Neutral Chemistry Initiative

The Neutral Chemistry Initiative (NCI) seeks to replace all legacy names of chemical elements in favor of a math-based nomenclature that is free from all ethnic, national, religious, racial, sex, personality-cult, species, and other biases.  The proposed nomenclature is part of a group of projects collectively called CREST (“Convention for Reason and Ethics in Science and Technology“).

More information is available on the interim website for NCI at

Periodic Table of Chemical Elements
Periodic Table of Chemical Elements


Some comments:  The building blocks of the universe have no special relationship to Europe or the U.S. whatsoever.  The chemical elements don’t belong to humanity, the earth, the solar system, or the milky way galaxy in any way.  Let’s inject some scientific objectivity, cultural neutrality, and mathematical regularity into chemistry.

The NCI nomenclature system relies simply on a measurement of the number of protons in the atom (i.e., atomic number), a natural phenomenon that is fully impervious to any human-controlled variables or ethnocentric influences.  Some specifics:

  • This iteration uses element names produced by simply counting protons in base-25.  However, unlike standard notation, the units digit is on the LEFT, and the 25s digit is on the RIGHT. These digits are separated by a uniform punctuation character (“x”).
  • All 25 of the first 25 elements benefit from single-character abbreviation.  The remaining elements require two characters (i.e., unit digit followed by 25s digit).
  • Potential ambiguity between spoken pronunciation of “C” and “S” elements is avoided by the subsequent vowel (“Ci” is not likely to sound like “So”).  Same with “C” and “K.” Same with “V” and “W” in interactions between speakers of languages where those consonants are pronounced differently.  Same with “L” and “R” in languages that don’t recognize those consonants as distinct.  An accent has been added to the “-é” ending so as to avoid ambiguity vis-a-vis other endings.


Anatomy of an element name according to the CREST Neutral Chemistry Initiative nomenclature system

Hoping this iteration puts a wrap on this project.  As with related neutral science initiatives, other than the use of a Western alphabet, these element names are completely free from ethnocentrism. 

Best of all:  the unique name and abbreviation for any element can be deduced from the atomic number of that element and vice versa.  If you know the alphabet and the periodic table structure, you know all the element names.