Eric R. Scerri is a chemist, writer and philosopher of science of Maltese origin. He is a lecturer at the University of California, Los Angeles; and the founder and editor-in-chief of  , an international peer reviewed journal covering the Foundations of Chemistry history and philosophy of chemistry, and chemical education. 
He is a world authority on the
history and philosophy of the periodic table and is the author and editor of several books in this and related fields. Scerri was a participant in the 2014  PBS documentary film, .
The Mystery of Matter
Scerri attended Walpole Grammar School in
Ealing. He received his BSc from Westfield College ( University of London), his Certificate in Postgraduate Study from the University of Cambridge, his MPhil from the University of Southampton, and his PhD from King's College London.
Scerri's research has mainly been in the history and philosophy of chemistry, in particular on the question of the extent to which chemistry reduces to quantum mechanics. He has specialized in the study of the periodic table of the elements, including its historical origins and its philosophical significance. More recent writings have included critiques of claims for the emergence of chemistry and the existence of downward causation.
In addition to historical and philosophical work Scerri has published numerous articles in the chemical education literature, including accounts of the electronic structures of transition metals and the occurrence of anomalous electronic configurations.
A Tale of Seven Elements (2013) Scerri recounts the story of the discovery of the seven elements missing from the periodic table shortly after the turn of the 20th century, including the setbacks, misguided claims, and sometimes acrimonious priority debates and disputes.
In December 2015, Scerri was appointed by
IUPAC as the chair of a project that will make a recommendation on the composition of group 3--whether it should be the elements Sc, Y, La and Ac; or Sc, Y, Lu and Lr. In January 2021, the project issued a provisional report in IUPAC's news magazine Chemistry International suggesting Sc, Y, Lu and Lr.
Most recently (2016) he proposed a new evolutionary approach to the philosophy of science based on seven case studies of little known scientists such as John Nicholson, Anton Van den Broek and Edmund Stoner. Scerri has argued that these lesser known figures are just as significant as the heroic personalities in that they constitute the missing gaps in a gradual evolutionary and organic growth in the body of scientific knowledge. Although he rejects the occurrence of scientific revolutions as envisioned by
Thomas Kuhn, Scerri very much supports Kuhn's notion that scientific progress is non-teleological and that there is no approach towards an external truth.
Second editions of Scerri's two most cited books were published in 2019 and 2020.
co-edited with E. Ghibaudi, Oxford University Press, New York, What is a Chemical Element? ISBN 9780190933784 2020,
, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, New York, The Periodic Table: Its Story and Its Significance ISBN 978-0190914363 2019,
, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, New York, The Periodic Table: A Very Short Introduction ISBN 978-0198842323 2018,
, with co-editor G Restrepo, Oxford University Press, New York, Mendeleev to Oganesson: A Multidisciplinary Perspective on the Periodic Table ISBN 978-0190668532 2016,
, Oxford University Press, New York, A Tale of Seven Scientists, and a New Philosophy of Science ISBN 978-0190232993 2016,
, with co-editor Fisher G. Oxford University Press, New York, Essays in the Philosophy of Chemistry ISBN 9780190494599  2015,
with co-editor McIntyre L. Springer, Dordrecht, Berlin, Philosophy of Chemistry: Growth of a New Discipline, ISBN 978-94-017-9364-3 2013,
Oxford University Press, Oxford, A tale of seven elements, ISBN 9780195391312 2013,
as editor, Metro Books, New York, 30-second elements: The 50 most significant elements, each explained in half a minute, ISBN 9781435145214 2011,
The periodic table: A very short introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, ISBN 9780199582495 2009,
Selected papers on the periodic table, Imperial College Press, London, ISBN 9781848164253 2008,
Collected papers on philosophy of chemistry, Imperial College Press, London, ISBN 9781848161375 2007,
The periodic table: Its story and its significance, Oxford University Press, New York, ISBN 9780195305739 2006, Philosophy of Chemistry: Synthesis of a New Discipline, with coauthors Baird D & McIntyre L, Springer, Dordrecht, ISBN 1402032560
2020, 'On Chemical Natural Kinds',
Journal for the General Philosophy of Science, 51, 427-445. doi: 10.1007/s10838-020-09511-9 2020, 'Recent attempts to improve the periodic table',
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 378: 20190300. http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsta.2019.0300 2020, 'The Periodic Table and the Turn to Practice',
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science A, 79, 87-93. 2019, 'Happy Sesquicentennial to the Periodic Table',
Scientific American, January 22nd. idem, 'Looking backwards and forwards at the development of the periodic table',
Chemistry International, January-March, 16-20. idem, 'Happy 150th Birthday to the Periodic Table',
Chemistry A European Journal, 25, 7410-7415. idem, 'Five ideas in chemical education that must die',
Foundations of Chemistry, 21,61-69. doi: 10.1007/s10698-018-09327-y idem,
'Can Quantum Ideas Explain Chemistry's Greatest Icon?' Nature, 565, 557-558. 2018, '
How Should the Periodic System be Regarded?', The Rutherford Journal, vol. 5 idem., 'What Elements Belong in Group 3?', with coauthor Parsons W, in E R Scerri & G Restrepo (eds),
Mendeleev to Oganesson, Oxford University Press, New York. 2017, 'The Gulf Between Chemistry and Philosophy of Chemistry, Then and Now',
Structural Chemistry, 28, 1599-1605, 2017. idem., 'On the Madelung Rule', response to Marc Henry's "Super-Saturated Chemistry",
Inference, March. idem., 'El descubrimiento de la tabla periódica como un caso de descubrimiento simultáneo',
Epistemologia e Historia de la Ciencia (Argentina), 1, 2. 2016, 'The Changing Views of a Philosopher of Chemistry on the Question of Reduction', in E R Scerri & G Fisher (eds),
Essays in the Philosophy of Chemistry, Oxford University Press, New York idem., 'Which Elements Belong to Group 3 of the Periodic Table',
Chemistry International, Volume 38, Issue 2, Pages 22-23, March, 2016. 2014, '
'The discovery of the periodic table as a case of simultaneous discovery', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, vol. 373, no. 2037 2013, '
The trouble with the aufbau principle', vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 24-26 Education in Chemistry, 2012, '
Mendeleev's periodic table is finally completed and what to do about group 3?', Chemistry International, vol. 34, no. 4 2010, '
Chemistry in its element - Lawrencium', Royal Society of Chemistry, viewed 30 December 2013 2009, '
Periodic change', Chemistry World, March, pp. 46-49 2007, '
The ambiguity of reduction', Hyle, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 67-81 idem., '
Trouble in the periodic table', Education in Chemistry, January, pp. 13-17 idem., '
Reduction and Emergence in Chemistry - Two Recent Approaches', " Philosophy of Science," 74, pp. 920-931 2005, '
Some Aspects of the Metaphysics of Chemistry and the Nature of the Elements', Hyle, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 127-145 2003, '
Hafnium', Chemical & Engineering News, vol. 81, no. 36, p. 138, doi: 10.1021/cen-v081n036.p138 idem., '
Philosophy of Chemistry', Chemistry International, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 6-8 2001, '
Prediction and the periodic table', with coauthor Worrall J, Studies in history and philosophy of science, 32, no. 3, pp. 407-452 idem., '
The Recently Claimed Observation of Atomic Orbitals and Some Related Philosophical Issues', Philosophy of Science, 68, (proceedings), pp. S76-S78 1997, '
Has the Periodic Table Been Successfully Axiomatized?' Erkenntnis, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 229-243 idem., '
The Case for the Philosophy of Chemistry', with coauthor, McIntyre L, Synthese, vol. 111, pp. 213-232 1994, '
Has Chemistry Been at Least Approximately Reduced to Quantum Mechanics ?', Philosophy of Science, PSA Proceedings, vol. 1, pp. 160-170 1991, '
Chemistry, spectroscopy, and the question of reduction', Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 68, no. 2, pp. 122-126 idem., '
The Electronic Configuration Model, Quantum Mechanics and Reduction', British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 309-325 1986, ' The Tao of Chemistry', Journal of Chemical Education, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 106-107
CORRESPONDENCE, INVARIANCE AND HEURISTICS. Essays in Honour of Heinz Post. Edited by STEVEN FRENCH and HARMKE KAMMINGA
^ Baykoucheva S 2010, '
Eric Scerri: A philosopher's view on the periodic table of the elements and its significance', Chemical Information Bulletin, vol. 62, no. 1, Spring, pp. 27-32
^ Rocke A 2012, '
A place at the periodic table', 15 August The Times Higher Education Supplement,
^ a b UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry 2013, 'Scerri, Eric R.', University of California. For current biographical information see the home page of
^ Sella A 2013, '
An elementary history lesson', 13 August New Scientist,
Scerri, Eric (18 January 2021). "Provisional Report on Discussions on Group 3 of the Periodic Table". Chemistry International. 43 (1): 31-34. doi: 10.1515/ci-2021-0115. S2CID 231694898.
Ball, Philip (2017). "The Philosopher's Quest". Distillations. 3 (3): 42-45 . Retrieved 2018.