Anniversaries are always a good opportunity to take a look back at the past and also to the future, and there are currenty plenty of anniversaries in chemistry, such as 150 years since Kekulé’s discovery of the benzene structure.
In his Editorial in Angewandte Chemie, Thomas Geelhaar, President of the German Chemical Society (GDCh, Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker) and Chief Technology Officer Chemicals at Merck, looks back at some of the advances in chemistry.
He wonders if methods that have been developed over the past few decades, such as femto- and ultrafast electron microscopy, solar cells, and nanoscopy, will ever have the same impact as the revolutionary techniques of NMR spectroscopy and X-ray crystallography. He also asks if we are reaching the uncertainty limit with respect to the smaller and smaller resolutions that can be obtained.
He concludes by saying that not only are interdisciplinary and international collaborations essential for the future of chemistry, but also a knowledge and appreciation of its history.
- Chemistry: Interdisciplinary and International – and with a Sense of History,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014.