXI Mendeleev Congress on General and Applied Chemistry, the largest Russian scientific event focusing on all aspects of fundamental and applied chemical research. Every 4 to 5 years, Mendeleev Congress welcomes scientists from all over the globe to the scientific and cultural centers of the Russian Federation for discussing the groundbreaking scientific and industrial achievements in chemistry.

The satellite symposium will be held on the Saint Petersburg State University campus on Vasilievsky Island, while the other venues of the Mendeleev Congress will include the Saint Petersburg Mining University (also known as Gorny) and conference rooms at the Park Inn by Radisson Pribaltiyskaya St Petersburg.

The congress traditionally maintains an interdisciplinary program and in the frame of the International Year of the Periodic Table, it is only fitting to have a satellite symposium celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the D. I Mendeleev’s Periodic System (PS) of the elements. This innovative and ground breaking new way of classification of the elements created the iconic Periodic Table (PT) which under different forms and presentations is still in use in every classroom around the world.

 The Symposium “Celebrating D.I. Mendeleev’s Periodic System. A Historical Perspective” will gather scholars to tackle these questions pertaining to the historical emergence, development and use of the Periodic System (PS), and the most powerful scientific icon, the Periodic Table (PT). While there are still much debates and ongoing discussion about the nature of the PS, the best arrangement of the elements, and the underlying laws that govern such the periodic classification, this symposium will specifically hold a historical perspective. Beyond the story of discovery, it will also examine the response and the appropriation processes that explain the longevity of this classification across the time, space and culture. In particular, this symposium aims at providing space for less discussed topics such as the place textbooks and the pedagogical context, the presence of the PT in popular culture, and the role of women scientist in the development of the PS/PT.

The main topics of the Symposium include:

—              D.I. Mendeleev and the scientific environment at the time of the emergence of the PS

—              Mendeleev’s PS, other systems and tables of chemical classifications in their historical context: forerunners, early controversies and priorities around the PS and the PT

—              Appropriation and circulation of the PS and the PT: responses, accommodations with new scientific discoveries and theories

—              The PS/PT and the teaching and popularisation of chemistry in a historical perspective: pedagogical context of the formulation and early use of the PS/PT, textbooks in the use and development of PS/PT, the PT as a popular icon

—              Women scientists and their role in the development of the PS/PT

Key-Note Speakers:

Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Université  Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne, France

Helge Kragh, Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark

David E. Lewis , University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA

Martyn Poliakoff, University of Nottingham, England


9 September
10 September
11 September
12 September
13 September
  Morning   Mendeleev
14h — 18h


Official languages of the Symposium are Russian and English. Translation from Russian will be provided.