Dr. Eric Scerri’s Academic Influence interview

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UCLA chemistry lecturer and author Eric Scerri discusses how philosophy and chemistry combine in new Academic Influence video. 

In November 2020, Scerri was ranked 2nd in all chemical influencers in the world over the last decade (2010-2020) by AcademicInfluence.com, which is a team of academics and data scientists who are working to provide “an objective, non-gameable influence-based” ranking for the people, schools, and disciplines that make up higher education.  

In the 18-minute video Scerri “delves into the philosophy of chemistry, addressing the controversy that chemistry is merely an extension of physics, along with general issues about the nature of science. He further explores the concepts in his books The Periodic Table, A Tale of Seven Scientists, and his latest, What Is a Chemical Element?”.

Scerri is a chemist, author and leading historian and philosopher of science, specializing in the periodic table of the chemical elements. He is the author of The Periodic Table, Its Story and Its Significance, (Oxford University Press, 2007) and numerous other books on this and related topics. His writing includes a number of books directed at the general public such as A Very Short Introduction to the Periodic Table, and 30-Second Elements. He is a frequent contributor to popular science magazines such as Scientific American and New Scientist.

As a full-time lecturer in chemistry and history and philosophy of science at UCLA for the past 21 years, Scerri regularly teaches classes of 350 undergraduates as well as classes in history and philosophy of science. His research ranges across many areas including chemical education, and historical and philosophical questions such as the relationship between chemistry and quantum physics.

Scerri has been a consultant for TV and radio programs and appears in TV interviews. He was featured extensively in the PBS television series titled “The Mystery of Matter”. Scerri has given lectures to general audiences on all six continents. 

To learn more about Scerri, visit his website.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.