About us

About us

The Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh - German Chemical Society) brings together people working in chemistry and the molecular sciences and supports their striving for positive, sustainable scientific advance – for the good of humankind and the environment, and a future worth living for.

With this goal in mind, the GDCh promotes chemistry in education, research and application. In addition, GDCh seeks to deepen the understanding and knowledge of the general public about chemistry and its relevance to the world they live in. 

The many facets of the GDCh's promotion of chemistry find expression in the initiation and support of a number of projects and in the publication of highly-esteemed professional journals, particularly in applied chemistry. The organization also confers important awards, such as the Karl Ziegler Prize and the Otto Hahn Prize (jointly with the City of Frankfurt and the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft), which are among the most highly endowed German prizes in the natural sciences.

Mission statement

Numbering some 31,000 members from academia, industry and the professions, the GDCh represents a large and socially important community of experts. The organization's nearly 150-year history, global network and high scientific and social standards form the foundation for future-oriented activities in pursuit of a world that can sustain human life at a level worth the living.

If chemistry is to receive due recognition, it needs to be promoted. Its uses and significance for sustainable development and human life are not at all clear in the minds of the general public. It is our ambition to change this by seeing that chemistry comes to be better understood and appreciated and is given room to unfold its full potential in all of its variety.

With this aim in mind:

  • We promote scientific work, research and teaching to meet the highest standards of quality and integrity, and the exchange and dissemination of scientific knowledge.
  • We support the formation of networks, cross-disciplinary and international cooperation, and the ongoing development of training, education and continuing education in schools, universities, and the professional world.
  • We seek intensive and constructive dialogue with the general public in order to increase their understanding of chemistry and its relevance to their lives.
    On a basis of trust and goodwill, we feed our expertise actively and continually into the academic world, the sciences, the political sphere and society as a whole through open communication and cooperation with our partners.
  • For the greater social good, we act independently, consistently and sustainably as part of the international community of natural scientists: we are constantly mindful of the needs of coming generations.


The Deutsche Chemische Gesellschaft (DChG) was founded in Berlin in 1867 by Adolf von Baeyer and other distinguished scientists. The eminent chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann was its first president. The next year the Society published its first scientific journal, Berichte der Deutschen Chemischen Gesellschaft (Reports from the German Chemical Society): its successor publications today are the European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry and the European Journal of Organic Chemistry. The most recent predecessor to today's GDCh, the Verein Deutscher Chemiker (VDCh) (Association of German Chemists), was founded twenty years later, in 1887. The journal it produced for its members is still published today: Angewandte Chemie. The DChG membership was drawn primarily from the universities, while the VDCh addressed persons working in the chemical industry. 

The first job placement service for chemists was launched under the aegis of the VDCh in 1900. At the same time, the VDCh's first specialist groups came into being. These subsidiary organizations largely shape the character of the GDCh to this day. The fiftieth anniversary of the DChG coincided with the 100th birthday of its founding president, August Wilhelm von Hofmann, on April 18, 1918. In the early years of the 20th century, the first internationally recognized scientific awards were established. These included the Liebig-Denkmünze (the Liebig Memorial Medallion) and the Emil Fischer Medaille, which are conferred on outstanding chemists to this day. In 1921, the DChG, the VDCh and the predecessors of today's VCI joined to found Verlag Chemie (Chemical Publishing).

The National Socialist era in Germany did not leave the GDCh's predecessor organizations unscarred. Application of the so-called Führerprinzip, which called for the firing of Jewish colleagues, was made obligatory, as was incorporation of the chemical organizations into the NS-Bund Deutscher Technik (the National Socialist Federation of German Technology). After the war, the DChG and the VDCh were both dissolved, and both organizations were merged to form the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, first founded in the British zone in 1946 and then in West Germany as a whole in 1949. The first chairman and president of the GDCh was Karl Ziegler, later a winner of the Nobel Prize.

In the 1950s, membership in the GDCh passed the 5,000 mark. In 1953, the Chemische Gesellschaft was founded in the GDR. By 1958, the GDCh had more than 10,000 members, and in 1962 the organization moved into its present home in Frankfurt. In the 1960s, the focus was on probing more deeply into the chemical sciences. In the 1970s and 1980s internationalization became a priority, and ecology came to be written large with, for example, the establishment of the Beratergremium für umweltrelevante Altstoffe (BUA), an advisory committee on chemical substances that impact the environment. By its 125-year anniversary celebrations in 1992, the GDCh could boast a brisk business in publications and one successful conference after another. Integration of the former members of the GDR's Chemische Gesellschaft raised GDCh membership to over 25,000.

In the second half of the 1990s, the GDCh brought about a reformation in the landscape of the continental European chemical journals. Under GDCh leadership, the national journals of the European chemical societies were melded into new, pan-European journals. Prominent among the large number of very successful journals, Chemistry - A European Journal merits special mention.

Together with other chemical organizations and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), GDCh orchestrated the national Year of Chemistry in 2003 on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Justus von Liebig. The new millennium has seen a growing increase in the importance of international networking. In 2004 GDCh was one of the leading forces in converting the former Federation of European Chemical Societies (FECS) into the European Association of Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS): in 2010 the GDCh was organizer of the 3rd EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Nürnberg with some 2,500 participants. In 2011 GDCh played a key role in the organization of the International Year of Chemistry launched by the United Nations and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The trend to knowledge transfer across national and cultural borders proceeds unabated.

zuletzt geändert am: 07.10.2015 - 15:32 Uhr von t3_paasche