The United Nations announced 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements to highlight its first publication in 1869. The periodic table was first designed by the Russian scientist Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev.
The announcement by the United Nations will help to raise the profile of how chemistry can provide solutions to global challenges in agriculture, education, energy and health. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the periodic table by Mendeleev.
The periodic table is not just a typical wall decoration in high school science classrooms, it is also an exceptional tool for scientists to understand, and even predict, the properties of all the elements.
Fifty five elements have been discovered since Mendeleev’s first scheme, and they were all incorporated to the existing classification according to their atomic mass. Element 101 was named mendelevium to honour Mendeleev’s contributions. This is actually an even rarer distinction than winning the Nobel prize: only 50 scientists have elements named after them, while 180 chemists have received a Nobel prize in chemistry.