Mendeleyev, the Story of a Great Scientist

Mendeleyev, the Story of a Great Scientist

Mendeleyev, the Story of a Great Scientist

Mendeleyev, the Story of a Great Scientist

Excerpt

Dmitri Ivanovitch Mendeleyev was a boy who came out of Siberia, traveled westward to Moscow and St. Petersburg to become one of Russia's greatest scientists. It was he who thought so deeply about the universe that he was able to predict the existence of substances which had never before been seen by man. It was he also who taught his country how to win iron from the Urals, coal from the Donetz Basin, oil from the regions of the Caspian Sea. It was he who exalted the realm of pure science and fervently wished that "many could enter its portals." The Russians finally listened to him, and the country grew industrially, scientifically, and moreover, spiritually, for it was Mendeleyev also who championed the rights of human freedom and protected students from the abuses of the Tsar's regime.

Mendeleyev's chart, evolved into the modern form through the work of Moseley, now hangs in almost every chemistry and physics laboratory in the world. Often, through my years of study I have thought of the Russian scientist, but actually I knew little of him. I halfway expected to probe into his life some day, to uncover the facts behind this obscure genius. One day I read of a contest for books on scientific subjects written for the layman. This was the stimulus I had been waiting for. I entered the contest, I read everything I could get hold of on Mendeleyev and by him--there is no full-length biography in English. Most of this I read in Russian, for I was born in Russia, near the Caspian Sea. And I have lived in Siberia also, and come out of there, it almost seems to me, to tell about the bearded prophet of the snows, the champion of the people. These are the times to tell such a story.

DANIEL Q. POSIN

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