Senior Expert Chemists

Who we are — What we do

The Senior Expert Chemists

We, the Senior Senior Expert Chemists (SEC), are mostly retired chemists who are organized under the umbrella of the GDCh. Most of us have a college education. We have mostly more than 30 years of professional experience in responsible positions in industrial companies, educational institutions, research institutes or authorities. We make this knowledge and experience available to society. Our main interests are:


  • to strengthen the reputation of chemistry in public
  • to deepen the understanding of chemistry among the general public
  • Lifelong learning and passing on chemistry knowledge
  • Build networks and relationships of chemists at home and abroad
  • to maintain international contacts

Women and men (or others) are of course equal for us. For the sake of better legibility, however, we use the generic masculine noun for personal designations.

Short link to this page:

Culture of discussion at the SEC

Seniors want to have a say in and discuss many topics and want to express their opinions freely. In order to ensure a constructive and goal-oriented discussion even when the heat is on, the SEC board formulated the following code for a discussion culture within the Division in February 2021:

The basis of the cooperation and the harmonious cooperation among the members of the SEC is an open, fact-based scientific discussion, which can also have the character of a factual and open dispute. The focus here is particularly on the appreciation of the discussion partner. This includes a conciliatory and respectful choice of words. The aim is that our discussions are pleasantly different from some others, e.g. political disputes. Only in this way will we be able to express our views respectfully, courageously and openly, regardless of the published opinion and supported by the scientific facts.

In addition, we have developed guidelines for scientific discourse:

Guidelines for Scientific Discourse

Free research, free formation and expression of opinion as well as the fundamental recognition of the scientific consensus based on the state of the art are elements of the lived scientific culture of the GDCh. This applies to all scientific topics in the working group ?public relations? (AK OEFF) such as ?Energy and Climate?, ?Genome Editing? and ?Environment and Plastics?, which the SEC deals with.


  • Scientific consensus does not arise through voting or through democratic majorities. Even pure majorities of opinion cannot be equated with scientific consensus.
  • The scientific consensus is defined by scientific results that have been independently verified by others and give a consistent picture with other confirmed findings.
  • Scientific consensus can change with new knowledge and new evidence.
  • Anyone who contradicts the scientific consensus with their own hypotheses or those of others submits to the full burden of proof for their statements.
  • Statements by the SEC to the outside world are subject to strict, purely scientific criteria and the rules of the GDCh. The SEC observes the laws and international conventions applicable to their work, their results and their effects (e.g. Climate Protection Act, Green Deal, etc.).
  • The SEC's Board advocates freedom of expression within the Division . By observing the scientific culture of the GDCh, there is no need to draw up a no-go list of arguments that restrict the diversity of opinion. Critical questioning, including the current scientific consensus, is part of scientific thinking and the basis for new findings.

"Scientificity does not mean to argue less, but better".
Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim

The SEC annual meeting

Diskussion beim 2. SEC Jahrestreffen

The SEC annual meeting is the joint identification project of the Senior Expert Chemists. The meetings usually take place every two years at different locations. Top-class lectures, sufficient time for discussion and the chance to form and maintain networks attract up to 250 participants. more

Working groups

public relations

We encourage a better understanding of chemistry among the public. We communicate the concerns of senior chemists in the GDCh and society. We promote the networking of senior citizens within the GDCh. The focus is on Conferences, lectures, publications and excursions. The cooperation with the local associations and the young chemists is particularly important to us. more...


School education profession

We put our knowledge and experience at the service of chemistry education at all ages. The focus is on lectures at schools and other educational institutions. Internally we work together with the GDCh Division " chemical education". There are external contacts to the House of Little Researchers and to MINT organizations such as the MINT Creating Future Initiative. more...

Technology Tour

Im Labor der BRAIN AG

The SEC Technology Tours have been taking place since 2007, often together with VAA retirees from Hanau. Visiting a technology company is often combined with experiencing art or a hike. more...

SEC lecturer

Prof Klaus Roth

SEC lecturers are senior experts who can speak skilfully and comprehensibly on interdisciplinary topics. Above all, they enrich the lecture programs of the local sections. more...


Sitzung des Arbeitskreises Öffentlichkeitsarbeit (2015)

The Senior Expert Chemists (SEC) are a Division of the GDCh. Five members make up the Board of Directors. Two working groups are currently active. The Board and working groups meet several times a year for meetings more...

Online lecture series "Senior chemists share their knowledge"


GDCh Science Forum Chemistry 2023

04.09.-06.09., Leipzig

Symposium "Chemistry Meets Culture", Tuesday, September 5, 2:10 p.m. - 5:20 p.m

Symposium "Rethinking History of Chemistry: Fascinating Stories for the Future"
with FG history of chemistry
Mon, 04.09., 14.10 - 17.20


Klaus-Dieter Jany

receives the Max Eydt commemorative medal from the DLG

become a member

Get involved and become a member of the Senior Expert Chemists! more


GDCh Office
Dipl.-Biol. Nicole Bürger
Tel .: +49 69 7917-231

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last modified: 06.03.2023 12:59 H from N/A