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

Graphik: Jens Hahn

The GDCh's mission statements were developed by a moderated working group at a strategy development workshop in November 2018. In addition to the President and the Executive Director of the GDCh, members of the working group included several members of the Board of Directors, employees of the office and other representatives of various GDCh structures. In accordance with the vision "We are discovering chemistry for a better world", the participants defined the first three mission statements. The fourth mission statement on communication was developed at a digital workshop in December 2021.

1. The GDCh is a lively network of committed members

For us this means:


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

2. The GDCh is relevant in society and politics

For us this means


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

3. The GDCh is a globally leading society

For us this means


  • We live diversity and equal opportunities (see Equal Opportunities in Chemistry Mission Statement )
  • We promote international exchange at member level
  • We strengthen Germany’s reputation as a location for chemical research and development
  • We have partnerships with other global leading companies
  • We participate actively in international chemistry organizations

4. The GDCh creates new forms of cooperation and communication

For us this means:


  • We offer individually tailored services
  • We promote new forms of virtual exchange and support the activities of our members with digital infrastructure
  • We have a global digital and analog presence, network and try out new things
  • We provide trustworthy and relevant information for science, business, politics and society on digital platforms.
  • We are breaking new ground to convey the fascination of chemistry in a simple and understandable way

Our history

In 1867, the German Chemical Society (DChG) is founded in Berlin by Adolf von Baeyer and others, with the renowned chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann as its first president. As early as 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 The Association of German Chemists (VDCh) was founded in 1887. Its members' journal is "Angewandte Chemie", which still exists today. While the DChG mainly brings together members from the universities, the VDCh focuses on employees in the chemical industry.

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

The first job placement service for chemists was established around 1900 under the umbrella of the VDCh. At the same time, the first Divisions are formed in the VDCh ? sub-organizations that still significantly shape the character of the GDCh today. 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 saw the establishment of internationally recognized scientific awards, such as the Liebig commemorative coin Medal or the Emil Fischer Medal, which are still awarded today. In 1921 DChG, VDCh and the predecessor organization of today's VCI jointly found the publishing house Chemie.

The time of National Socialism also left its mark on the GDCh predecessor organisations. This is reflected, among other things, in the so-called "Führer principle", the dismissal of Jewish employees and the incorporation into the NS-Bund Deutscher Technik. After the war, neither the DChG nor the VDCh are continued. Instead, both organizations are transferred to the German Chemical Society , founded first in 1946 in the British zone and then throughout West Germany in 1949. The first chairman or president of the GDCh is the later Nobel Prize winner Karl Ziegler.

Already in the 1950s the number of members exceeded the 5,000 mark. In 1953 the chemical society in the GDR was founded

Chair of the Chemical Society of the GDR

In 1958 the GDCh had over 10,000 members, and in 1962 the office of the GDCh moved to its current domicile in Frankfurt am Main. While the 1960s are characterized by a deepening of content and expertise, in the 1970s and 1980s ecological commitment (including establishment of the Advisory Board for Environmentally Relevant Existing Substances (BUA)) and internationalization progress. On the occasion of the 125th anniversary in 1992, the GDCh not only had active publishing activities and a successful conference culture, but also over 25,000 members after the successful integration of the former members of the Chemical Society in the GDR.

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 of European chemical societies are merged into new, joint European journals. As a result, "Chemistry - A European Journal" and many other very successful journals are created.

On the occasion of the 200th birthday of Justus v. Liebig in 2003 the national "Year of Chemistry". With the beginning of the new millennium, international networking activities are becoming increasingly important. The GDCh is one of the leading forces in the 2004 conversion of the previous Federation of European Chemical Societies (FECS) into the European Association of Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuCheMS) and in 2010 the organizer of the 3rd EuCheMS Chemistry Congress in Nuremberg with around 2,500 visitors. In 2011, the GDCh is significantly involved in the organization of the International Year of Chemistry proclaimed by the United Nations and the IUPAC.

The international orientation continued in the following years. Other European journals are created, including ChemistryOpen in 2011, the first purely Open Access society journal. Cooperation with EuCheMS and IUPAC will be expanded. In 2013 the GDCh had more than 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 working through the history of its predecessor companies. Also in 2015, the President of the GDCh commemorated the victims of chemical weapons at the Menempoort memorial in Ypres, Belgium. The reason for the commemoration was the first use of poison gas in the war in 100 years.

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

Rethinking Chemistry

GDCh Office

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last modified: 21.06.2024 10:29 H from N/A