Professor Michael Gordin, Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History; Professor of History; Director, Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, Princeton University
will speak on “The Periodic Table in 1869: What D. I. Mendeleev Did and Did Not Do”
Frick Chemistry Laboratory, Princeton University, Mixer 5:30 pm; Lecture 6:30 pm followed by dinner
2019 has been named the International Year of the Periodic Table because it marks 150 years since Dmitrii Mendeleev (1834-1907), then a young chemistry professor in St. Petersburg, formulated his version of the system of elements. The choice of date is somewhat arbitrary. There were five other attempts at periodic tables postulated earlier in the 1860s, some of which resemble our present version slightly more than Mendeleev’s in certain respects. Also, the main achievement of Mendeleev’s table — its predictive capacity — was also a gradual process that began in 1869 but took many years to cement his international reputation. This talk will explore what Mendeleev did in 1869, how it related to what came before and after, and also discuss a few of the myths that have accumulated around his work.”
Michael Gordin specializes in the history of the modern physical sciences and Russian, European, and American history. He came to Princeton in 2003 after earning his A.B. (1996) and his Ph.D. (2001) from Harvard University, and serving a term at the Harvard Society of Fellows. He has published articles on a variety of topics, such as the introduction of science into Russia in the early 18th century, the history of biological warfare in the late Soviet period, the relations between Russian literature and science, as well as a series of studies on the life and chemistry of Dmitrii I. Mendeleev, formulator of the periodic system of chemical elements. His first book is a cultural history of Mendeleev in the context of Imperial St. Petersburg, A Well-Ordered Thing: Dmitrii Mendeleev and the Shadow of the Periodic Table.
The meeting will be held in Frick Laboratory, Princeton University. The social mixer will begin at 5:30 pm in the CaFe area of Taylor Commons. The lecture will be held in the Auditorium (B02) at 6:30 pm followed by dinner in Taylor Commons (CaFe area). Frick Laboratory is located at the east end of the pedestrian bridge on Washington Rd, adjacent to the Weaver Track and Field Stadium. Parking is available in Lot 21, corner of Faculty Road and Fitzrandolph Road or other lots along Ivy Lane after 5:00 pm. ( see http://m.princeton.edu/map/). The seminar is free and open to the public. Reservations are required for dinner, which is $25 for adults ($10 for students) and $22.50 for adults if prepaid using PayPal. Please register online at: http://chemists.princeton.edu/pacs/event/princeton-acs-february-19-meeting/. or email email@example.com by February 14.