Mission statement & history

About us, our mission statements and our history

About Us

With around 30,000 members from science, business and the liberal professions, the GDCh represents a large, professionally and socially relevant community. Our 150-year history, our global network and our high scientific and social standards form the basis for our creative work in the interests of a sustainable, livable world.

Chemistry needs reputation and promotion. Their use and their general significance for our modern life and sustainable development are particularly underestimated by the general public. Our ambition is to change this - by giving chemistry the recognition it deserves and giving it room to develop.

To this end

  • we promote scientific work, research and teaching while maintaining the highest standards of quality and integrity as well as the exchange and dissemination of scientific knowledge,
  • we support the creation of networks, transdisciplinary and international cooperation and the continuous development of education and training in schools, universities and in the professional environment,
  • we are looking for an intensive and constructive dialogue with the public to strengthen the understanding of chemistry and chemical interrelationships,
  • we actively and sustainably contribute our expertise to science, politics and society through open communication and trusting cooperation with our partners,
  • we act independently, continuously and with lasting effect, integrated into the international community of natural scientists, for the good of society, taking into account the expectations of future generations.

We welcome chemists of all nationalities. We are aware of our responsibility as scientists and are therefore committed to our code of conduct, which is part of our statutes.

Our mission statements

The mission statements of the GDCh were developed by a moderated working group at a strategy development workshop in November 2018. Members of the group were in addition to the President and CEO of the German Chemical Society, several members of the Board, staff / inside the headquarters and other representatives / inside various GDCh structures. According to the vision "We are discovering chemistry for a better world", the participants defined the following mission statements:

1. The GDCh is a lively network of committed members

For us this means:


  • We provide attractive offers that are created through a transparent, strategy-based process
  • We support the members on their career path
  • We promote active regional and specialist structures
  • We use digital communication channels
  • We encourage exchange across generations and disciplines

2. The GDCh is relevant in society and politics

That means for us


  • We conduct science-driven discourses
  • We show options for action and scenarios to support decisions
  • We inform politics, public administration and the media
  • We arouse interest and joy in chemistry
  • We take up socially relevant topics

3. The GDCh is a leading global company

That means for us


  • We live diversity and equal opportunities (see model of equal opportunities in chemistry )
  • We promote international exchange at member level
  • We are strengthening Germany's reputation as a location for chemical research and development
  • We have partnerships with other leading global companies
  • We are actively involved in international chemical organizations

Our history

In 1867 Adolf von Baeyer and others founded the German Chemical Society (DChG) in Berlin with the renowned chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann as its first president. In the following year, the society published its first scientific journal, the "Reports of the German Chemical Society", which is continued today in the "European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry" and in the "European Journal of Organic Chemistry". The second predecessor organization of today's GDCh, the Association of German Chemists (VDCh), founded in 1887. Its membership journal is the "Angewandte Chemie", which still exists today. While the DChG primarily unites members from universities, the VDCh focuses on employees in the chemical industry.

President of the German Chemical Society
Chairwoman of the Association of German Chemists

The first job placement for chemists was launched as early as 1900 under the umbrella of the VDCh. At the same time, the first Divisions - sub-organizations that continue to shape the character of the GDCh today - are being created in the VDCh. The 50th anniversary of the DChG on April 18, 1918 coincides with the 100th birthday of the founding president August Wilhelm von Hofmann. The first years of the 20th century also saw the establishment of internationally recognized scientific awards, such as the Liebig commemorative coin or the Emil Fischer Medal, which are still awarded today. In 1921, the DChG, VDCh and the predecessor organization of today's VCI jointly found Verlag Chemie.

The era of National Socialism did not leave the GDCh's predecessor organizations unaffected. This is reflected, among other things, in the so-called ?Führer principle?, in the dismissal of Jewish employees and their integration into the Nazi Association of German Technology. After the war, neither the DChG nor the VDCh are continued. Instead, both organizations were transferred to the German Chemical Society , which was initially founded in the British Zone in 1946 and throughout West Germany in 1949. The first chairman or president of the GDCh is the later Nobel Prize winner Karl Ziegler.

Membership already exceeded 5,000 in the 1950s. In 1953 the Chemical Society was established in the GDR

Chairwoman of the Chemical Society of the GDR

1958, the German Chemical Society over 10,000 members, 1962, the office of the German Chemical Society moves into its present home in Frankfurt. While the 1960s were characterized by a deepening of content and specialist knowledge, ecological commitment (including the establishment of the Advisory Committee for Environmentally Relevant Substances (BUA)) and internationalization progressed in the 1970 and 1980s. On the occasion of the 125th anniversary in 1992, the GDCh can not only show a lively publishing work and a successful conference culture, but also, after the successful integration of the former members of the Chemical Society in the GDR, more than 25,000 members.

In the second half of the 1990s, the GDCh initiated the reorganization of the continental European journal landscape in chemistry. Under the leadership of the GDCh, national journals from European chemical societies will be merged into new, joint European journals. This resulted in "Chemistry - A European Journal" and many other very successful journals.

Together with the Ministry of Research and other chemical organizations, the GDCh is coordinating on the occasion of Justus v. Liebig in 2003 the national "Year of Chemistry". With the beginning of the new millennium, international networking is becoming increasingly important. The GDCh is one of the leading forces in the transfer of the previous Federation of European Chemical Societies (FECS) to the European Association of Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS) in 2004 and, in 2010, the organizer of the 3rd EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Nuremberg with around 2,500 visitors. In 2011, the GDCh played a key role in the organization of the International Year of Chemistry, which was proclaimed by the United Nations and the IUPAC.

The international orientation continued in the following years. Further European journals are being created, including ChemistryOpen, the first pure open access society journal, in 2011. The cooperation with EuCheMS and the IUPAC is being expanded. In 2013 the GDCh had over 30,000 members for the first time. In 2015 the study "Chemists in the Third Reich" will be published, which the science historian Helmut Maier wrote on behalf of the GDCh. The German Chemical Society has thus committed itself to reviewing the history of its predecessor societies . Also in 2015, the President of the GDCh commemorated the victims of chemical weapons at the Menempoort memorial in Ypres, Belgium. The occasion of the commemoration was the first war use of poison gas in 100 years.

In 2017 the GDCh celebrated the 150th anniversary of the German Chemical Society.

GDCh Office

Contact the staff of the GDCh office in Frankfurt aM

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last modified: 14.07.2021 12:17 H from C.Dörr