Articles by Dr. Scerri


1. A response to Labarca and Zambon on their claimed reconceptualization of the concept of element and its basis as a new representation of the periodic system, Educacion Quimica (submitted).

2. El descubrimiento de la tabla periódica como un caso de descubrimiento simultáneo, Epistemologia e Historia de la Ciencia (Argentina), 1, 2, 2017.

3. A comment on the Srivaths-Labarca Periodic Table, Khymiya/Chemistry: Bulgarian Science Education Journal (submitted).

4. The Gulf Between Chemistry and Philosophy of Chemistry, Then and Now, Structural Chemistry, Special Issue Dedicated to Lou Massa.

5. On the Madelung Rule, Response to Marc Henry’s “Super-Saturated Chemistry”, Inference (on-line inter-disciplinary journal), March, 2017.

6. Co-written with Ed Wasserman, Forget the insight of a lone genius – innovation is an evolving process of trial and error, The Conversation, 2017,

7. Op-Ed, Forget genius. Science is the product of less-than-brilliant minds, Los Angeles Times, 20 th February, 2017,

8. Antonius van den Broek, Moseley and the concept of atomic number. The Life and Science of Henry Moseley, eds. R. Edgell, R. MacLeod, (in press)

9. How Should the Periodic Table be Regarded? A Brief Look at Some Published Proposals, Rutherford Magazine (New Zealand), in press.

10. Another Four Bricks in the Wall, co-authored with S. Burdette, P. Ball, K. Day, B. Thornton, Nature Chemistry, 8, 283-288, 2016.
11. Which Elements Belong to Group 3 of the Periodic Table, Chemistry International, Volume 38, Issue 2, Pages 22–23, March, 2016.

12. Co-authored with W. Parsons, What Elements Belong in Group 3? in E.R. Scerri, G. Restrepo eds., New Studies on the Periodic Table, Oxford University (in press).

13. The Changing Views of a Philosopher of Chemistry on the Question of Reduction, in E.R. Scerri, G. Fisher eds. Essays in the Philosophy of Chemistry, Oxford University Press, New York, 2016.

14. Science Popularization, The Competing Forces of Nationalism and Globalization in Science and a New Model of Scientific Discovery, Journal of Science Education, 15, 29-30, 2014.

15. The discovery of the periodic table as a case of simultaneous discovery, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, A 373: 20140172, 2014.

16. Master of Missing Elements (Moseley), American Scientist, 102, 358-365, 2014.

17. On the naming and symbols for elements 115 and 112, Chemistry International, July-August, 2014, 31-32.

18. Sobre una única óptima tabla periódica Uruguay Ciencia, 17, Marzo, 2014, 30-33.

19. The trouble with the Aufbau Principle, Education in Chemistry, November, 24-26, 2013.

20. The Ambiguity of Reduction, The Panetteo Forum, Issue 51, July 2013. Reprinted from Hyle.
21. Some comments on the views of Niaz, Rodriguez and Brito on Mendeleev’s periodic system, Educacion Quimica, 24, 278-284, 2013.

22. Cracks in the Periodic Table, Scientific American, June, 2013, 32-37. Translated into Spanish, Italian, French and German.

23. Four articles for Discoveries in Modern Science: Exploration, Invention, Technology, ed. J. Trefil, MacMillan, 2013. Articles on periodic table, atomic weight, elements and transuranium elements.

24. Editorial Introduction for 30-second element, Icon Press, UK, 2013.

25. The Quest for the Periodic Table, Editorial Introduction to Scientific American Classic that documents important developments in our understanding of the elements. Published by Scientific American as part of Scientific American Classics series, 2013.

26. Is it time to get real? New Scientist, 24th November 2012, 30-31.

27. A Critique of Weisberg’s “Who Is A Modeler? Foundations of Chemistry, 14, 275-284, 2012.

28. Philosophy of Chemistry: Where has it been and where is it going? in J.P. Llored (ed), Chemistry the Neglected Science, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2013

29. Mendeleev’s periodic table finally completed and what to do about group 3, Chemistry International, July-August, 2012, p. 28-31.

30. Some comments on the recently proposed periodic table featuring elements ordered by their subshells, Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry 12, (2), 2012.
31. What is an element? What is the periodic table? And what does quantum mechanics contribute to the question, Foundations of Chemistry, 14, 69-81, 2012.

32. Trouble in the Periodic Table, Education in Chemistry, 13-17, January 2012. 33. Who is a Theorist, Revista Eureka sobre Enseñanza y Divulgación de las Ciencias, 8 (3), 231-239, 2011.

34. Top Down Causation Regarding the Chemistry – Physics Interface – A Skeptical View, Interface Focus, Royal Society Publications, 2, 20-25, 2012.

35. The Human Side: The Story of the Periodic Table, Article in Chemistry textbook.

36. Forum: The Philosophy of Classification, Knowledge Organization, 38, 9-24, 2011.

37. Comments on a recent Defense of Constructivism in Chemical Education, Chemical Education in New Zealand, November, 2010, 15-18.

38. Preface to Italian edition of Linus Pauling’s, The Nature of the Chemical Bond, La Natura del Legame Chimico, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2011, XI-XX.

39. A review of research on the history and philosophy of the periodic table, Journal of Science Education, 12, 4-7, 2011.

40. Discovering Rhenium, Nature Chemistry, 2, 598-598, 2010.
41. Explaining the Periodic Table and the Role of Chemical Triads, Foundations of Chemistry, 12, 69-83, 2010.

42. Chemistry Goes Abstract, Nature Chemistry, December 1, (10), 679-680, 2009.

43. Finding francium, Nature Chemistry, 1, November, 1, (9), 670-670, 2009.

44. Entry for “Periodic Table”, in Elsevier Handbook of Philosophy of Science, R. Hendry, A. Woody, (eds.), Elsevier, 2012, 329-338.

45. Tales of technetium, Nature Chemistry, 1 (4), 332-332, 2009.

46. Periodic Change, Chemistry World, March, 2009, 46-49.

47. The Dual Sense of the Term “Element, Attempts to Derive the Madelung Rule and the Optimal Form of the Periodic Table, if any, International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, 109, 959-971, 2009.

48. Chemistry, K. Jensen, A. Nielsen, Copenhagen, 2008, p. 13-36.

49. Periodic Visions, Cosmos Magazine (Australia), 80, 72-77, 2008.

50. The Past and Future of the Periodic Table, American Scientist, 52-58, January- February, 2008. Translated into Spanish (twice) in Educacion Quimica (Mexico) and Ciencia y Investigacion, (Spain) and into French, Pour La Science.
51. The Role of Triads in the Evolution of the Periodic System, Journal of Chemical Education, 85, 585-589, 2008.

52. Mendeleev’s Legacy: The Periodic System, Chemical Heritage, Vol. 25, No. 1, Spring 2007.

53. The Legacy of Mendeleev and his Periodic Table, Xjenza (Journal of Science), 11, 1-3, 2006. Also at http://www.xjenza.com/

54. Reduction and Emergence in Chemistry, Proceedings of the PSA 2006 Meeting, Philosophy of Science, 74, 920–931, 2007.

55. The Tyranny of the Chemist, Chemistry International, 27, 27-28, 2006.

56. Response to Barnes' Critique of Scerri and Worrall, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 36, 813-816, 2005.

57. Introduction chapter, co-authored with D. Baird, L. McIntyre, in Philosophy of Chemistry, The Synthesis of a New Discipline, Baird, D., Scerri, E.R., Dordrecht, 2005, p. 3-18.

58. On the Continuity of Reference of the Elements, A Response to Hendry, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 37, 308-321, 2006.

59. Some aspects of the metaphysics of chemistry and the nature of the elements, HYLE – International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, 11, 127-145, 2005.

60. Commentary on Allen & Knight's Response to the Löwdin Challenge, Foundations of Chemistry, 8, 285-293, 2006.
61. Normative and Descriptive Philosophy of Science and the Role of Chemistry, in Philosophy of Chemistry, The Synthesis of a New Discipline, Baird, D., McIntyre, L., Scerri, E.R., (eds.), Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, Springer, Dordrecht, 2005, p. 119-128.

62. Presenting the left-step periodic table, Education in Chemistry, 42, 135-136, 2005.

63. The Formalization of the Periodic System Revisited, in Cognitive Structures in Scientific Enquiry, Essays in Debate with Theo Kuipers, Volume 2, Roberto Festa, Atocha Aliseda, and Jeanne Peijnenburg, eds., Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities, Rodopi, Amsterdam, 2006.

64. Principles and Parameters in Chemistry and Physics, Proceedings of Philosophy of Science Association meeting, PSA 2002, Philosophy of Science, 71, 1082- 1094, 2004.

65. Relative Virtues of the Pyramidal and Left-Step Periodic Tables, in The Periodic Table: Into the 21 st Century, D. Rouvray, B. King (eds.), Science Research Press, UK, 2004

66. The Placement of Hydrogen in Periodic System, reprinted in Chemistry in Australia, 71, (4), 22-22, 2004.

67. Film review of "What the bleep do we know?” Critical Inquirer, Sept-October, 2004.

68. The Placement of Hydrogen in Periodic System, Chemistry International, 26, (3), 21-22, 2004.

69. How Ab Initio is Ab Initio Quantum Chemistry? Foundations of Chemistry, 6, 93-116, 2004, Special Issue dedicated to Stuart Rosenfeld, N. Bhushan (guest editor).

70. Hafnium, Chemical & Engineering News, Special Issue on the Periodic System, Sept 8 th , 2003, p. 138.
71. Response to book review by Sara Vollmer, Philosophy of Science, 70, 391-398, 2003.

72. Constructivism, Relativism and Chemistry, In Chemical Explanation, Proceedings of New York Academy of Sciences, vol .998, J. Earley (ed.), New York, 2003, p. 359-369.

73. Principles and Parameters in Chemistry and Physics, PSA 2002, 1082-1094, Philosophy of Science, (Supplement), Symposia Papers edited by S. Mitchell.

74. Philosophy of Chemistry, Chemistry International, May-June, 2003, 6-8

75. Löwdin’s Remarks on the Aufbau Principle and a Philosopher’s View of Ab Initio Quantum Chemistry, in Fundamental Perspectives in Quantum Chemistry, A Tribute Volume to the Memory of Per-Olov Löwdin, E. Brandas and E. Kryachko (eds.), Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, Holland, 2003, 675-694.

76. How Ab Inito is Ab Initio Quantum Chemistry? Foundations of Chemistry, Special Issue dedicated to Stuart Rosenfeld, N. Bhushan (guest editor), 6, 93- 116, 2004.

77. Philosophical Confusion in Chemical Education, Journal of Chemical Education, 468-474, 2003.

78. The Formalization of the Periodic System Revisited, in Cognitive Structures in Scientific Inquiry, Volume dedicated to Theo Kuipers, R. Festa, (ed.), Poznan Studies in Philosophy of Science, Poznan, Poland, 2005, 191-219.

79. The Ambiguity of Reduction, HYLE – International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, 13, 67-81, 2007.

80. The Nature of Chemical Knowledge and Chemical Education, co-authored with S. Erduran, in Chemical Education: Towards Research-Based Practice, J. Gilbert, O. De Jong, R. Justi, D.F. Teagust, J.H. Van Driel, (eds.), Kluwer, Dordrecht, 2002, p. 7-27.
81. Response to Katz, The Chemical Educator, E. Letter to the Editor (August 30, 2002). Chem. Educator [Online], http://chemed.boisestate.edu.

82. Bibliography of Literature on the Periodic System, Foundations of Chemistry, 3, 183-196, 2001. Co-author, J. Edwards.

83. The New Philosophy of Chemistry and Its Application to Chemical Education, Cerapie, 2, 165-170, 2001.

84. A Philosophical Commentary on Giunta’s Critique of Newlands’ Periodic System, Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, 26, 124-132, 2001.

85. The Periodic Table: The Ultimate Paper Tool in Chemistry, in Tools and Modes of Representation in the Laboratory Sciences, Ursula Klein (ed.), Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol 222, Kluwer Academic Press, Dordrecht, 2001, pp.163-177.

86. The Recently Claimed Observation of Atomic Orbitals and Some Related Philosophical Issues”, Philosophy of Science, 68 (Proceedings) S76-S88, N. Koertge, ed. Philosophy of Science Association, East Lansing, MI, 2001.

87. Prediction and the Periodic Table, co-authored with J. Worrall, Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 32, 407-452, 2001.

88. Interdisciplinary Research at the Caltech Beckman Institute, in Practicing Interdisciplinarity, P. Weingart, N. Stehr (eds.), University of Toronto Press, 2000, pp. 194-214.

89. Waxing Philosophical About Chemistry, Chemistry, Published by American Chemical Society, co-authored with L. Guterman, 17-20, Winter 2000.

90. Response to Nesbet, Foundations of Chemistry, 2, 77-78, 2000.
91. Have Orbitals Really Been Observed?, Journal of Chemical Education 77, 1492- 1494, 2000.

92. Philosophy of Chemistry - A New Interdisciplinary Field?, Journal of Chemical Education, 77, 522-526, 2000.

93. Second Response to Needham, International Studies in Philosophy of Science, 14, 307-315, 2000.

94. The Failure of Reduction and How to Resist the Disunity of Science in Chemical Education, Science and Education, 9, 405-425, 2000.

95. Naive Realism, Reduction and the ‘Intermediate Position, in “Of Minds and Molecules”, Bhushan, N., Rosenfeld, S., (eds.), Oxford University Press, New York, 2000.

96. A Critique of Atkins’ Periodic Kingdom and Some Writings on Electronic Structure” Foundations of Chemistry, 1, 287-296, 1999.

97. Response to Needham, International Studies in Philosophy of Science,13, 185- 192, 1999.

98. La Filosofia de la Quimica, la Seccion Mas Reciente de la Filosofia de la Ciencia, Anuario Latino Americano de Quimica (Argentinean Journal of Chemical Education), XI, 187-191, 1998-99.

99. On the Nature of Chemistry, Educacion Química, (Mexico), 10, 74-78, 1999.

100. The Evolution of the Periodic System, Scientific American, September, 279, 78- 83, 1998, translated into French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic.
101. Ordinal Explanation of the Periodic System of Chemical Elements, E. R. Scerri, V. Kreinovich, P. Wojciechowski and R. R. Yager, International Journal of Uncertainty, Fuzziness and Knowledge-Based Systems, 6, 387-400, 1998.

102. How Good is the Quantum Mechanical Explanation of the Periodic Table? Journal of Chemical Education, 75, 1384-1385,1998.

103. Popper's Naturalized Approach to the Reduction of Chemistry, International Studies in Philosophy of Science, 12, 33-44, 1998.

104. Has the Periodic Table Been Successfully Axiomatized? Erkentnnis, 47, 229-243, 1997.

105. The Periodic Table and the Electron, American Scientist, 85, 546-553, 1997.

106. The Case for Philosophy of Chemistry, (co-authored with L. McIntyre), Synthese, 111, 213-232, 1997.

107. Bibliography on Philosophy of Chemistry, Synthese, 111, 305-324, 1997.

108. Interdisciplinary Research at the Beckman Institutes, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 22, 1-7, 1997.

109. Chemical Periodicity, in Macmillan Encyclopedia of Chemistry, J.J. Lagowski ed., Macmillan, New York, vol. 3, 22-32, 1997.

110. The Periodic System, Encarta Internet Encyclopedia, Microsoft Corporation.
111. Are Chemistry and Philosophy Miscible? Chemical Intelligencer 3, 44-46, 1997.

112. It All Depends What You Mean By Reduction, in From Simplicity to Complexity, Information, Interaction, Emergence, Proceedings of the 1994 ZiF Meeting in Bielefeld, 77-93, K. Mainzer, A. Müller, and W. Saltzer, eds. Vieweg-Verlag.

113. Reduktion und Erklärung in der Chemie, Philosophie der Chemie Bestandsaufnahme und Ausblik, K. Ruthenberg and N. Psarros, J. Schummer, eds. Würtzburg, Köningshausen & Neumann, 1996.

114. Why the 4s Orbital Is Occupied before the 3d", Journal of Chemical Education, 73, 6, 498-503, 1996. (Co-authored with M. Melrose).

115. Stephen Brush, The Periodic Table and the Nature of Chemistry, in Die Sprache der Chemie, P. Jannich and N. Psarros, eds. Proceedings of the Second Erlenmeyer Colloquium on Philosophy of Chemistry, Würtzburg, Köningshausen & Neumann, 1996, pp. 169-176.

116. Philosophy of Chemistry Resurgens, Chemical Heritage, Beckman Center for History of Chemistry, Philadelphia, 13, no. 1, 33, Winter 1995-96.

117. The Exclusion Principle, Chemistry and Hidden Variables, Synthese, 102,65-169, 1995.

118. Has Chemistry Been at Least Approximately Reduced to Quantum Mechanics? in PSA 1, D. Hull, M. Forbes, and R. Burian, eds. 160-170, 1994.

119. Plus ça Change (The Periodic Table), Chemistry in Britain, 30, no. 5, 379- 381, 1994.

120. Prediction of the Nature of Hafnium from Chemistry, Bohr’s Theory and Quantum Theory, Annals of Science, 51, 137-150, 1994.
121. The Reduction of Chemistry, Popper and Induction, in The Philosophy of Chemistry, Report of a meeting held at Science Museum, London, October 1993, Royal Society of Chemistry, London, 1993.

122. Is Chemistry a Reduced Science? Education in Chemistry, 30, no. 4, 112, 1993.

123. Configurational Energy and Bond Polarity Index, Journal of Physical Chemistry, 97, 5786, 1993.

124. Correspondence and Reduction in Chemistry, in Correspondence, Invariance and Heuristics. Essays in Honour of Heinz Post, S. French and H. Kamminga, eds., Boston Studies in Philosophy of Science, no. 148: 45-64, Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1993.

125. Electronic Configurations, Quantum Mechanics and Reduction, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 42, no. 3, 309-325, 1991.

126. Chemistry, Spectroscopy and the Question of Reduction, Journal of Chemical Education, 68, no. 2, 122-126, 1991.

127. Eastern Mysticism and the Alleged Parallels with Physics, American Journal of Physics, 57, no. 8, 687-692, 1989.

128. Vychodní Mysticismus A Udajné Paralely s Fyzikou, Universum (Prague) 13, 3- 13. 1994, Czech Translation of above paper from American Journal of Physics, 1989.

129. Transition Metal Configurations and Limitations of the Orbital Approximation, Journal of Chemical Education, 66, no. 6, 481-483, 1989.

130. The Tao of Chemistry, Journal of Chemical Education, 63, no. 2, 106-107, 1986.
131. Low Frequency Raman Spectra of Polyoxymethylene, Polymer, 20, no. 12,1470, 1979.

132. The Physical Significance of the Planck Length, Indian Journal of Theoretical Physics, 28, 389-91, 1980.

133. The Mass-Space- Time Continuum, Speculations in Science and Technology, 1, 3, 289, 1978.

Letters to the Editor

1. A Perfect Time to Revisit Moseleyum? Chemistry Word, Co-authored with P. Edwards, R. Egdell (in press)

2. Why not call one Moseleyum? Letter to the Editor, The Times of London, Co-authored with P. Edwards, R. Egdell (in press)

3. Responses to letters on Cracks in the Periodic Table, Scientific American, 2013

4. The Periodic Table, New Scientist, July, 2011

5. Which elements belong in group 3? Journal of Chemical Education, 86, 1188- 1188, 2009.

6. Response to The Role of Chemical Triads, Journal of Chemical Education, 86, 1185-1185, 2009

7. Configuration Interaction, Chemistry & Industry, March 25 th , 24-24, 2009.

8. Letter to the Editor, Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, 33, 14-14, 2008

9. Periodic Problems, Chemistry World, August, 2007

10. Left-step periodic table, Education in Chemistry, May, 2006.
11. Simples and Compounds, Chemistry International, 27, 13-13, 2005.

12. Response to letter from Cardellini, Journal of Chemical Education, 81, 194-194, 2004.

13. Response to letter on Constructivism and Chemical Education, Journal of Chemical Education, 81, 195-195, 2004.

14. The Quantum Mechanical Explanation of the Periodic System, the author’s reply, Journal of Chemical Education, 76, 1189, 1999.

15. In Defense of Quantum Numbers, Journal of Chemical Education, 76, 608-608. 1999.

16. Electrons and Realism, American Scientist, 96, 179-179, 1998

17. Why the 4s Orbital Is Occupied before the 3d, The authors Reply, Journal of Chemical Education, 74, 616-616, 1997.

18. Demystification at What Cost?, Journal of Chemical Education, 74, 480-480, 1997.

19. Periodic Blunder, Education in Chemistry, 32, 93-93, 1995.

20. Explained Away, Education in Chemistry, 31, 3-3, 1994,
21. Further Aufbau Nonsense, Journal of Chemical Education, 74, 207-207, 1994.

22. Periodic Praise, Education in Chemistry, 31, 55-55, 1994.

23. A Question for Theoreticians, Education in Chemistry, 30, 121-121, 1993.

24. Elementary Particles and Philosophy of Science, Physics Education, 28, 9-9, 1993.

25. Deducing Answers, Chemistry in Britain, 28, 11-11, 1993.

26. Metal on its Mettle, Education in Chemistry, 29, 126-126, 1992

27. Quantum Extrapolation, Chemistry in Britain, 28, 781-781, 1992

28. The Nature of the Chemical Bond - Once More, Journal of Chemical Education, 69, 602-602, 1992.

29. Praised Solution Raises Problem, Education in Chemistry, 29, 96-96, 1992.

30. The Electronic Periodic Chart of the Elements, Journal of Chemical Education, 68, 712-712, 1991.
31. Aufbau Mnemonics, Journal of Chemical Education, 68, 445-445, 1991.

32. Ionization Energies Revisited Yet Again, Education in Chemistry, 28, 69-69, 1991.

33. Reductionist Physics, Physics Education, 25, 138-138, 1990.

34. Orbital Energies, Education in Chemistry, 26, 183-183, 1989.

35. Presenting the Periodic Table, Education in Chemistry, 26, 94-94, 1989

36. Quantum Failure New Scientist, 1651-1651, 1989.

Book Reviews

1. “The Scientist’s Atom and the Philosopher’s Stone,” by Alan Chalmers, reviewed in Metascience, 19, 349-371, 2010.

2. “Image & Reality”, by Alan J. Rocke, American Journal of Physics, 2011

3. “The Chemical Element: A Historical Perspective”, by Andrew Ede, reviewed in Journal of Chemical Education, 86, 24-24, 2007.

4. Film review of "What the bleep do we know?” Critical Inquirer, Sept-October, 2004.

5. "Meaning of Quantum Theory," by J. Baggott, reviewed in Chemistry in Britain, 29, no. 7 (1993): 612.

6. "The Historical Development of Chemical Concepts," by R. Mierzecki, reviewed in Education in Chemistry 29, no. 3 (1992): 612.

7. "From Caveman to Chemist," by H.W. Saltzberg, reviewed in Chemistry in Britain, 28, no. 4 (1992): 357.

8. "The Correspondence of Michael Faraday," edited by F.A.J.L. James, reviewed in Education in Chemistry, 29, no. 1 (1992): 24.