In Celebration of Dmitri Mendeleev’s 170th Birthday: A Politically Correct Periodic Table

In Celebration of Dmitri Mendeleev’s 170th Birthday: A Politically Correct Periodic Table

February 03, 2004

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Jody Clarke, 202.331.2252

 

Washington, D.C., <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />February 4, 2004—This Saturday is the 170th birthday of Dmitri Mendeleev, the Russian scientist who developed the modern version of the Periodic Table of the Elements.  Mendeleev’s accomplishment tends to be little noted by the general public—his 169th birthday was largely a bust. 

 

The Periodic Table is by no means complete; this past week saw the addition of two new elements created by a Russian-American scientific team.  But Mendeleev’s 1889 formulation of the Periodic Law for organizing the known elements was truly revolutionary, and enabled him to accurately predict a number of yet to be discovered elements.

 

What Mendeleev could not have predicted, however, was the extent to which so many substances would become the subject of heated political battles.  CEI’s Politically Correct Periodic Table of the Elements, available as a mousepad, highlights over a dozen elements that have been the subject of scaremongering or porkbarreling, such as:

 

·               Chlorine--“blamed for everything from falling sperm counts to five-legged frogs”;

·               Carbon--“the basis of life, not to mention global warming alarmism”;

·               Hydrogen--“tomorrow’s fuel, financed by today’s taxes”;

·               Francium--“soon to be renamed freedomium”.

 

CEI's Politically Correct Periodic Table of the Elements Mousepad can be viewed at online at http://www.cei.org/pdf/3476.pdf and ordered at www.cei.org (click on Shop@CEI).  For those who pass on Mendeleev’s birthday, the mousepad might also make an acceptable Valentine’s Day gift (especially if accompanied by chocolates and champagne).