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In a recent post on math.se, I suggested that G. Peano's Arithmetices principia, nova methodo exposita (1889) was probably the last important scientific work written in Latin. This work set forth the so-called Peano axioms, which are still of major importance.

I suppose there must be something published in Latin by the Vatican astronomer. Let's disqualify Vatican-related holdouts. Other than these, is there any significant scientific or mathematical work written in Latin after 1889?

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    $\begingroup$ Why discount the works produced by the Vatican? $\endgroup$
    – dotancohen
    Dec 11, 2014 at 6:13
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    $\begingroup$ The Vatican observatory has a website, with a section on publications. On a quick scan, mostly English, a few other modern langauges, no Latin. Studi Galileiani, for example, is a project name -- all of the works published as part of it seem to be in English. $\endgroup$ Dec 11, 2014 at 23:07
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    $\begingroup$ I would not judge about importance, but here is a bona fide mathematical paper in Latin from 2006: V. Schechtman, Definitio nova algebroidis verticiani, in: Studies in Lie Theory, Birkhauser, 2006, 443--494 math.univ-toulouse.fr/~schechtman/defin-nova-preprint.pdf $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2014 at 14:09
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    $\begingroup$ Related question: What was the last mathematical paper published in Latin? $\endgroup$ Dec 27, 2014 at 16:17
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    $\begingroup$ Gauss's Disquisitiones Arithmeticae came out at the beginning of the 19th century. It is not later than Peano's work cited here, but maybe it is more important. $\endgroup$ Apr 15, 2022 at 17:08

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This answer is a bit off because it is not about entire work written in Latin, but until 2012 (with the 'Melbourne' Code of Botanical Nomenclature), it was still required for new species of plants to be described in latin (not just the name but the full diagnosis).
As for the zoological nomenclature, it was still common to describe new species in latin until the end of the 19th century.

As far as complete works in Latin from the field of taxonomy go, the most recent ones I found are various monographies of Malpighiales genera by Franz Josef Niedenzu ranging from 1888 to 1933. The last one that contains more than just new taxa description seems to be a determination key Malpighiaceae palaeotropicae II (1924). It is however difficult to judge the significance of the work without being a botanist.

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Absence of evidence is poor evidence, particular when the absence is limited to Wikipedia, and shown to be false by information contained in the question itself. But ignoring those small issues, Wikipedia has two articles:

New Latin

and

Contemporary Latin

These seem to try to include all major works in Latin for their period (though Peano 1889 is missing), and the last entry is for 1864.

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Still getting cited in the past few years.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks very much for this reference. While this is unquestionably a recent scientific work published in Latin, and it has been cited in subsequent papers, I'm not sure it qualifies as an “important” scientific work. Is there any information you could add about the importance of the work? (And also why it was written in Latin. Was it just a stunt? None of the precursor works it cites was written in Latin.) $\endgroup$ May 30, 2022 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ @Mark Dominus It's a bona fide scientific paper by a rather influential author. I've posted it because I happened to remember it and thought it might be interesting to some. $\endgroup$ May 30, 2022 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Mark Dominus "Was it just a stunt?" Truesdell was a great admirer of Euler (who wrote in Latin). Besides, he advocated going back to the original papers on which modern thermodynamics is based. So, perhaps it was a stunt, but a meaningful one. $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2022 at 11:56
  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia's article on Truesdell says "Truesdell was the founder and editor-in-chief of the journals Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis and Archive for History of Exact Sciences, which were unusual in several ways. Following Truesdell's criticisms of awkward style in scientific writing, the journal accepted papers in English, French, German, and Latin." $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2022 at 14:19

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