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The question "Why do we learn little about Mendeleev when compared to other science figures?" let me ask: Why do we learn next to nothing about Julius Lothar Meyer (1830-1895) who in parallel to Mendeleev, found the periodic system?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you expect there are actual known reasons for these things? $\endgroup$ – Gerald Edgar Jun 26 '17 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ Conifold: Why don't you make this an answer? Even if it is not such a detailled and educational answer as many of yours, it contains useful information and fits to the question. $\endgroup$ – Otto Jun 27 '17 at 6:07
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    $\begingroup$ I also found @Conifold's answer to be quite informative, especially for those outside the field. There is much to be gleaned from such a concise answer. $\endgroup$ – DukeZhou Jun 28 '17 at 19:31
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The timeline is well-known, even Wikipedia has a specific article on History of the Periodic Table. Several people suggested some version of the periodic law in 1860-s before Mendeleev, including Meyer (1864), Newlands (1863-1867), Odling (1864) and Hinrichs (1867). Meyer's original table only had 44 elements, Odling's had 57. Meyer's expanded table was only published in 1870, a year after Mendeleev's, and Mendeleev sent a copy of his to Meyer, among many others.

But the timeline is not the crux of the story. When the law of gravity is mentioned it is typically with Newton's name attached, even though Bullialdus, Hooke, Wren and Halley suggested the inverse square law before Newton, see Who was first to explain intuitively the inverse square law of gravity? Not only was Meyer's original table incomplete but he was also reticent about it, talking of only a "possibility of periodical law". Mendeleev, on the other hand, did not hesitate to change atomic weights when they did not fit (for which Meyer criticized him), and predict new elements when a spot was empty. Soon his changes and predictions were confirmed, as a result Mendeleev's table turned from a mere classification tool to tested predictive theory. So Mendeleev, like Newton, did not just suggest it, he made people believe it.

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The traditional response to this question is that Mendeleev made successful predictions concerning missing elements/blank spaces in his periodic table.

Mendeleev successfully predicted Sc, Ga and Ge and a further 5 or so elements.

see my book, Eric Scerri, The Periodic Table, Its Story and Its Significance, OUP, 2007.

Some periodic table scholars, including myself, argue that Mendeleev's successful accommodations were as influential in the acceptance of his periodic table.

A further reason for Mendeleev's greater priority is due to the fact that Lothar Meyer was working in a highly formal German Chemical Society which discouraged speculations. Meanwhile Mendeleev was working in Russia at the time when the Russian chemical society was being formed and was welcoming radical new ideas.

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