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On March 6th 1869 Dmitri Mendeleev presented an early version of the periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society. Although other attempts had been made to organise the chemical elements, Mendeleev’s proved successful in not only did it align the elements in terms of their comparative chemical and physical properties, it also allowed chemists to predict the existance of new elements to fill the gaps in Mendeleev’s early periodic table.

While the periodic table remains central to chemistry (what chemist worth his salt can’t at least name the first 18 elements) it has also been “adapted” to display different information, including beer (see above),  pseudoscience and many other subjects.

Is this just because we like to organise information and the periodic table provides a suitable template? Or is there another reason the periodic table has been co-opted to display information other than the chemical elements? Thoughts?