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Chemistry International

The News Magazine of IUPAC

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Volume 41, Issue 4


Elements of Technology

Michael Droescher
Published Online: 2019-10-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2019-0408


There are many ways to look at the periodic table. When Mendeleev established the table, he arranged the elements according to atomic number and chemical properties. Here, we try a different look. We discuss the influence and links of elements on the development of cultures and technologies. Some of the elements have a direct impact on our life: carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and phosphorous are the main building blocks of our organism, besides small amounts of other elements. Many other elements, especially metals, are the base of the development of our social and technological world, due to the availability and/or innovative use of new or already known elements. We will have a look on the relevance and importance of these elements for the development of technologies over the last 10 millennia.


About the article

Michael Droescher

Michael Droescher < > is member of the Executive board of the German Association for the Advancement of Science and Medicine, the oldest German scientific association that retains since 1822 a “tradition of dialogue between the sciences as well as between science and the public in the fields of natural sciences, medicine and technology." In IUPAC, Dr. Droescher was chair of the Committee on Chemistry and Industry from 2010 to 2013. ORCID.org/0000-0003-2094-444X

Published Online: 2019-10-31

Published in Print: 2019-10-01

Citation Information: Chemistry International, Volume 41, Issue 4, Pages 20–22, ISSN (Online) 1365-2192, ISSN (Print) 0193-6484, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci-2019-0408.

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