Controversies, compromises and the common chemical language

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The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry — whose 100th anniversary fittingly falls during the International Year of the Periodic Table — is most recognized for its role in the naming of new elements. This is part of a wider effort to help create a common chemistry language for humans and machines alike.

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Fig. 1: List drawn up by F. A. Kekule of the diverse formulas for acetic acid that were used before 1861.
Fig. 2: Periodic tables published in 1919.
Fig. 3: The number of elements discovered since the 1600s has increased at a surprisingly regular pace.

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Correspondence to Javier García-Martínez.

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García-Martínez, J. Controversies, compromises and the common chemical language. Nat. Chem. 11, 853–856 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41557-019-0336-4

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