Wolfram Koch on the GDCh's Top Event

Wolfram Koch on the GDCh's Top Event

Author: Vera Köster; Picture: © Nachrichten aus der Chemie

Professor Wolfram Koch, Executive Director, Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker
(GDCh, German Chemical Society) talks to Dr. Vera Köster for ChemViews about the up-coming Wissenschaftsforum Chemie 2011 in Bremen, Germany.
The Wissenschaftsforum is the GDCh’s top event in the International Year of Chemistry and, moreover, the largest chemistry event in the German-speaking world in 2011.

The motto of the Wissenschaftsforum is “Chemistry creates Future”. What does this represent?

With this motto we want to underline the significant role of the chemical sciences in addressing the huge problems the world is facing. In particular, we want to show that a sustainable future for a global population of soon-to-be 9 billion can only be achieved with innovations from chemistry. The role of chemistry in the provision of environmentally benign energy and clean water, and the future development of renewable feedstocks for the chemical industry are therefore among the main topics of the congress.

The central message we want to send from the Wissenschaftsforum is that chemistry is no longer a “trouble maker” but rather an essential and indispensible provider of solutions to global challenges.

You are once again cooperating with the Chinese and Japanese chemical societies after the successful Angewandte Symposia in June. Can you tell us something about this cooperation?

We will indeed have fairly large delegations from both countries at our Wissenschaftsforum. At the opening ceremony on Sunday afternoon, the Japanese “Orchestra Chimica”, an orchestra of Japanese chemists, will provide the music. The science attaché of the Japanese Embassy in Berlin will also be present. With this special focus on Japan, we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of German-Japanese friendship.

On Monday, we have a special symposium on Chemistry and Water which is being co-organized by the Chinese Chemical Society (CCS) and consists of lectures from Germany and China. Prof. Guibin Jiang, Vice President of the CCS, participates and will address the audience during the opening ceremony. At the beginning of the symposium, Jiang and the GDCh President Michael Dröscher will sign a cooperation agreement between CCS and GDCh.

As with the highly successful Angewandte Symposia in Tokyo and Beijing, we want to emphasize our cooperation and partnership with the chemical societies and the chemists in China and Japan.

What are you personally looking forward to most at the conference?

The biennial Wissenschaftsforum is the most important scientific event of the GDCh with an attractive program and many internationally renowned speakers. But it is also a great place to meet people and to enhance and renew informal networks. I therefore look forward to both these aspects very much: excellent science and fruitful discussions during the breaks.

GDCh Wissenschaftsforum Chemie
Among the highlights which I look forward to in particular are the August Wilhelm von Hofmann Lecture on Sunday when Professor Emily Carter speaks about “How Quantum Mechanics Can Help Solve the World’s Energy Problems“ and the panel discussion on Monday night. In this, GDCh Past-President Erhard Meyer-Galow will give an introductory lecture, after which we will present a new GDCh study “Perspectives in Chemistry”. In 30 short chapters, experts from academe and industry have collected their views on those areas of chemistry that they think will be of highest relevance in the future. This promises to be a highly interesting discussion.

Thank you very much for this interview.

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