Here you will find a summary of the WiFo highlights 2019. To open the texts and photos for the individual days, click on the arrow next to the heading.
On September 15, the GDCh Science Forum Chemistry (WiFo) 2019 (# wifo2019 the official hashtag) was officially opened in the Eurogress congress center in Aachen. In keeping with the International Year of the Periodic Table (set up almost simultaneously 150 years ago by the Russian Dmitri Mendelejew and the German Lothar Meyer), the chemical societies from the Netherlands (Koninklijke Nederlandse Chemische Vereniging, KNCV) and Belgium (Koninklijke Vlaamse Chemische Vereniging, KVCV) the GDCh in the implementation of this year's WiFo. The greetings were given by Prof. Pilar Goya Laza (President of EuChemS), Prof. Dr. Floris Rutjes (Past President of KNCV) and Dr. Eric Schouteden (Vice President of the KVCV).
Dr. Matthias Urmann, President of the GDCh, pointed out in his opening speech that chemistry is not only based on the basic values of freedom, tolerance and truthfulness and that chemists are not only in demand as ?pure? researchers these days. In view of the effects of climate change, they are more necessary than ever as political advisers and warning heads for the resulting implementation of urgently needed social changes. Armin Laschet, Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, unfortunately had to cancel his greeting at short notice because he did not have time to visit Aachen due to climate cabinet talks in Berlin. However, he greeted the visitors with a video message.
Afterwards, two prizes were ceremoniously presented to outstanding chemists. The Fresenius Prize (for analytical chemistry) went to Prof. Dr. Detlev Belder (University of Leipzig, Department: Lab-on-a-Chip) and Prof. Dr. Andrea Sinz (Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg, subject: mass spectrometry). The Karl Ziegler Prize went to Prof. em. Dr. hc. hc. Klaus Müllen (Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz) for his most recent contributions to the synthesis and application of carbon nanostructures and graphenes, which play an important role in the context of the energy transition.
Prof. Dr. Kyoko Nozaki (University of Tokyo) gave the August Wilhelm von Hofmann lecture. In her keynote lecture entitled ?Toward Efficient Utilization of Renewable Resources: Ligand Contribution to the Group 9 Metal Mediated Addition / Elimination Reactions?, she reported on her research.
The evening was rounded off musically by the Brass Consort Cologne, a brass combo that performed sounds from Leonard Bernstein's ?Westside Story? and animated the audience to sing along. The opening event in the video
What better prerequisites for a successful Science Forum 2019 than good music and good food, varied reactions, whether in conversations, through the exchange of knowledge and getting to know new things?
We wish you a good start into the week of # Wifo2019.
Monday morning began at the Science Forum with the plenary symposium ?Fascination Chemistry? and a sweet surprise. Professor Matthias Ducci from the PH Karlsruhe showed in a ?bear-strong? reduction how azo dyes contained in gummy bears can be broken down and detected reductively.
The American science author Theodore Gray took us into the ordering world of chemical elements with a visually stunning lecture on the subject of "The periodic table: Completing a work of ages". Gray vividly presented how the periodic table of the elements, before and after its founder Dmitri Mendeleev, has been filled and developed over seven generations of researchers to this day. To the videos of the plenary lectures
Peter Eckes, BASF, then showed the social challenges industrial chemistry has to face when it comes to sustainability. What is needed is a new chemistry that integrates carbon dioxide into the process chemistry, as well as a decomposing of products into the individual elements in order to create new products from them in a resource-saving and sustainable manner. Digitization plays an important role in this.
Another highlight of the morning session was the awarding of the Wilhelm-Klemm-Prize to the renowned inorganic chemist Professor Dr. Wolfgang Bensch from the Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel in "Recognition of his innovative work in inorganic chemistry, the synthesis and characterization of new chalcogenides, the in situ investigation of crystal formation and phase changes, with potential applications such as catalysis, batteries and materials for electronics" .
Sessions and specialist group meetings
The parallel session blocks started on the second day of # Wifo2019. For example, the Liebig Symposium for Organic Chemistry comprised concepts ranging from diversity-oriented synthesis to chemical Biology, method development for new organic materials, and mechanistic studies for catalytic processes for the production of complex molecules.
In keeping with the International Year of the Periodic Table, the specialist groups in the History of Chemistry and Nuclear Chemistry jointly organized the symposium ?History and recent developments of the Periodic Table of the Elements?. Michael D. Gordon of Princeton University made it clear at the beginning of his historical lecture that the anniversary would come too late for him. Even before Dmitri Mendeleev's introduction of the periodic table, there were five other chemists, including Lothar Meyer, who used various approaches to bring order to the system of elements. So the Russian scholar was not the first, but the most successful pioneer of the periodic table.
Gisela Boeck from the University of Rostock shed light on the reception of the periodic table of the elements from 1869 to 1910 and showed that it was not a success story from the start. The classification system found its way into chemistry textbooks late. By 1890 only every fifth textbook included the periodic table, by 1910 it was already half. This was mainly due to the discovery of the noble gases and the discoveries of the missing elements postulated by Mendeleev, such as germanium, because these confirmed his system in the long term.
Michael Block from GSi Darmstadt gave an insight into the fascinating short-lived world of heavy atoms. Since the 1980s, more than 25 elements have been artificially produced around the world with the help of particle accelerators, but some of them have only a few atoms that decay immediately. In particular, relativistic effects have a strong influence on the atomic and chemical properties of the heaviest elements. Despite all the technical and scientific advances, the legendary island of stability in the sea of elements with proton numbers greater than 114 has still not been discovered, he said.
To kick off the annual meeting of the GDCh division for Chemical Education was Walter Jansen, professor emeritus of the University of Oldenburg, the Heinz Schmid Kunz Prize for his commitment in the field of Chemistry Education. Chemistry didactic scientists then presented their research in short poster flash talks. For example, it was about virtual reality, experiments with ionic liquids in school lessons and the digital laboratory internship with interactive video experiments.
In the session ?Electrolysis BMBF project Kopernikus Power-to-X?, the specialist groups ?Chemistry and Energy? and ?Electrochemistry? reported on the project, which is researching new ideas for storing renewable energies. In the session, a bridge was built from energy storage via electrode materials, catalysts and electrolytes to electrolysis. Various short presentations provided information on the economic viability of electrolysis, new membranes to increase efficiency and gave an up-to-date insight into ongoing Power-to-X projects such as co-electrolysis.
The sessions of the Theoretical Chemistry were for specialists. In the ?From Prediction to Application? session, it became clear how important computer simulations have become in chemical research.
A session of the specialist chemistry consortium for national research data infrastructure (NFDI4Chem) and the Leibniz Information Center for Technology and Natural Sciences TIB focused on the future of securing research data. The days of handwritten laboratory journals are over, because research data must remain available even after the doctoral student who measured them has long since left the institute.
The Photochemistry division also offered three interdisciplinary lecture blocks on the subject of "Novel developments in photochemistry: Fundamental principles and innovative applications". The latest results and developments in photochemical and photophysical research were presented and discussed.
With the session topic ?Plastics in the Environment - Options for Chemistry?, several specialist groups took up a topic that has been in public discourse for a long time. In addition to the challenges of the analysis (especially the speed of execution), there were questions about toxicity and new biologically harmless materials.
In the sessions on ?Highlights from Inorganic Chemistry? organized by the Wöhler Association, the Arfvedson-Schlenk Prize is awarded to Prof. Dr. Martin Winter and his talk "Lithium: The Enabler of High Voltage and High Energy Density Batteries in the Past, Presence and Future" deserve special mention.
Panel discussions and poster flash talks rounded off part of the session blocks.
The young chemists met on Monday for the Young Chemists - The Collective (JungChemikerForum) session. There, among others, young researchers presented their research results in poster flash talks.
At the 3rd ChemSlam of the GDCh, six scientists presented chemistry from a different angle. They showed the approximately 250 spectators that chemistry has more to do with magic than you think, that nerds are actually completely different and how much chemistry can contribute to protecting our environment and the climate. In the audience vote, Marlene Böldl was able to prevail with her slam on bio-plastic and was awarded the title Dr. Win ChemSlam.
The lectures at the job exchange on Monday were about academic Career. Professor Dr. Carsten Bolm, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, explained why the career path as a university professor can be interesting. He spoke about his own experiences, gave tips and discussed advantages, doubts and hurdles with the young scientists who were present. Dr. Ruben Ragg, editor-in-chief of ChemBioChem (Wiley-VCH), gave an insight into the day-to-day work of a science editor. In his lecture he explained the steps from the manuscript to the published paper. He gave the young researchers what to consider when publishing their research in a journal.
Plenary symposium "Molecular Design"
On Tuesday morning, Prof. Bert Meijer, Eindhoven University of Technology, opened with a fascinating insight into the world of functional supramolecular materials and systems. In supramolecular chemistry, from his point of view, the researcher is often more of an architect than a chemist when it comes to molecular design. The challenge for chemists is to understand the interplay between covalent and non-covalent bonds in complex molecules. Meijer is certain that every molecule that exists on earth can be synthesized.
Prof. Benjamin List, MPI for Coal Research in Mühlheim / Ruhr, then showed that catalysis is one of the most important drivers in chemistry. He presented novel organocatalysts and the concept of asymmetric counteranion-mediated catalysis as a strategy for asymmetric synthesis, with applications in organocatalysis, transition metal catalysis and Lewis acid catalysis.
Prof. Stefanie Dehnen, Philipps University of Marburg, introduced the world of multinary intermetalloid clusters. Special reactions of binary tin anions with transition metal complexes offer elegant access to the very aesthetic compounds with binary or ternary cluster anions with macroscopic functionalities.To the videos of the plenary lectures
It was awarded a prize when Prof. Frank Würthner, Institute for Organic Chemistry & Center for Nanosystems Chemistry at the University of Würzburg, was awarded the Adolf von Baeyer Memorial Medal. He was honored for his fundamental work on supramolecular dye chemistry.
Sessions and specialist group meetings
The most reactive element in the periodic table was the focus of the symposium of the Fluorine Chemistry. Among other things, it was about ?Discovering new fluorination reagents and reactions by probing the unique fluorine effects? and ?New strategies to prepare fluorine-containing organic molecules?.
The division of Analytical Chemistry clarified in seven survey lectures diversity and the importance of analytical chemistry for various scientific research and applications. The range of topics ranged from the risks and possibilities of nanoparticles in Medicine, forensic analysis to evaluate illegal drug laboratories and the detection of prohibited substances and their degradation products in doping analysis. The role of analytics in science and society and current research results on the miniaturization of chemical processes and the structure elucidation of proteins through chemical crosslinking were also examined.
On the 350th birthday of the discovery of elementary phosphorus by the German pharmacist and alchemist Hennig Brand (1669), the AG Phosphorus Chemistry an overview of pioneering developments and highlights in Phosphorus Chemistry. The versatile, but not infrequently ?demonized? element still has a great future: New research ranges from phosphorus heterocycles for catalytic and optoelectronic applications in flexible displays to the environmentally friendly production of phosphorus compounds for photoinitiators or for homogeneous catalysis.
In a varied and informative mix of lectures and a panel discussion of the speakers, the division Medicinal Chemistry and the division Computers in Chemistry devoted a special issue almost a whole day: the future of drug discovery in the character of artificial intelligence. The very demanding and time-consuming drug development is facing a revolutionary turning point, because in all areas of the value chain of a drug - starting from the search for active ingredients through to clinical application - huge amounts of (also sensitive) data are generated without data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning are hardly manageable. The symposium made it clear that the disclosure of experimental data and the interaction of chemistry and AI can result in many advantages in the development of new drugs and the efficient treatment of existing diseases. So z. B. Machine learning automate synthesis planning. Above all, however, the role and tasks of medical chemists are likely to change in the context of the digital age. In the medium term, this will also have an impact on the content of the chemistry course.
The annual meeting of chemists in the public sector, which dealt with underestimated dangers, not only revealed that there is currently no uniform limit value regulation for carbon monoxide throughout Germany. This is a particularly critical issue for rescue workers or volunteer fire brigades, as accidents are caused by carbon monoxide poisoning (e.g. clogged chimneys, indoor barbecues), which cannot be detected without measuring devices.
Speakers who did not only focus on chemistry were invited to the ?Enjoy Aachen with all the senses? event organized by the Senior Expert Chemists division Group (SEC) by Klaus-Peter Jäckel . Lectures, some of which were very humorous, brought those present closer to Aachen as a city of chemistry in a multifaceted way. Very few people knew that there was a quasi-equivalent of the Brussels Manneken Pis, the little fish poodle, and the connection to urea and its diverse uses was quickly struck. The Aachen sulfur thermal baths with their essential component sulfur stimulate the sense of smell.
The Liebig Symposium for Organic Chemistry , among other things, on metal peptide nanoparticles and how platinum nanoparticles could replace cisplatin in cancer therapy for liver cancer cells.
In the afternoon, the Karl Ziegler Symposium was dedicated to the topic of homogeneous catalysis and its challenges, such as metal-Mabiq complexes in electro- and photocatalysis.
As in previous years, the job exchange showed possible career paths for chemists with a variety of events. In the event "Job profiles in the public service" organized by the division of chemists in the public service, practitioners presented their own careers. It became clear that the fields of activity outside the university are often more diverse and can also include research and conference participation. Whether you are an occupational safety and radiation protection expert at a university, a network specialist in a technology park or a head of principle and safety at a fire service - a lot is possible and a master's degree or doctorate is often a good prerequisite.
The world of work 4.0 - Quo Vadis Chemie was the name of the session in which the future of the world of work was discussed on Tuesday morning. Andreas Ogrinz, BAVC Managing Director for Digitization, who stood in for the prevented BAVC President Kai Beckmann, emphasized that the digitization of the world of work only works in a social partnership with employee associations. ?Leadership will become even more important,? he emphasized, and that digital change must be accompanied by technical, social and communicative change in order to succeed.
The four keynote speeches were followed by a discussion with lively participation from the audience. "Digitization is neither good nor bad," summarized GDCh President Matthias Urmann in his thoughtful closing remarks. "You have to see the positive, without hiding the risks and be aware that there may be losers in this process." United were all discussants that the new working environments open up many opportunities that should be exploited. Watch the video of Working world 4.0 - Quo vadis chemistry
Of course there was also something to celebrate. During the coffee break, there was champagne and cake at the stands of GDCh and Wiley-VCH. Eva Wille and Wolfram Koch briefly presented the Deal project, with which authors have been able to publish their articles in the GDCh journals published by Wiley-VCH since July 1st at no additional cost.
Plenary Symposium "Resources"
Wednesday morning was all about the resources and raw material supply. It all started with Prof. Martin Bertau from the TU Bergakademie Freiberg. He dealt quite critically with the modern extraction of raw materials, because the extraction and use of raw materials has long been a question of global responsibility. He made it clear that in principle there is no scarcity of raw materials. "Access to the deposits is very limited, however," he said. He also preferred to leave the much-praised cradle-to-cradle principle in the philosophy library. His conclusion: without a secure raw material base there would be no chemical industry - without a chemical industry there would be no secure raw material base, because modern chemistry is the key to solving the challenges of the 21st century.
Prof. Bert Sels, KU Leuven, dealt in his lecture "Refining Lignocellulose and the role of catalysis" with the design of heterogeneous catalysts for the future challenges in industrial organic and environmental catalysis. ?Biomass is an important raw material for chemicals, but it is very complicated,? he said. Prof. Ulrike Krewer, TU Braunschweig, showed how the understanding of kinetics can be a catalyst for a future electrochemical energy supply. She presented her main research areas, which are mainly in the analysis and optimization of various electrochemical cells such as lithium-ion and lithium-sulfur batteries as well as microbial fuel cells. To the videos of the plenary lectures
Following the plenary symposium, Prof. Dieter Vogt from TU Dortmund received the Wöhler Prize for Sustainable Chemistry for his outstanding research specifically on the molecular basis of homogeneous catalysis. The further development and promotion of sustainable chemistry runs like a red thread through his research activities. In his acceptance speech, Vogt particularly emphasized the importance of basic research: "Basic research is our gene pool for innovation."
Sessions and specialist group meetings
The Solid State Chemistry and Solid-State Chemistry and Materials Research division presented an interesting format in the joint session with the Wöhler Association for Inorganic Chemistry. The ?Dialogue in Inorganic Chemistry? offered tandem lectures on a close interweaving of molecular and solid-state chemistry. Two speakers at a time alternately highlighted facets of ?difficult? and ?easy? topics from different perspectives. It all started with the heavy actionides. Andreas Leithe-Jasper (Dresden) and Karsten Meyer (Erlangen) presented the latest research results relating to the element uranium, which was discovered in the Ore Mountains as early as 1789 and was used in many ways as a fuel element in nuclear power plants even before its Career . It was interesting that the heavyweight uranium forms intermetallic compounds with the lightweight beryllium. In further tandem lectures Michael Mehring (Chemnitz) and Anna Isaeva (Dresden) presented heavy bismuth as a future element in molecules and solids, for example for new photocatalysts and magnetic insulators. It was ?easier? with Magnus Bucher (Marburg) and Hubert Huppertz (Innsbruck), who provided new insights into boron and beryllium chemistry. Bettina Lotsch (Stuttgart) and Maik Finze (Würzburg) showed how carbon and nitrogen can be combined sensibly and functionally.
?Molecules of Life - Molecules in Life? was the topic of the joint session of the specialist groups Biochemistry, Chemical Biology and the Liebig Association for Organic Chemistry. The sessions, which took place on Monday and Wednesday, dealt with a cross-section of the diverse aspects of chemical Biology and built a bridge between chemistry and Biology .
The lectures organized by the Macromolecular Chemistry division were also about ?Materials for Life?. Among other things, the focus there was on the development of new design strategies and manufacturing processes, material characterization and potential applications thereof.
In the afternoon the Sustainable Synthesis session of the Liebig Association for Organic Chemistry and Sustainable Chemistry took place. Among other things, the speakers dealt with renewable raw materials for synthesis and catalysis.
After the coffee break, graduates again had the opportunity to experience first-hand career prospects for chemists in the face of digital change. In the session ?Career prospects in digital change?, organized by the Association for Chemistry and Economics, JuWiChem and JCF, former young chemists presented the influence of digitization from their professional life and aroused curiosity about the opportunities for chemists nowadays result from this combination. For example, Christian Stutz reported on the digitization of chemistry school lessons. Anyone who used Twitter with the well-known hashtag # wifo2019 found out that a session of the FG Chemical Education with experimental lectures was taking place right next door. In the past, chemical experiments were evaluated by hand in school, and today there are digital evaluation solutions that can also be used in school lessons. But the curious teachers, who are passionate about chemistry as well as digitization, are definitely needed.
Dr. Uta Bilow led the workshop "ChiuZ-Storylab: Communicating science in an understandable way" and taught the participants the ability to deal with complex topics in an understandable way. The Wiley journal Chemie in unserer Zeit and the possibilities of science journalism were also presented.
The closing lecture was given by Martin Möller from the Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials in Aachen. The Science Forum Chemistry 2019 ended with the lecture "Can a Material perform as an engine". See you in September 2021 in Munich.
This is the name of the event, which was held for the second time after the Science Forum after 2017. ? Knowing and not knowing ? was the leitmotif this time, which the participants approached in various subject areas. ?Knowledge? is often referred to as the most important resource of the 21st century, but it often does not play the decisive role in the formation of public opinion. Such an attitude can put entire societies in a precarious role and the future in difficult waters. In the thematic blocks of transformation, creativity, organization and competence, the speakers approached the challenging topic. Here you will find a detailed summary of the event.
last modified: 06.09.2021 11:00 H from K.J.Schmitz