Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Road from Mendeleyev

Not just a potato gamin, but an early, now neglected, Russian economist;
Dmitry Mendeleyev is renowned worldwide for his fundamental work, the periodic law of chemical elements.
Among Russians, Mendeleyev is also known as the inventor of the ideal formula for vodka, 40 percent alcohol by volume.
....While his role in developing the vodka formula is wrapped in myth, he did oversee the Russian Empire's vodka standards for a time, a job that he might have landed in recognition for his doctoral dissertation titled "On Combining Spirits with Water."
But he thought of himself as an economist, for good reason;
"The scientist influenced the Finance Ministry's program to develop Russia's trade and industry in 1893, and he took part in calculating customs tariffs in 1891 and 1903," said Maxim Savchenko, an associate professor at the Russian Customs Academy. "Not a single important decision concerning trade and industry was carried out without Mendeleyev's approval."
Mendeleyev was particularly interested in the oil and coal industries. Publishing his theory on the origins of oil, he predicted that the resource would become a key component of the world economy and was the first to suggest the idea of using pipelines to transport oil. 
Fortunately for him, he died in 1907, well before the Leninist revolution.

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