The article examines the question of priority and simultaneous discovery in the context of the discovery of the periodic system. It is argued that rather than being anomalous, simultaneous discovery is the rule. Moreover, I argue that the discovery of the periodic system by at least six authors in over a period of 7 years represents one of the best examples of a multiple discovery. This notion is supported by a new view of the evolutionary development of science through a mechanism that is dubbed Sci-Gaia by analogy with Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis.
One contribution of 18 to a discussion meeting issue ‘The new chemistry of the elements’.
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