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17 Katharina Landfester receives Liebig commemorative coin – Nanocapsules as transport vehicles for medicines

17/24
July 23, 2024

The 133rd meeting of the Society of German Scientists and Physicians (GDNÄ) will take place in Potsdam from September 12 to 15, 2024 under the motto "Science for our lives of tomorrow". Traditionally, the German Chemical Society (GDCh) contributes to the event with a scientific session and the awarding of the Liebig commemorative coin . This year's winner is Professor Dr. Katharina Landfester from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz.

With the Liebig commemorative coin, which is endowed with 7,500 euros, the GDCh recognizes outstanding achievements in the entire field of chemistry. Landfester receives the award for her remarkable work in the field of organic polymers, in particular for the development and application of nanocapsules for the targeted administration of drugs and as building blocks for the construction of artificial cells. The selection committee also recognized her great commitment to the chemical community and to the interests of the GDCh.

Polymerization in emulsions plays an important role in modern polymer research. Polymerization is a chemical process in which small molecules, so-called monomers, are combined to form larger molecules, the polymers. Landfester researched so-called miniemulsion polymerization, which enables the production of complex polymer nanoparticles. The chemist thus made a significant contribution to the establishment of polymerization in emulsions from a niche approach to an important area of ​​polymer synthesis. Landfester developed functional and active nanocapsules as transport vehicles for the targeted administration of drugs and as modules for the construction of artificial cells. In this way, she succeeded in transferring cell concepts to the field of synthesis in order to open up synthesis routes for chemistry in an intelligent way. With her research into miniemulsion polymerization, she has overcome the previous limits of emulsion polymerization and made a new field of reaction types and monomers accessible to polymer chemistry.

Katharina Landfester, born in 1969, studied chemistry at the Technical University of Darmstadt. For her diploma thesis, she studied at the Ecole d'Application des Hautes Polymères in Strasbourg. In 1995 she received her doctorate in physical chemistry from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz after working with Professor Dr. HW Spiess at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, also in Mainz. This was followed by research stays at the MPI for Polymer Research and at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, USA, before she moved to the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Golm as project manager in 1998. In 2002 she completed her habilitation in physical chemistry at the University of Potsdam. In 2003 she took up a C4 professorship for macromolecular chemistry at the University of Ulm, until she moved to the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research as director in 2008. She has also been Managing Director there since 2014. In addition, she has been co-founder of the start-up Lignilabs since 2022. In addition to her scientific work, Landfester holds several institutional positions and is active in numerous committees. She has received numerous awards and has published more than 600 research papers in the past ten years. Landfester has been an active member of the GDCh since 1994. From 2007 to 2015 she was a board member of the GDCh Division of Macromolecular Chemistry, and from 2016 to 2023 she was a member of the GDCh Board .

The award ceremony will take place on September 14th as part of the Chemistry session, which will be opened by GDCh President Prof. Dr. Stefanie Dehnen . Following the award ceremony, the award winner will give a lecture on the topic of "Nanocapsules as drug carriers and artificial organelles".

With around 30,000 members, the German Chemical Society is one of the largest chemical science societies in the world. It awards numerous internationally prestigious prizes, including the Liebig commemorative coin, which was first awarded in 1903. Among the award winners are numerous later Nobel Prize winners: Adolf von Baeyer, Paul Ehrlich, Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, Max Planck, Friedrich Bergius, Hans Fischer, Feodor Lynen, Karl Ziegler and Gerhard Ertl.

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Katharina Landfester (Foto: MPI-P)

16 GDCh Award for Biocatalysis for Sebastian Gergel – Award ceremony during the Division of Sustainable Chemistry Conference

16/24
July 16, 2024

The German Chemical Society (GDCh) is awarding the GDCh Award for Biocatalysis to Dr. Sebastian Gergel, EnginZyme AB, Solna, Sweden. The award ceremony will take place on September 12th during the annual meeting of the GDCh Division of Sustainable Chemistry in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

Sebastian Gergel receives the GDCh Award for Biocatalysis for his dissertation, which he completed at the universities of Stuttgart and Bielefeld. In it he dealt with protein engineering and the design of new enzymes.

Protein engineering deals with the design, optimization and production of proteins, including enzymes. Possible areas of application range from science to industry and agriculture. Protein engineering can play an important role, for example, in the development of new drugs and therapies, in the production of biofuels or in the development of new biotechnological processes.

In his work, Gergel combined mechanistic understanding of organic reactions with the methods of protein engineering, as well as their application in organic synthesis. He focused on directed evolution and mechanistic studies of carbonyl-selective alkene oxygenases and their application in asymmetric synthesis. Gergel was able to gain deep insights into the reaction mechanism of the biocatalytic Wacker oxidation. After successfully designing such enzymes, he was able to use them in regioselective or regio- and enantioselective Wacker oxidation.

The selection committee was convinced not only by the excellence of the content of the dissertation, which was rated "summa cum laude", but also by its linguistic and visual elaboration. The work also laid the foundation for further projects and resulted in a large number of high-ranking publications in top scientific journals.

Sebastian Gergel studied chemistry at the University of Stuttgart. He completed his doctoral thesis at the Universities of Stuttgart and Bielefeld. After completing his doctorate in 2021, he took up a position at EnginZyme AB, Solna, Sweden.

Further information about the Conference can be found at: www.gdch.de/nachhaltig2024

With around 30,000 members, the German Chemical Society (GDCh) is one of the largest chemical science societies in the world. It has 27 Divisions, including the Division of Sustainable Chemistry founded in 2009 with over 800 members.

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Sebastian Gergel (Foto: Ostflut.net - Fotograf Richard Westebbe)

15 ORCHEM 2024: Top conference in organic chemistry – Frank Glorius receives Emil Fischer Medal

15/24
July 11, 2024

The 23rd ORCHEM will take place at the University of Regensburg from September 9th to 11th. The Conference is organized by the Liebig Association for Organic Chemistry of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) and is one of the most attractive conferences in the field of organic chemistry. The program includes lectures on synthesis, catalysis, methodology and reactivity. As part of the Conference , the GDCh will award the prestigious Emil Fischer Medal for outstanding achievements in the field of organic chemistry. The Liebig Association also recognizes original and groundbreaking work by young scientists.

On September 9, the GDCh will award the Emil Fischer Medal to Professor Dr. Frank Glorius, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster. He will receive the award, worth 7,500 euros, for his groundbreaking contributions to organic synthesis methodology and the design of functional molecules. His work is exceptional in both its diversity and quality. The selection committee also highlighted the international reach and appeal of Glorius' work and praised his special commitment to the chemical community.

Frank Glorius is considered a leading expert in the field of organic chemistry. With his work, he has made important contributions to organic synthesis and catalysis as well as to the design of functional molecules. Glorius and his group are involved in the evaluation and discovery of chemical reactions as well as the prediction of reactivity and selectivity based on machine learning. Frank Glorius' team is one of the leading groups in all of the research areas mentioned and is known worldwide for its innovative and influential work.

Frank Glorius, born in 1972 in Walsrode, studied chemistry at the Leibniz University of Hannover. In 2000, he received his doctorate in Basel after research work at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim/Ruhr, and at the University of Basel. After working at Harvard University, USA, the MPI for Coal Research and the Philipps University of Marburg, he accepted a position at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster in 2007. He still works there as a professor of organic chemistry. Glorius has already received numerous awards for his work and his research is currently being funded by the third ERC (European Research Council) grant. In addition to his scientific work, he is also actively involved in the chemical community, for example on the Board of Trustees of the Chemical Industry Fund and in the Chemistry Review Board of the DFG. Glorius has been an active GDCh member for twenty-eight years. During this time, he headed the Münster local section and organized ORCHEM 2022 as chair.

The Liebig Association for Organic Chemistry is also using the Conference to recognize outstanding scientific achievements. On September 10, the ORCHEM Prize, which comes with prize money of 2500 euros, will be awarded to two young scientists. Dr. Golo Storch, Technical University of Munich, will receive the award for his work in the field of organic photochemistry, in particular the investigation of flavin systems in molecular photocatalysis. Dr. Malte Gersch, Technical University of Dortmund, will receive the award for his work on the investigation of proteolytic enzymes of the ubiquitin system. Both awardee will give a brief insight into their research after the award ceremony.

The prices:

The Emil Fischer Medal for outstanding achievements in the field of organic chemistry was founded in 1912 by Carl Duisberg on Emil Fischer's 60th birthday and was initially financed by the Carl Duisberg Foundation and later from a special fund of the GDCh. Emil Fischer was one of the most important chemists of his time and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1902 for his work on sugar and purine.

The ORCHEM Prize is regularly awarded within the framework of ORCHEM to younger scientists who have qualified through new, original and groundbreaking scientific work in their field.

Further information about the Conference can be found at: orchem2024.de

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, including the Liebig Association for Organic Chemistry with over 1,300 members. The main aims of the Liebig Association for Organic Chemistry are, among other things, to encourage research directions and research projects in the field of organic chemistry, to provide information on key activities in this field and to publicize important and current aspects of organic chemistry through intensive public relations .

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Frank Glorius (Foto: @BayerFoundation)

14 Erich Hückel Award for Lorenz Cederbaum – Outstanding achievements in theoretical chemistry

14/24
July 9, 2024

The German Chemical Society (GDCh) is honoring Professor Dr. Dr. hc mult. Lorenz Cederbaum, University of Heidelberg, with the Erich Hückel Award. The chemist and physicist will receive the award, worth 7,500 euros, for his outstanding achievements in theoretical chemistry, in particular for his groundbreaking contributions to the quantum dynamics of molecular systems. The award ceremony will take place on September 5, 2024, as part of the conference “60th Symposium on Theoretical Chemistry (STC)”.

Lorenz Cederbaum's research focuses on the many-body theory, non-adiabatic phenomena, atoms and molecules in strong fields, boson systems and the energy transfer between molecules. At the end of the 1990s, he predicted the intermolecular Coulomb decay (ICD), which has since been proven by numerous experiments and is being further researched in many working groups.

The award committee appointed by the GDCh Board recognized Cederbaum's scientific work as follows: "His pioneering work on ultrafast nonadiabatic processes at conical intersections and their simulation, including light-induced conical intersections (LICI), the development of the Multi-Configuration Time-Dependent Hartree (MCTDH) method for solving the time-dependent Schrödinger equation, the theoretical prediction of intermolecular Coulombic Decay (ICD), his studies on electron dynamics and ultrafast intramolecular charge migration in molecules, the development of methods for treating short-lived anions, and his detection of quantum chaos in molecules deserves special mention."

Lorenz Cederbaum, born in Braunschweig in 1946, studied physics at the University of Munich and received his doctorate in chemistry in 1972 from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). After his habilitation in physics in 1976, also at TUM, he worked as a professor of physics at the University of Freiburg. In 1979, Cederbaum accepted a position at the University of Heidelberg, where he worked as a professor and director at the Institute of physical chemistry in the Department of Theoretical Chemistry. Since 2017, he has been a senior professor of theoretical chemistry in Heidelberg. During his academic career, he has been a visiting professor at numerous foreign universities, including Harvard and Berkeley, USA. Cederbaum has received honorary doctorates from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and the University of Debrecen, Hungary. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science (IAQMS). His publication list includes more than 820 publications.

With the Erich Hückel Award, the GDCh recognizes outstanding work in the field of theoretical chemistry. The award is named after the German chemist and physicist Erich Hückel (1896 - 1980), who is considered a pioneer of quantum chemistry. Hückel's molecular orbital theory (HMO theory), the Hückel rules that define the aromatic state, and the Debye-Hückel theory from electrochemistry are named after him.

The German Chemical Society (GDCh) is one of the largest chemical science societies in the world with around 30,000 members. In addition to 27 Divisions , seven working groups are located under its umbrella, including the Theoretical Chemistry Working Group, which is jointly supported by the German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry and the German Physical Society. The Theoretical Chemistry Working Group organizes annual symposia on theoretical chemistry.

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Lorenz Cederbaum (Foto: privat)

13 New statistics on chemistry courses published – number of new students increased slightly

13/24
July 2, 2024

In 2023, a total of 8,248 beginners began a chemistry degree program: 1.4% more than in the previous year (2022: 8,137). This is shown by the annual statistics for chemistry degree programs of the German Chemical Society (GDCh). The number of students who completed a chemistry degree program with a master's degree or the first state examination is 3,483 (2022: 3,761). After a slump in the previous year (2022: 1,883), the number of doctorates rose again last year to 2,040. Job-seeking graduates with a completed doctorate were able to enter professional life just as well as in the previous year.

The following results were obtained for the individual study programs:

     

  • In the field of chemistry/industrial chemistry, universities reported 5024 new students (2022: 5061). 1891 students (2022: 2242) successfully completed their bachelor's degree, 2111 received their master's degree (2022: 2201). The median length of study was 7.0 semesters to obtain a bachelor's degree (2022: 7.0) and 5.3 semesters to obtain a master's degree (2022: 5.3). In 2023, 1771 people received their doctorate in chemistry/industrial chemistry (2022: 1648). The median length of time to complete a doctorate was 8.4 semesters (2022: 8.1).
  • In biochemistry and life sciences, 1,680 people began their studies (2022: 1,619). The number of bachelor's degrees was 905 (2022: 902), while the number of master's degrees fell to 807 (2022: 867). The number of doctorates rose to 210 (2022: 178). The median length of study was 6.9 semesters for bachelor's degrees (2022: 6.7), 5.4 semesters for master's degrees (2022: 5.2) and 9.3 semesters for doctorates (2022: 9.3).
  • In food chemistry, the number of new students fell from 325 in the previous year to 307. A total of 150 students passed the main examination A (1st state examination) or the diploma examination (2022: 167) and 125 people passed the main examination B (2nd state examination) (2022: 149). In addition, the universities reported 132 bachelor's and 133 master's degrees (2022: 146 and 156 respectively). The number of doctorates was 59 (2022: 57). The median length of study to the main examination A was 10.9 semesters. Bachelor's degrees also lasted 6.7 semesters and master's degrees 4.5 semesters on median. Due to insufficient data, no average length of study for a doctorate could be determined.
  • At universities of applied sciences (HAW), 1,237 people began studying chemistry (2022: 1,132). The number of bachelor's degrees fell to 583 (2022: 774), and the number of master's degrees to 415 (2022: 526). The median length of study was 8.0 semesters for bachelor's degrees and 4.2 semesters for master's degrees.

97% of all bachelor's graduates at universities and 75% at universities of applied sciences went on to study for a master's degree. Around 83% of master's graduates at universities began a doctorate. This figure is still lower than the long-term average (90%) and now appears to have settled at a lower level.

Almost 50% of graduates with doctorates in chemistry have already taken their first step into professional life. According to data from universities, around 42.4% took up a job in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry (2022: 44%), 17.4% (2022: 17%) took up a temporary position in Germany (including postdoc). 14.8% worked in the rest of the economy after graduating (2022: 14%) and 9.8% took up a job abroad after graduating (2022: 9%). Around 4.9% stayed at a university or research institute (2022: 5%). Around 4% of graduates held a job in the public sector (2022: 4%). At the time of the survey, 6.2% were considered job seekers (2022: 5%).

As in every year, the number of "real" job seekers is likely to be somewhat lower. Due to the survey's cut-off date of December 31, graduates who start their new job in January or February are still recorded as job seekers.

The brochure “Statistics of Chemistry Study Programs 2023” is available as a flip catalog at www.gdch.de/statistik.

The German Chemical Society (GDCh) is one of the largest chemical science societies in the world with around 30,000 members. It deals with current developments at universities and on the job market, among other things. Since 1952, the GDCh has been collecting extensive statistical data on chemistry courses every year. The statistics from 2023 are based on data from the courses in chemistry and industrial chemistry, biochemistry and life science, food chemistry and chemistry courses at universities of applied sciences (HAW), formerly universities of applied sciences. The survey included the number of beginners and students, the number of final examinations passed, as well as the respective final grades and duration of study. In addition, some universities provided information on how their graduates entered the job market after completing their degree or doctorate. The cut-off date for the survey is December 31st.

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Abb. 1: Übersichtsschaubild Chemiestudium (ohne Studiengänge Biochemie, Lebensmittelchemie, Lehramt Chemie
Abb. 2: Summe der Studienanfängerinnen und -anfänger in den Chemiestudiengängen
Abb. 3: Summe der Absolventinnen und Absolventen in den Chemiestudiengängen
 

12 Klaus Grohe Prize goes to Yimon Aye – 50,000 euros for groundbreaking research into cell communication

12/24
27 June 2024

Professor Dr. Yimon Aye, École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, will be awarded the Klaus Grohe Prize 2024. The award, worth 50,000 euros, is one of the most highly endowed prizes for medicinal chemistry in Europe. It is awarded by the Klaus Grohe Foundation, which is part of the German Chemical Society (GDCh). Aye receives the prize for her groundbreaking research into cell communication and enzyme manipulation, with which she has advanced both basic research and practical applications in medicine . The award ceremony will take place on September 1st by GDCh President Professor Dr. Stefanie Dehnen as part of the International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC-ISMC 2024) in Rome, Italy.

With her research, Yimon Aye has significantly expanded our understanding of cellular processes and thus opened up new avenues for the development of more effective and targeted drugs. For example, she developed T-REX (Targetable Reactive Electrophiles and Oxidants), an innovative method for the targeted modification of proteins. T-REX can be used to observe specific chemical changes in proteins and study their effects on living cells. The method therefore helps to understand how certain chemical substances, so-called electrophiles, act in the cell and can influence diseases.

Aye's research results not only help us understand the causes of disease and signaling pathways, but also help us develop new and better drugs. For example, she discovered that the protein Akt3 can be inhibited by electrophiles. Inhibiting Akt3 has been difficult to date, but it is important for the development of drugs, especially in cancer research. Aye developed a new drug that specifically inhibits Akt3 and has already been successfully tested in mouse models.

Aye also studied the multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera in more detail. She found that Tecfidera marks the protein Keap1, which can lead to cell death in some immune cells, while it leads to survival-promoting signals in other cells. These findings could help to improve the drug's effectiveness and reduce side effects in the future.

Yimon Aye, born in 1980 in Yangon, Myanmar, studied chemistry at the University of Oxford, UK. After completing her doctorate at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA, she went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA, in 2009 for a postdoc. From 2012, Aye taught and researched at Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, until she moved to the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, in 2018. There she heads the Laboratory of Electrophiles And Genome Operation (LEAGO) as an associate professor. Aye has already received numerous awards for her research, including an ERC Consolidator Grant (2022). She is a member of a large number of advisory boards and committees and takes on editorial tasks in renowned journals. Among other things, Aye has been co-editor of ACS Chemical Biology since January 2022.

The Klaus Grohe Prize goes back to the chemist Professor Dr. Klaus Grohe (*1934), who developed important innovative drugs with great success during his professional career. In 2001, the couple Klaus and Eva Grohe set up the Klaus Grohe Foundation at the GDCh, which has awarded the Klaus Grohe Prize for medicinal chemistry to young scientists since 2004. Since a reorientation in 2020, the prize has been endowed with 50,000 euros and is now awarded to internationally renowned researchers in the field of drug development whose work makes an important contribution to application.

The German Chemical Society (GDCh) is one of the largest chemical science societies in the world, with around 30,000 members. The GDCh manages numerous dependent foundations in trust. The purpose of these foundations is to award prizes, sponsorship awards and scholarships. Foundation advisory boards decide on the awarding of prizes, sponsorship awards and scholarships.

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Yimon Aye (Foto: privat)

11 Award for the “Architect of the Nanoworld” – David A. Leigh receives the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Medal

11/24
May 28, 2024

The German Chemical Society (GDCh) is awarding Professor Dr. David A. Leigh, University of Manchester, UK, the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Medal for his special services to chemistry. The GDCh is thus honoring his pioneering achievements in the field of nanoscience as well as his tireless efforts as an ambassador for chemistry. The award ceremony will take place on July 11th as part of the 9th EuChemS Chemistry Congress in Dublin, Ireland.

David A. Leigh is a world leader in the study of artificial molecular machines and molecular topology and is considered a gifted "architect" of the nanoworld. His work has had a major impact on supramolecular chemistry over the past 20 years. Leigh has introduced numerous innovative and influential concepts for the synthesis of interlocking molecular architectures. In addition, he has pioneered the control of molecular motion and synthesized some of the most complex artificial molecular structures known to date.

Key achievements of Leigh's working group include the development of molecular catenane motors and the construction of artificial machines that can transport droplets along inclined surfaces. They also developed the information ratchet "Maxwell's Demon" - a molecular machine that uses thermal energy to move molecules in a specific direction - and introduced artificial molecules that can "walk". In recent years, Leigh has explored the weaving of highly complex molecular knots and 2D materials, and advanced the synthesis of astonishingly simple chemically driven rotors.

In addition to his outstanding research work, he has worked tirelessly as an ambassador for chemistry. In hundreds of public lectures and media contributions, he inspires and enthuses a wide audience for the subject. In his lectures, Leigh combines magic tricks with scientific content and impresses both expert and non-expert audiences. In his enthusiasm for his subject, Leigh does not shy away from unusual ways of communicating: in 2018, for example, his working group commissioned a popular music video about nanorobotics, which has received around 1.2 million views to date. Leigh is actively committed to supporting and promoting girls and financially disadvantaged students.

David A. Leigh, born in Birmingham, UK in 1963, completed his doctorate in chemistry at the University of Sheffield, UK, in 1987 (under the later Nobel Prize winner Fraser Stoddart). After research stays at the National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, CAN, and at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, UK, he was appointed Chair of Synthetic Chemistry at the University of Warwick, UK, in 1998. In 2001, Leigh was appointed Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh, UK. He has been Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Manchester, UK, since 2012, and has also been a Royal Society Research Professor since 2016. He has received numerous awards for his research work, including three ERC Advanced Grants (2008, 2013, 2018). He is an elected or honorary member of a number of scientific academies and societies.

The GDCh awards the August Wilhelm Hofmann Commemorative Medal - a gold coin - to personalities from Germany or abroad who have made great contributions to chemistry. The prize has a long tradition and was established by its predecessor, the German Chemical Society, in 1902.

The European Chemical Society (EuChemS) is the successor organization to the FECS (Federation of European Chemical Societies), which was founded in 1970 with significant involvement of the GDCh. EuChemS has over 40 chemical science societies in over 30 countries as members, including the GDCh as the largest continental European chemical society with around 30,000 members - around 20 percent of the chemists represented by EuCheMS. The scientific activities of EuChemS are carried out primarily by the corresponding divisions and working parties. The focus is on the EuChemS Chemistry Congress, which takes place every two years.

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David A. Leigh (Foto: Anne Purkiss)

10 Chemistry overcomes borders and boundaries

Italian and German institutions share “Historical Landmark” award of the European Chemical Society

Joint Press Information of the Società Chimica Italiana, the German Chemical Society, Politecnico Milano and Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung

10/24
May 8, 2024

It was December 10th in the year 1963 when two outstanding chemists from Italy and Germany shared the stage of the Stockholm Concert Hall. Giulio Natta and Karl Ziegler were awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on polymers that “paved the way for new and highly useful industrial processes.” In other words: With their pioneering work in the field of catalysis, the two scientists had initiated nothing less than the age of plastics. While this highest recognition of the scientific community was bestowed upon them in Sweden and the effects of their discoveries played a role worldwide, it was their laboratories in Milan and Mülheim where Natta and Ziegler conducted the decisive experiments. These are the “Giulio Natta'' Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering at the Politecnico in Milan, Italy, and the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.

Now, more than 60 years after their joint Nobel Prize ceremony of Natta and Ziegler, the European Chemical Society (EuChems) has recognized both locations as “Historical Landmark”. With this award, EuChems wants to point out that both Milan and Mülheim are places that are important to the European Chemical community and both inspire a sense of European belonging. Natta's and Ziegler's groups were tightly bonded by their cooperative and also competitive research and development activities. Until today, “Ziegler-Natta” is a well-known term among students in the field of chemistry. And their impact on our everyday lives is still immense, as the EuChems underlines.

Yes, synthetic polymers had already existed since the end of the 19th century, but they were not yet of great interest to the chemical industry. Their material properties were partly unsatisfactory, their production often very expensive and only possible under high pressures. Ziegler's research team discovered in 1953 that organometallic compounds could catalyze the production of polyethylene without the need for high pressure and temperature, leading to high-density polyethylene. This type of polyethylene proved superior to the previously manufactured products due to its better properties and more economical production. Natta extended the research conducted by Ziegler to stereospecific polymerization, thus discovering new classes of polymers with a sterically ordered structure. These studies led to the production of a thermoplastic material, isotactic polypropylene, which was soon marketed successfully as a plastic material for fibers and films.

The discovery of Ziegler-Natta catalysts and the resulting new polymers was disruptive to chemical research and industry and to everyday life on a global scale, with particular consequences for the Italian early stage researchers nationwide.

The enduring impact of Professors Ziegler and Natta's accomplishments extends far beyond Germany and Italy, and continues to yield significant contributions to polymerization catalysis, polymer science, and the polymer industry, with particular emphasis nowadays toward establishing a fully sustainable polymer industry.

"We are delighted that EuChems has included the work sites of Giulio Natta and Karl Ziegler in its important Historical Landmarks program," explains Prof. Dr. Sabine Becker, Vice President of the GDCh. "In Milan and Mülheim, Natta and Ziegler made outstanding and groundbreaking chemical achievements in the field of polymer science, from which the entire society still benefits enormously today."

“Stereoregular polymers already existed in nature at the time of the discoveries of Professors Ziegler and Natta, for example cellulose and natural rubber. As it was stated on the occasion of the awarding of the Nobel prize, Prof. Natta's research broke nature's monopoly for the synthesis of stereoregular polymers with a high degree of order. Isotactic polypropylene is the best known example and is the most widely used polymer today. “The scientific and technological revolution promoted by the Ziegler-Natta catalysis led to immense advancements” states Marinella Levi, Director of the Chemistry, Materials and Chemical engineering “G. Natta” Department. The legacy of Professors Ziegler and Natta and their Schools is fundamental to shape our future, which must be inspired by the sustainability of polymeric materials.

“We are very proud of Karl Ziegler's legacy, without whom our institute in Mülheim would never have grown to the size we know it as today,” says Frank Neese, Managing Director at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung. Ziegler with his groundbreaking work in the field of organic chemistry, he was one of the founders of organometallic chemistry and, in particular, organometallic catalysis. His patent for the production of high molecular weight polyethylene at normal pressure and room temperature with the aid of "organometallic catalysts" made from aluminum alkyl and transition metal compounds started a chain of innovation which led to the rapid development of the large-scale production of polyolefins.

The age of plastics did not only bring countless useful applications for synthetic polymers. Nowadays humanity has to face the still uncontrolled disposal of plastic waste. The two historical landmarks could be a perfect opportunity to show the general public the environmental sustainability of polymers as well as to underline modern contributions of chemistry to the circular economy.

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Prof. Karl Ziegler (left) and Prof. Giulio Natta both received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1963 for their work on polymers.

09 Statement by the undersigned professional societies in the field of natural and life sciences on the planned amendment to the Scientific Temporary Employment Act

09/24
22 April 2024

An adjustment of the framework conditions to improve the career paths of scientists inside and outside academic institutions is very welcome from the point of view of the natural and life sciences. In addition to a necessary adjustment of the financing and personnel structures of scientific institutions, this also includes the intensively discussed amendment to the Scientific Fixed-Term Contract Act (WissZeitVG). The Federal Cabinet recently passed a draft law based on the BMBF's draft bill of June 6, 2023, which is now going into parliamentary consultation. The draft provides for a maximum of 6-year doctoral phase and a subsequent maximum of 4-year postdoc phase. In addition, two additional years of fixed-term employment with binding target agreements for the transition to a permanent position are to be made possible.

The undersigned natural and life sciences societies welcome in principle the effort to enable better planning and reliability of scientific careers, but point out the following critical points:

1. In the field of natural and life sciences as well as in biomedicine, the planned timing of the two qualification phases (max. 6 years to obtain a doctorate, [4+2] years as a postdoc) would in principle only just suffice in some - but not all - subject areas to achieve the project successes required for a professorship in the form of extensive data sets, independent publications, teaching experience and independently acquired research funds or to develop and consolidate an expert profile for career goals alongside the professorship. Since the proposed amendment to the WissZeitVG will not create any additional permanent positions, the postdoc qualification phase is to be expected to be limited to 4 years in most cases. However, especially in experimental subjects, this time is often insufficient and will lead to a migration of scientists abroad and a dramatic loss in the quality of research in the natural and life sciences and in biomedicine in Germany.

2. The signatory professional associations do not consider a further opening of the collective bargaining clause, i.e. the transfer of important elements of the fixed-term regulations to be regulated by collective bargaining law, to be appropriate or necessary. Fixed-term regulations in collective bargaining agreements would not do justice to the different scientific institutions or the career paths of young scientists and would lead to a fragmentation of the legal and collective bargaining framework. A differentiated design of the framework conditions for scientific career options according to federal states would be counterproductive and would lead to an imbalance in research in the federal states. If the entire qualification fixed-term were left to the discretion of the collective bargaining partners, the consequences for Germany as a location for science and for the career paths of young scientists in the natural sciences and biomedicine would be serious.

3. For scientific work in the natural and life sciences, the possibility of continuing to set fixed-term contracts in the context of third-party funded projects - without time limits or a limitation on the number of third-party funded contracts - is essential.

4. The planned minimum contract term of 3 years for the first contract of doctoral students is generally very welcome. We would like to point out that the comprehensive implementation of such a minimum contract term presents additional challenges for scientific institutions. Financial resources would have to be made available from the institutions' budgets to ensure that available third-party funds with remaining terms of less than 3 years can be used appropriately.

5. The minimum contract period of one year for employment during studies is not feasible in many cases due to the inherent organisation of university internships and courses in the natural sciences and biomedicine, so that there is a risk that university teaching will be impaired. We therefore recommend that justified exceptions to the minimum contract period be permitted.

In order to achieve the improved planning of scientific career paths that is the aim of the amendment to the WissZeitVG, the signatory professional associations believe that additional permanent positions in the natural and life sciences must be created. This can only be achieved by significantly increasing the permanent funds for basic financing of universities and non-university institutions. The signatory professional associations therefore recommend that a discussion on this matter be held as soon as possible with representatives of the federal government and the states.

Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (GBM)

Anatomical Society (AG)

German Society for Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology and toxicology (DGPT)

German Society for Extracellular Vesicles (GSEV)

German Society for Immunology (DGfI)

German Society for Medical Psychology (DGMP)

German Society for Cell Biology (DGZ)

German Pharmaceutical Society (DPhG)

German Physiological Society (DPG)

German Chemical Society (GDCh)

Society for Developmental Biology (GfE)

Society for Genetics (GfG)

Society for Microscopy and Image Analysis (GerBI-GMB)

Society for Virology (GfV)

Neuroscientific Society (NWG)

Signal Transduction Society (STS)

Association for General and Applied Microbiology (VAAM)

The signatory professional societies represent more than 55,000 members in the natural and life sciences as well as in biomedicine.

Media contact:

Prof. Dr. Volker Haucke
President of the Society for
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology eV
https://gbm-online.de/die-gbm.html
haucke@fmp-berlin.de
Phone +49 (0) 30 947 93 100

Dr. Karin J. Schmitz
German Chemical Society
public relations
Phone +49 69 7917-493
Email: pr@gdch.de
www.gdch.de/presse

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08 Honorary membership for Heribert Offermanns

Award at the SEC annual meeting

08/24
18 April 2024

The German Chemical Society (GDCh) has appointed Professor Dr. Dr. hc Heribert Offermanns as an honorary member. The GDCh is thus recognizing his services to the promotion of chemistry in general and his commitment to the goals of the GDCh in particular. The award was already presented in 2023, and the ceremonial award ceremony will now take place on May 8 as part of the annual meeting of the GDCh Division of Senior Expert Chemists (SEC) in Magdeburg.

With this award, the GDCh recognizes Heribert Offermann's many years of commitment and his valuable contributions to the public's representation of chemistry. Offermanns was a member of the GDCh board for 14 years, eight of which as an elected member and six years as a co-opted member as treasurer. Offermanns played a key role in founding and strengthening the Division of Senior Expert Chemists. He also had a decisive influence on the GDCh Division chemical education Group. For a long time, he was responsible for continuing education and chemistry didactics at the GDCh and, among other things, initiated the Heinrich Roessler Award for special services to chemical education.

Offermanns wrote numerous articles for the GDCh membership magazine “Nachrichten aus der Chemie” and articles for the journal “Chemie in unserer Zeit”. In doing so, he made a significant contribution to explaining chemistry in an understandable way to the interested public.

Offermanns has always been open to new things. In 2006, for example, he spontaneously agreed to participate in various working groups of the newly founded Senior Expert Chemists (SEC). His idea of ​​giving generally understandable lectures at the SEC annual meeting has now become his trademark. He organized and planned the first two SEC annual meeting almost single-handedly and thus made a decisive contribution to the successful development of the Division .

Heribert Offermanns was born in 1937 near Aachen. He completed his studies in chemistry at RWTH Aachen University and received his doctorate. In 1968 he joined Degussa AG, where he initially worked in chemical and pharmaceutical research and as operations manager. From 1976 to 2000, Offermanns was a member of the board of directors with responsibility for research and development as well as operational areas and regions. During this time, he played a key role in the establishment and expansion of the Degussa research center in Hanau-Wolfgang. Offermanns is the author of numerous scientific papers and articles for the general public and holds many patents registered worldwide. In addition to his involvement in the GDCh, he was a member of the Senate of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and a member and Chair of the Chemical Industry Fund (FCI). He was also a member of the University Council of the Goethe University Frankfurt and the boards of trustees of the University of Regensburg and the Paul Ehrlich Foundation. Offermanns was also Chair of the board of trustees of the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart and held a teaching position at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. He has received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate in engineering from RWTH Aachen University, the Carl Duisburg Plaque from the GDCh (1988), the Karl Winnacker Prize from the Marburg University Association (2001) and the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Federal Republic of Germany (2011).

The honorary membership award will be presented at a ceremony during the annual meeting of the GDCh Division of Senior Expert Chemists . The Conference - this year under the motto "Impulses for sustainable development" - will take place from May 6 to 8 in Magdeburg. The program includes exciting lectures from all areas of chemistry, all of which are characterized by their everyday relevance and their comprehensibility. In addition to the scientific program, a varied accompanying program invites you to network and explore Magdeburg.

Further information on the Conference can be found at www.gdch.de/sec2024

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, including the Senior Expert Chemists (SEC) with over 400 members. Most senior experts have a university education and have held responsible positions in industrial companies, educational institutions (e.g. universities and schools), research institutes or authorities during their professional lives. Today they are involved on a voluntary basis in three SEC working groups: "Network", "public relations" and "School-Education-Career".

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Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Heribert Offermanns (Bild: privat)

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

The press release as a PDF document

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.

The press release as a PDF document

Image material to download:

Dr. Juliane Simmchen (Foto: privat)

Contact

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

Chemical press service

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last modified: 22.07.2024 15:29 H from N/A