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07 Ars legendi Faculty Prize for Mathematics and Natural Sciences: The 2024 awardee winners

Joint press release from the German Association of Mathematicians (DMV), the German Physical Society (DPG), the German Chemical Society (GDCh), the Association of Biology, Biosciences and Biomedicine in Germany (VBIO) and the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft eV

07/24
March 19, 2024

This year's Ars legendi Faculty Prize for excellent university teaching in mathematics and the natural sciences goes to Nina Keul from the Christian Albrechts University of Kiel (biology), Hans-Christian Schmitt from the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg (chemistry), and Anselm Knebusch from the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences (mathematics) and Jan-Philipp Burde from the University of Tübingen (physics).

The Ars legendi Faculty Prize for Mathematics and Natural Sciences honors scientists who distinguish themselves through outstanding, innovative and exemplary achievements in teaching, advising and support. It is awarded by the Stifterverband, the German Chemical Society, the German Mathematicians' Association, the German Physical Society and the Association of Biology, Life Sciences and Biomedicine in Germany. The award has been presented since 2014 in the categories of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics and is endowed with 5,000 euros each.

The awardee were selected by a nine-person jury made up of representatives from scientific disciplines, university didactics and students. She awarded the Ars legendi Faculty Prize 2024 to the following university professors:

In the biology category
will Dr. Nina Keul from the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, received the award. She has been teaching across disciplines in the “Marine Geoscience” and “Biological Oceanography” courses since 2017. She developed diverse and innovative teaching formats to sharpen research-oriented training. With her often playful offerings, Nina Keul strengthens students' communication skills and personal responsibility in addition to gaining knowledge. The e-learning tool “digiCruise”, in which students go on a digital expedition with the research ship, and the high level of student mobility as part of the European university alliance SEA-EU are best practice examples from their teaching.

In the chemistry category
the prize goes to Dr. Hans-Christian Schmitt from the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg. He receives the award for his groundbreaking commitment to his courses in physical chemistry. He particularly impressed the jury with his innovative redesign of internship experiments, sensible digitalization strategies and his concepts for stimulating active, research-based learning. In addition, Hans-Christian Schmitt succeeds in achieving long-term learning success in his main and minor subjects as well as in the training of prospective teachers through target group-oriented supporting materials, variable discussion formats and innovative learning goal controls and arousing enthusiasm for the experiment.

In the mathematics category
receives the award Professor Dr. Anselm Knebusch from the Stuttgart University of Technology. He uses the innovative concept of “computer-based learning” (CBL) in the lecture hall to address the heterogeneity of first-year students in mathematics education in engineering courses. The new approach of “blended learning” is used to activate the students. The internal differentiation of teaching is achieved through adapted learning videos and interactive exercises, which are worked on individually in the lecture hall. The teacher is present to answer questions and thus becomes a learning coach. The The approach is tailored to the needs of a heterogeneous learning group in which self-learning skills are established but still need to be developed. With this award, the jury would also like to emphasize the importance of minor subject training.

In the physics category
This year, junior professor Dr. Jan-Philipp Burde from the University of Tübingen was honored. The jury found it particularly remarkable that the awardee did not view the physics teacher training course as a shortened specialist course. For him, it is essential to intertwine specialist knowledge and didactics, as opposed to the isolated teaching and acquisition of these two domains of knowledge. Jan-Philipp Burde's events, for which he is being awarded this year's Ars legendi Faculty Prize in physics , are therefore characterized by a consistent focus on research, in which the results of empirical studies are presented and discussed. His events also have a systematic connection to specialist science, in that fundamental concepts of physics lectures are deepened and reflected on in terms of didactics. And they have a clear connection to school practice, as students plan small teaching sequences and experiments and demonstrate them to each other and try them out with students.

The ceremonial awarding of the Ars legendi Faculty Prize for Mathematics and Natural Sciences will take place on April 23, 2024 at 5:30 p.m. at the EXPERIMINTA ScienceCenter Hamburger Allee 22-24, Frankfurt am Main. Those interested are warmly invited. Please register by April 12, 2024 at www.gdch.de/ALFP2024.

Further information about the Ars legendi Faculty Prize for Mathematics and Natural Sciences can be found at https://www.stifterverband.org/ars-legendi-mn

Press contact:

German Chemical Society eV
Maren Mielck, Tel. 069 7917-327
Email: pr@gdch.de

Donors' Association
Peggy Groß, Tel. 030 322982-530
Email: presse@stifterverband.de

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Nina Keul (Foto: J.Haacks, Uni Kiel)
Hans-Christian Schmitt (Foto: Christoph Weiß)
Anselm Knebusch (Foto: Susanne Knebusch)
Jan-Philipp Burde (Foto: Friedhelm Albrecht/Universität Tübingen)

06 Analytics connects: exchange across disciplines

Research meets application at the analytica conference 2024

06/24
March 5, 2024

From April 9th ​​to 12th, analytica, the world's leading trade fair for laboratory technology, analytics and biotechnology, will take place for the 29th time at the Munich exhibition center. It will be accompanied by the analytica conference from April 9th ​​to 11th. In numerous sessions, scientists report on current topics from analytics, quality control, diagnostics, measurement and testing technology as well as biotechnology and the life sciences. The scientific program of the analytica conference is designed by the Analytic Forum, which is made up of the German Chemical Society (GDCh), the Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM) and the German Society for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (DGKL).

For the conference, the Analytics Forum has put together an extensive program that covers almost all areas of analytics and presents the latest trends and developments. The topics have a high practical relevance, so that research and application benefit equally.

A look at the program shows how current the topics are: one session is dedicated to the topic of “Artificial Intelligence”. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionize analytical chemistry. AI automates tasks, improves accuracy and increases research efficiency. Their role is constantly growing, making them an important tool in science. The speakers will show how AI and data science can specifically support precision analytics and laboratory medicine.

The “Sustainability” session focuses on the sustainable laboratory. Sustainability in the laboratory doesn't just mean reducing energy and waste, saving water and practicing green chemistry. Sustainable supply chains, cooperation and sustainability in training are also important levers. Even small changes can have a big impact. The speakers will present their experiences and, together with the plenum, look for ways in which laboratories can contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

The topic of research data management is also highly topical and will be taken up in the “Research Data Management” minisymposium, which consists of three sessions. Due to technological progress, researchers are producing more and more data. But only if this data is well managed can it be found, accessible, interoperable and reusable and therefore correspond to the FAIR data principles (FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Efficient data management saves time and resources, reduces errors and improves the quality of analyses. The speakers will show how crucial effective research data management is for scientific progress, promoting transparency and the reliability of results.

In addition to these and many other sessions, an accompanying poster show, supported by the companies Agilent and Merck, rounds off the program.

Two working groups of the GDCh Division of Analytical Chemistry also use the conference framework to award awards: The German working group for Analytical Spectroscopy (DAAS) awards the “Bunsen-Kirchhoff Award for Analytical Spectroscopy”, which is supported by Analytik Jena GmbH . The prize honors outstanding spectroscopic achievements, especially of younger scientists from universities, research institutes or industry. The Working Group Separation Science awards the “Eberhard-Gerstel Award” in Munich, which is sponsored by Gerstel GmbH & Co. KG. The prize honors an outstanding publication in the field of analytical separation techniques that has appeared in an internationally recognized, peer-reviewed journal .

The analytica conference takes place in the ICM – International Congress Center Munich on the exhibition grounds. Conference language is English. Admission to the conference is free for visitors to analytica. The Forum Analytik joint stand is located in Hall B2, Stand 503.

The current program for the analytica conference can be found at www.gdch.de/analyticaconf2024 or in the appointment database at www.analytica.de/conference.

Contact person for the press:

 

analytica conference

Maren Mielck

German Chemical Society

public relations

Tel.: +49 69 7917-327

Email: pr@gdch.de

 

analytica

Claudia Grzelke

PR Manager Messe Munich

Tel.: +49 89 949-21498

Email: press.shows@messe-muenchen.de

 

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analytica conference 2022 (© Messe München GmbH)

05 Learn from historical instruments and methods

Paul Bunge Prize for Peter Heering and Rebekah Higgitt

05/24
February 29, 2024

The Paul Bunge Prize honors studies on the history of scientific instruments. This year the prize will be awarded twice: Professor Dr. Peter Heering, University of Flensburg, receives the award for his life's work - especially with regard to the replication of historical experiments. Dr. Rebekah Higgitt, National Museums Scotland (NMS), UK, is honored for her outstanding contributions and commitment to the history of scientific instruments. The Hans R. Jenemann Foundation prize is endowed with a total of 7,500 euros and is awarded jointly by the German Chemical Society (GDCh) and the German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry (DBG). The award ceremony will take place as part of the Conference of the GDCh Division of History of Chemistry from March 21st to 22nd in Gießen.

Peter Heering is considered one of the leading representatives of historically accurate replicas of experiments. He uses original materials and avoids modern substitutes. In the course of his “experimental history of science,” Heering reconstructs lost skills and combines historical and didactic approaches. Heering demonstrates a deep understanding of the complexity of using and handling materials. With his findings, he has repeatedly contributed to understanding historical instrumental methods and shown how these can be relevant for teaching and scientific application.

Heering completed his studies in physics and chemistry for high school teaching at the University of Oldenburg (today the Carl-von-Ossietzky University of Oldenburg) in 1990 with the 1st state examination. After completing his doctorate in Oldenburg in 1995, he passed the second state examination in 1996. As a result, Heering held various positions up to the academic council in the physics department at the University of Oldenburg in the area of ​​teacher training. Meanwhile, he completed his habilitation in the history of natural sciences at the University of Hamburg in 2006. Since 2009 he has been a professor of physics and didactics at the European University of Flensburg (EUF). Heering belongs to and has been a member of numerous professional societies and has held a variety of positions at the EUF.

Rebekah Higgitt is considered a leader in the field of scientific museology. She conducts research at the interface between the history of science in the 18th and 19th centuries, scientific instrument making, and material and cultural history. As an outstanding museum practitioner, she brings her extensive knowledge to her exhibition and collection work and teaches students at the University of Kent, UK, the importance of the history of science and scientific instruments. With her publications she changed the debate about scientific instruments. In her publication 'Finding Longitude: How Ships, Clocks and Stars Helped Solve the Longitude Problem', co-edited with Richard Dunn, she presented an important analysis of the role of scientists, instrument makers and government intervention in the final measurement of longitude at sea.

Rebekah Higgitt studied history at the University of Durham, UK, before completing her doctorate in the history of science at Imperial College London, UK, in 2004. Before and during her doctorate, she worked as a library and archive assistant at University College London, UK, and at the London Metropolitan Archives, UK. From 2005, Higgitt conducted postdoctoral research at the Institute of Geography at the University of Edinburgh, UK. From 2008 she was curator of the history of science at the Royal Museums Greenwich, London, UK, before moving to the University of Kent, UK, as a lecturer in the history of science in 2013. Since 2020, Higgitt has been Chief Curator of Science at National Museums Scotland (NMS), UK. She is an elected member of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Historical Society and is involved in numerous other societies and organizations. In addition to these activities, she is also active in administration and teaching. Higgitt has already curated numerous exhibitions and published numerous publications. Her work has received multiple awards and grants.

Peter Heering and Rebekah Higgitt will each receive a Paul Bunge Prize with prize money of 3,750 euros. Both will give an insight into their work in a lecture at the Conference of the GDCh Division of History of Chemistry .

As part of the Conference, the Division also awards the Bettina Main Young Scientist Award, worth 1,500 euros each, which honors younger scientists for an outstanding publication on a topic from the history of chemistry . This year the award goes to Dr. Paulina S. Gennermann for her dissertation “A story with taste – the nature of synthetic flavorings in the 20th century using the example of vanillin” written at Bielefeld University and Dr. Josephine Musil-Gutsch for her doctoral thesis “The Past under the Microscope – Cooperative Research Practice in the Natural Sciences and Humanities 1880–1930” at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

Further information about the Conference can be found at www.gdch.de/geschichte2024

With around 30,000 members, the German Chemical Society (GDCh) is one of the largest chemical science societies in the world. It maintains numerous foundations, such as the Hans R. Jenemann Foundation. The Paul Bunge Prize of the Hans R. Jenemann Foundation is awarded annually, usually alternately at the Bunsen Conference and the lecture conferences of the GDCh Division of History of Chemistry.

The Paul Bunge Prize is considered the world's most important honor in the history of scientific instruments and is advertised publicly and internationally. The advisory board of the Hans R. Jenemann Foundation, which is supported by the GDCh and the DBG, decides on the award. Hans R. Jenemann (1920–1996), chemist at Schott Glaswerke in Mainz, became known for his contributions to the history of scientific equipment, especially historical scales. He himself founded the foundation in 1992. The prize is named after the Hamburg precision mechanic Paul Bunge (1839–1888), one of the leading designers of laboratory balances for chemical analysis.

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Peter Heering (Foto: Thomas Raake)
Rebekah Higgitt (Foto: Stewart Attwood)

04 Chemistry for a sustainable world - Spring symposium brings together young chemistry community in Ulm

04/24
February 22, 2024

Under the motto “Rethinking Chemistry: Towards A Greener Future” the spring symposium of the JungChemikerForum (JCF) of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) will take place in Ulm from March 13th to 16th. The Conference, which is organized by changing regional forums of the JCF, the association of young members of the GDCh, is aimed at the young chemistry community at home and abroad. Around 200 scientists are expected. In addition to lectures, the program also includes workshops, an industrial exhibition and a poster session. Further highlights include the awarding of the Carl Roth Sponsorship Prize and the Dres. Volker and Elke Münch Prize.

For 26 years, the JCF Spring Symposium has been one of the largest conferences in Europe by and for young researchers. The event is hosted annually by rotating JCF regional forums. In 2024, the Ulm, Munich and Stuttgart regional forums took over the organization and jointly created a diverse program.

In 2024, the event will be all about sustainability. Chemistry can provide important solutions to the pressing challenges of climate change, resource scarcity and environmental destruction. The spring symposium is therefore dedicated to the exciting question of how chemistry can help to shape a more sustainable world.

This year's plenary speakers include Professor Dr. John C. Warner, Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, LLC/US, one of the founders of the concept of green chemistry. In addition, Professor Dr. Jovana V. Milić, Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Friborg, CH, Professor Dr. Wendy Lee Queen, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), CH, Dr. Sebastian B. Beil, University of Groningen, NL, and Professor Dr. Amitabh Banerji, University of Potsdam, giving plenary lectures. In addition to internationally renowned scientists, junior group leaders and young researchers in particular will have their say at the spring symposium. The program also includes workshops, an industrial exhibition and a poster session. The GDCh career service will also be there with a stand on March 14th and 15th and will answer questions about Career and career entry.

The Carl-Roth Award will be awarded at the Conference on March 14th. The GDCh gives the award, worth 5,000 euros, to young chemists who develop resource-saving synthesis routes or use chemicals innovatively. The prize is financed by Carl Roth GmbH & Co. KG, which also contributes another 3,000 euros in the form of a voucher. Tristan von Münchow, Georg August University of Göttingen, received the prize for his work in which he convincingly combines resource conservation and innovation. In his research, he deals with resource-saving organic synthesis through enantioselective 3d transition metal-catalyzed electrochemical C–H activation - an innovative electrocatalysis in which the hydrogen formed can be used as a green and clean energy source and storage. Von Münchow's groundbreaking research results have already been published in the journal Science.

The Dres. Volker and Elke Münch Prize will also be awarded on March 14th. The prize from the foundation of the same name, which is based at the GDCh, is endowed with 7,000 euros and is preferably awarded to young inventors who have made a groundbreaking invention in the field of chemistry or chemical process engineering. The prize money will be used to support a patent application. This year the award goes to the teams led by Professor Dr. Sebastian Hasenstab-Riedel and Professor Dr. Rainer Haag from the Free University of Berlin. They developed a resource-saving and environmentally friendly process to adsorb chlorine from a residual gas stream containing chlorine (see press release 27/23 ).

On March 14th, the FAIR4Chem Award will also be presented to Robin Lenz, Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research Dresden. The prize honors published datasets from chemical research that best meet the FAIR principles (discoverable, accessible, interoperable and reusable). It is awarded by the NFDI4Chem consortium, in which the GDCh is involved, and supported by the Chemical Industry Fund.

Further information can be found at https://symposium.jcf.io.

With around 30,000 members, the German Chemical Society is one of the largest chemical science societies in the world. It promotes scientific work, research and teaching as well as the exchange and dissemination of new scientific findings. The GDCh supports the creation of networks, transdisciplinary and international collaboration and continuous education and training in schools, universities and in the professional environment. The GDCh has 27 Divisions as well as 60 local sections and regional forums of the JungChemikerForum (JCF) at 54 university locations. Nationwide, the JCF forms a platform for around 10,000 young members of the GDCh.

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Tristan v. Münchow erhält den Carl-Roth-Förderpreis (Foto: privat)

03 Conference for young academics in chemistry

GDCh awards renowned prizes to two female chemists

03/24
February 15, 2024

Over 300 chemists will come together from March 11th to 13th at RWTH Aachen University University for the 2024 Chemiedozententagung . The German Chemical Society (GDCh) will award two renowned prizes at the event: Dr. Eva E. Wille, Weinheim, is awarded the Gmelin-Beilstein commemorative coin and Junior Professor Dr.-Ing. Corina Andronescu, University of Duisburg-Essen, receives the Carl-Duisberg Memorial Award. In addition, one young scientist will receive ADUC prizes for establishing an independent research area.

The Chemiedozententagung is organized by the Association of German University Professors of Chemistry (ADUC) of the GDCh and brings together young academics from all areas of chemistry. Habilitation candidates, junior professors and scholarship holders use the Conference to present their research and exchange ideas. In addition to lectures from a wide variety of areas of chemistry, the scientific program includes a keynote lecture by Professor Dr. Sebastian Seiffert, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, as well as numerous workshops. In a festive setting, the GDCh also awards the Gmelin-Beilstein commemorative coin and the Carl-Duisberg Memorial Award. The ADUC also honors one young scientist with ADUC prizes.

The Gmelin-Beilstein commemorative coin, a silver medal that comes with a certificate and prize money of 7,500 euros, is awarded by the GDCh to domestic and foreign personalities who have made special contributions to the history of chemistry and chemical literature or have acquired the chemistry information. Dr. Eva E. Wille receives the award for her extraordinary commitment to the establishment and further development of chemical literature, far beyond her core work at Wiley-VCH Verlag, her long-term employer. Her commitment to chemical history literature and the classification of various areas of chemistry in a historical context, especially during the National Socialist era, were highlighted as very valuable by the selection committee.

Eva Elisabeth Wille, born in 1955, completed her doctorate in chemistry at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich in 1983. In 1985, she began her Career at Wiley-VCH Verlag (formerly Verlag Chemie or VCH-Verlagsgesellschaft), which she completed in 2019 when she retired as Vice President & Executive Director Chemistry and member of the Global Physical Sciences Management Board. She has been volunteering and contributing her expertise to various committees and societies for many years, including the Working Group of Magazine Publishers (AGZV), the German Trade Press (DF), the German Book Trade Association and the GDCh. Since 2020 she has been a member of the Advisory Board of the “Lifetime Achievements in Chemistry” series published by the GDCh Division of History of Chemistry . Wille has been a committed GDCh member since 1980 and Chair of the Division of Senior Expert Chemists since 2023.

The Carl-Duisberg Memorial Award, endowed with 7,500 euros, has been awarded since 1936 to young university teachers who work at a German university or, as Germans, at a foreign university, who do not yet hold a W2/W3 or comparable position and who have not exceeded the age of 40 have. This year, junior professor Dr.-Ing. Corina Andronescu, University of Duisburg-Essen, received the award for her impressive overall picture of strong and innovative research performance, undergraduate teaching, enormous third-party funding, convincing group leadership experience and international experience. Andronescu is considered a pioneer in electrochemical catalysis in developing methods for the stable immobilization of catalysts on the electrode - an aspect that is neglected in many works but is of great importance, especially for the application of electrocatalysts.

Corina Andronescu, born in 1987, completed her doctorate in chemical engineering in 2014 at the Politechnica University in Bucharest (UPB), Romania. She subsequently worked as a lecturer at the UPB and as a postdoctoral researcher at the Ruhr University Bochum (RUB) until she took over the junior professorship for electrochemical catalysis at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) in 2018. She has already received several awards, including the Jochen Block Prize from DECHEMA in 2023, and is a member of numerous committees and societies.

As part of the Conference , the ADUC will also honor one young scientist with ADUC prizes. Dr. Jola Pospech, Leibniz Institute for Catalysis e. V. in Rostock, receives an ADUC prize for her creative contributions in the field of photoredox catalysis, in particular for the development of catalytically active pyrimidopteridines, their mechanistic investigation and their use in hydroamination and hydroacylation reactions. Also honored is Dr. Moritz Malischewski, Free University of Berlin, for his successes in the field of highly reactive and unusual coordination compounds, in particular through reactions in superacidic media and using highly fluorinated cyclopentadienide ligands.

Further information about the Conference can be found at www.gdch.de/cdt2024

The German Chemical Society (GDCh) is one of the largest chemical science societies in the world with around 30,000 members. It has 27 Divisions and awards numerous prizes for special achievements in chemical research. The traditional Association of German University Professors of Chemistry (ADUC), which is based at the GDCh, awards up to three young scientists every year (during their habilitation, scholarship or junior professorship) for establishing an independent research area.

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Dr. Eva E. Wille (Foto: R. Molz)
Junior-Professorin Dr.-Ing. Corina Andronescu (Foto: Universität Duisburg-Essen)

02 Science connects – open discourse and international cooperation are essential

Mathematical and scientific societies oppose anti-democratic and nationalist approaches in Germany.

02/24
February 2, 2024

Joint press release from the Umbrella Association of Geosciences (DVGeo), the German Mathematicians' Association (DMV), the German Physical Society (DPG), the German Chemical Society (GDCh) and the Association of Biology, Life Sciences and Biomedicine in Germany (VBIO)

The mathematical and scientific societies united under the motto “Science connects” are dismayed by the anti-democratic and nationalistic approaches in Germany, which threaten and exclude individuals and entire groups. This damages Germany as a science location. Science depends on cosmopolitanism, international cooperation, democracy and the rule of law as well as freedom of research and teaching. All members of the mathematical and scientific societies are called upon to send a clear signal in their environment for a cosmopolitan, democratic society and free science.

The mathematical and scientific societies - the umbrella association of geosciences (DVGeo), the German Mathematicians' Association (DMV), the German Physical Society (DPG), the German Chemical Society (GDCh) and the Association of Biology, Life Sciences and Biomedicine in Germany (VBIO ) - with their declaration they defend themselves against nationalist and anti-democratic efforts of all kinds. In doing so, they send a signal for freedom of research, democracy and the rule of law as well as cosmopolitanism and international cooperation. These points are prerequisites for the scientific, economic and social well-being of our country - and thus also for the individual standard of living of every single citizen.

Open discourse culture
Like science, society also thrives on open discourse - on the exchange of facts and arguments, their evaluation and on the willingness to further develop one's own views and hypotheses if a changing data situation requires it. However, there is currently little evidence of this in many of the discourses in the political and social space: facts are denied or falsified, narratives are oriented towards opportunities and self-interest, and the tone is becoming rougher and louder. The willingness to question one's own opinions is decreasing, while intolerance and radicalization are increasing.
An open and appreciative culture of discussion is essential for mathematical and scientific societies. This applies to general discourse as well as to academic discourse. Anti-scientific sentiment, obstacles to academic freedom, intolerance and exclusion are damaging Germany as a scientific location.

Cosmopolitanism and international cooperation
Science is not bound to national borders, especially in the context of mathematics and natural sciences. The exchange of ideas and people with different backgrounds and approaches acts as a driving force for science and knowledge, which we urgently need to master the tasks of the future.
The mathematical and natural science societies therefore warn against limiting science to the national level and resolutely oppose all efforts to make international cooperation more difficult. A purely national science would do considerable harm to our country.

Democracy and the rule of law
Democracy and the rule of law offer a reliable framework in which science can work creatively and deliver results. Any questioning of democracy and the rule of law as well as any exclusion endangers research projects in Germany. The mathematical and scientific societies warn against a voluntary or forced migration of scientists to other countries with better conditions. The resulting loss of knowledge would weaken Germany as a research location, a fact that is accepted with approval by those actors who otherwise rely heavily on national strength.
Against the background outlined above, the mathematical and scientific societies are alarmed by the recent anti-democratic and nationalist movements in Germany. They firmly believe that the prosperity and strength of a country are not based on homogeneity, but on diversity and freedom. The societies will continue to advocate freedom of research, democracy and the rule of law, as well as cosmopolitanism and international cooperation. They therefore call on all their members to send a clear signal in their private and social environment for a cosmopolitan, democratic society and free science. In this context, members are particularly called upon to exercise the democratic rights guaranteed by the Basic Law, for example in elections.

Contact:

Umbrella Association of Geosciences (DVGeo):
Tamara Fahry-Seelig, Managing Director, Tel.: 030 20179-683, Email: fahry-seelig@dvgeo.org

German Mathematicians Association (DMV):
Thomas Vogt, Press Office, Tel.: 030 838756-57, Email: presse@mathematik.de

German Physical Society (DPG):
Andreas Böttcher, Press Office, Tel.: 030 201748-0, Email: boettcher@dpg-physik.de

German Chemical Society (GDCh):
Dr. Karin J. Schmitz, Head of public relations, Tel.: 069 7917-493, Email: pr@gdch.de

Association of Biology, Life Sciences and Biomedicine in Germany (VBIO):
Dr. Kerstin Elbing, Science & Society Department, Tel.: 030 278919-16, Email: elbing@vbio.de

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01 “Observing active matter is like playing computers under a microscope”

Juliane Simmchen receives Mario Markus Prize for ludic sciences

01/24
January 16, 2024

The German Chemical Society (GDCh) honors Dr. Juliane Simmchen, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK, and Technical University of Dresden, received the Mario Markus Prize for Ludic Sciences. She received the prize for a publication in which she investigated biomimetic behavior in artificially produced active matter. The prize, endowed with 10,000 euros, honors scientific work in the field of natural sciences that is characterized by its playful character. The award winner convinced the selection committee with her playful approach to approaching a complex topic in order to gain exciting insights. The award ceremony will take place on January 30th as part of a public event on the premises of the Physical Society in Frankfurt am Main.

“A bit like playing computers in the laboratory, only cooler,” is how Juliane Simmchen describes her work. She researches how microparticles can be specifically moved in liquids. While people can glide through the water with targeted movements when swimming, in order to move in liquids, microparticles have to be permanently supplied with energy and are equipped with a “motor” so to speak.

In the award-winning publication, Simmchen investigated a special phenomenon: the completely artificial, magnetic and photocatalytic microswimmers she produced crossed a line of light and then changed direction without any additional stimulus. To find out why the microswimmers swim “back to the light,” she looked at different influences. The researcher found that neither the magnetic field nor the hydrogen peroxide content had any significant effects. The size of the particles is crucial. These results show how simple physical effects can lead to complex but stable behavior, similar to natural mechanisms.

Juliane Simmchen, who was born in 1986, studied chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden. After graduating in Analytical Chemistry in 2010, she completed her PhD in Materials Science in 2014 at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. After stays at the MPI for Intelligent Systems, Stuttgart, and at the Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Físicas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she returned to the Technical University of Dresden in 2016 as a research assistant. Since 2016 she has been a Freigeist Fellow on the topic of 'Light driven microswimmers'. Since 2022 she has also been teaching at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. In 2022, the GDCh awarded Simmchen the Carl-Duisberg Memorial Award for her research.

The Mario Markus Prize for Ludic Sciences, endowed with 10,000 euros, is awarded by Professor Dr. Mario Markus, Dortmund, who dedicated himself to ludic science and coined this term. While research projects today are increasingly being carried out with a focus on practical applicability, a look at the past shows that, since ancient times, we have repeatedly gained new knowledge through play and out of sheer curiosity.

The awarding of the Mario Markus Prize for ludic sciences will take place on January 30th in cooperation with the Physical Society in the lecture hall of the Physical Society at Robert-Mayer-Straße 2 in Frankfurt/Main. As part of the event, the award winner will explain her research in more detail. All interested parties are warmly invited. Please register at www.gdch.de/mariomarkus. Afterwards there is the opportunity to visit the observatory of the Physical Society.

With around 30,000 members, the German Chemical Society (GDCh) is one of the largest chemical science societies in the world. It promotes scientific work, research and teaching as well as the exchange and dissemination of scientific knowledge. One of their concerns is to make modern chemistry understandable to the interested public and thus to open up connections in natural sciences and technology.

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Dr. Juliane Simmchen (Foto: privat)

Contact

Dr. Karin J. Schmitz
Head of GDCh-
public relations
pr@gdch.de
Tel. 069 / 7917-493

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last modified: 15.03.2024 13:29 H from Translator