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Eric Scerri
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, UCLA

Lecturer

BSc, University of London; C.P.G.S. University of Cambridge; M. Phil, University of Southampton; Ph.D. from King's College, University of London; Postdoctoral Fellowship, California Institute of Technology; Editor of Foundations of Chemistry. Previous positions in US: Bradley University and Purdue University

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Research

In recent years there has been a worldwide upsurge of interest in philosophical aspects of chemistry. In my own work I examine the extent to which chemical concepts can be explained through fundamental theories in physics, especially quantum mechanics. I also focus on the implications of this work on chemical education and the manner in which chemistry is presented in textbooks and general chemistry courses. More specifically, I am interested in issues surrounding the teaching of atomic and electronic structure. I also work on historical and philosophical aspects of the Periodic System of the Elements and several other areas in history and philosophy of chemistry.

More detailed information on  Research In Philosophy of Science

Eric Scerri's Book on the Periodic Table
Author and Editor

Published by Oxford University Press and more.

 

 

Books Containing Chapters by Eric Scerri
Complete Publications

134. The Role of Triads in the Evolution of the Periodic System, Past and Present, Journal of Chemical Education, 85, 585-589, 2008

133. Review of The Chemical Element: A Historical Perspective, by Andrew Ede, Journal of Chemical Education, 84, 24-24, 2007.

132. What if the periodic table begins and ends with triads? Journal of Chemical Education, submitted.

131. Mendeleev's Legacy: The Periodic System,Chemical Heritage,Vol. 25, No. 1, Spring 2007. Also available at http://www.chemheritage.org/pubs/ch-v25n1-articles/mendelev1.html

130. On the Ontological Reduction of Chemistry, Philosophy of Science (in press).

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

128. The Tyrrany of the Chemist, Chemistry International, 27, 27-28, 2006.

127. 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).

126. Critique of Hendry on The Elements, On the Continuity of Reference of the Elements, A Response to Hendry, 37, 308-321, 2006.

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

124. Some Aspects of the Metaphysics of Chemistry and the Nature of the Elements, Hyle, volume 11, 127-145, 2005.

123. Commentary on Allen & Knight's Response to the Lowdin Challenge, Foundations of Chemistry, 8, 285-293, 2006.

122. Normative and Descriptive Philosophy of Science and the Role of Chemistry, in Philosophy of Chemistry, The Synthesis of a New Discipline, Baird, D., Scerri, E.R., McIntyre, L. (eds.), Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 242, Springer, Dordrecht, 2005, p. 119-128.

121. Editorial 21, Foundations of Chemistry, 7, 199-202, 2005.

120. Introductory Chapter , co-authored with D. Baird, L. McIntyre, in Philosophy of Chemistry, The Synthesis of a New Discipline, Baird, D., Scerri, E.R., McIntyre, L. (eds.), Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science, vol. 242, Springer, Dordrecht, 2005, p. 3-18.

119. Presenting the Left-Step Periodic Table, Education in Chemistry, 42, 135-136, 2005.

118. Editorial 20, Foundations of Chemistry, 7, 119-123, 2005.

117. Simples and Compounds, Chemistry International, 27, 13-13, 2005.

116. Film Review of "What the Bleep Do We Know?", Skeptical Inquirer, September-October, 2004,

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

114. Editorial 19, Foundations of Chemistry, 7, 1-4, 2005.

113. Relative Virtues of the Pyramidal and Left-Step Periodic Tables, in The Periodic Table : Into the 21st Century, D. Rouvray, B. King (eds.), Science Research Press, UK, 2004, p. 142-160.

112. Editorial 18, Foundations of Chemistry, 6, 137-160, 2004.

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

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

109. Editorial 17, Foundations of Chemistry, 6, 199-201, 2004.

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

107. Response to letter from Eckstrom, Journal of Chemical Education, 81, 195-195, 2004

106. Editorial 16, Foundations of Chemistry, 6, 1-2, 2004

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

104. Hafnium, Chemical & Engineering News, Special Issue on the Periodic System,
Sept 8th, 2003, p. 138.

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

102. Constructivism, Relativism and Chemistry, In Chemical Explanation, Proceedings
of New York Academy of Sciences, vol , 988, J. E Earley (ed.), New York, 2003.

101. Editorial 15, Foundations of Chemistry, 5, 185-188, 2003

100. Response to Vollmer's Review of Minds and Molecules, Philosophy of Science, 70, 391-398, 2003.

99. Editorial 14, Foundations of Chemistry, 5, 107-111, 2003.

98. Philosophical Confusion in Chemical Education,
Journal of Chemical Education, 80, 468-474, 2003.

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

96. 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, 7-27.

95. Editorial 13, Foundations of Chemistry, 5, 1-6, 2003.

94. Editorial 12, Foundations of Chemistry, 4, 179-182, 2002.

93. Response to Katz, The Chemical Educator, E. Letter to the Editor (August 30,
2002). Chem. Educator [Online], http://chemed.boisestate.edu.

92. Editorial 11, Foundations of Chemistry, 4, 93-96, (2002)

91. Editorial 10, Foundations of Chemistry, 4, 1-4 , (2002)

90. Response to Spence et al. Have Orbitals Really Been Observed, Journal of Chemical Education, 79, 310-310, (2002)

89. Editorial 9, Foundations of Chemistry, 3, 197-199, (2001)

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

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

86. Editorial 8, Foundations of Chemistry, 3, 97-104, (2001)

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

84. Editorial 7, Foundations of Chemistry, 3, 1-4, (2001)

83. 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.

82. The Periodic Table, in Encarta Encyclopedia, Microsoft Corporation.

81. 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)

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

79. Editorial 6, Foundations of Chemistry, 2, 189-194, (2000)

78. Second Response to Needham”, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 14, 307-316, (2000)

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

76. Editorial 5, Foundations of Chemistry, 2, 95-98, (2000)

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

74. Response to Nesbet, Foundations of Chemistry, 2, 77-78, (2000)

73. Have Orbitals Really Been Observed?, Journal of Chemical Education, 77, 1492-1494, (2000)

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

71. Editorial 4, Foundations of Chemistry, 2, 1-4, (2000)

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

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

68. Editorial 3, Foundations of Chemistry, 1, 220-225, (1999)

67. Response to Needham”, International Studies in Philosophy of Science, 13, 185-192, (1999)

66. La Filosofia de la Quimica, la Seccion Mas Reciente de la Filosofia de la Ciencia”, Anuario Latino Americano de Quimica, XI, 187-191, (1998-99)

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

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

63. Response to Emerson on the Periodic Table, Journal of Chemical Education, 76, 1189, (1999)

62. Editorial 2, Foundations of Chemistry, 1, 107-109, (1999)

61. In Defense of Quantum Numbers, Journal of Chemical Education, 76, 608, (1999)

60. Editorial 1, Foundations of Chemistry, 1, 1-5, (1999)

59. The Evolution of the Periodic System, Scientific American, September, 279, 78-83, (1998), translated into French, Italian, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic.

58. 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)

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

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

55. Electrons and Realism, American Scientist, 86 (1998)

54. Demystification at What Cost? Journal of Chemical Education, 74, 480, (1997)

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

52. The Periodic Table and the Electron, American Scientist, 85, 546-553, (1997)

50. Bibliography on Philosophy of Chemistry, Synthese, 111, 305-324, (1997)

51. The Case for Philosophy of Chemistry, Synthese, 111, 213-232, (1997)

49. Editorial Introduction co-authored with L. McIntyre, Synthese, 111, 211-212, (1997).

48. Interdisciplinary Research at the Beckman Institutes, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 22, 1-7, (1997)

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

46. Are Chemistry and Philosophy Miscible?, Chemical Intelligencer 3, 44-46, (1997)

45. 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.

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

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

42. 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.

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

40. The Exclusion Principle, Chemistry and Hidden Variables, Synthese, 102, 165-169, (1995)

39. Periodic Blunder, , Education in Chemistry, 32, 93, (1995)

38. Explained Away, Education in Chemistry, 31, 3, (1994)

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

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

35. Prediction of the Nature of Hafnium from Chemistry, Bohr’s Theory and Quantum Theory, Annals of Science, 51, 137-150, (1994)

34. Periodic Praise, Education in Chemistry, 31, 2, 55, (1994)

33. 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).

32. Is Chemistry a Reduced Science? Education in Chemistry 30, no. 4, 112, (1993)

31. Configurational Energy and Bond Polarity Index, Journal of Physical Chemistry , 97, 5786, (1993)

30. A Question for Theoreticians, Education in Chemistry, 30, 5, 121, (1993)

29. Elementary Particles and Philosophy of Science, Physics Education, 28, 9, (1993)

28. 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)

27. Book Review of "Meaning of Quantum Theory," by J. Baggott, Chemistry in Britain 29, 612, (1993)

26. Book Review of "The Historical Development of Chemical Concepts," by R. Mierzecki, Education in Chemistry 29, 612, (1992)

25. Book Review of "From Caveman to Chemist," by H.W. Saltzberg, Chemistry in Britain 28, 357, (1992)

24. Deducing Answers, Chemistry in Britain, 28, 11, 986, (1992)

23. Metal on its Mettle, Education in Chemistry, 29, 5, 126, (1992)

22. Quantum Extrapolation, Chemistry in Britain, 28, 9, 781, (1992)

21. The Nature of the Chemical Bond - Once More, Journal of Chemical Education, 69, 7, 602, (1992)

20. Book Review of "The Correspondence of Michael Faraday" ,edited by F.A.J.L. James, Education in Chemistry 29, 24, (1992)

19. Praised Solution Raises Problem, Education In Chemistry, 29, 4, 96, (1992)

18. The Quantum and the Chemistry Teacher, Education in Chemistry, 29, 3, 68, (1992)

17. Quantum Chemistry Truth, Chemistry in Britain, 28, 4, 326, (1992)

16. Electronic Configurations, Quantum Mechanics and Reduction, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 42, 309-325, (1991)

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

14. The Electronic Periodic Table, Journal of Chemical Education, 68, 8, 712, (1991)

13. Aufbau Mnemonics, Journal of Chemical Education, 68, 5, 445, (1991)

12. Ionisation Energies Revisited Yet Again, Education in Chemistry, 28, 3, 69, (1991)

11. Ionisation Energies, Education in Chemistry, 27, 6, 155, (1990)

10. Reductionist Physics, Physics Education, 25, 3, 138, (1990)

9. Orbital Energies, Education in Chemistry, 26, 6, 183, (1989)

8. Presenting the Periodic Table, Education in Chemistry, 26, 3, 94, (1989)

7. Quantum Failure, New Scientist, 1651, 76, (1989)

6. Eastern Mysticism and the Alleged Parallels with Physics, American Journal of Physics ,57, no. 8, 687-692, (1989) Translated into Czech as, Vychodní Mysticismus A Udajné Paralely s Fyzikou, Universum (Prague) 13, 3-13. (1994)

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

4. The Tao of Chemistry, Journal of Chemical Education 63, 106-107, (1986)

3. The Physical Significance of the Planck Length, Indian Journal of Theoretical Physics, 28, 389, (1980)

2. Low Frequency Raman Spectra of Polyoxymethylene, Polymer 20, no. 12, 1470, (1979)

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

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Contact Info

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
UCLA
607 Charles E. Young Drive East
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1569

Phone: (310) 206-7443
Fax: (310) 206-2061
Email: scerri@chem.ucla.edu


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