Each month, ChemViews asks a chemist at the beginning of their career (Paolo Melchiorre, below) and an established chemist (Jan Reedijk, Leiden University, The Netherlands) to give their opinions on the future of chemistry.
Paolo Melchiorre, Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia, Spain
1. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the world?
Replacing fossil fuels with efficient solar energy and securing our supply of drinking water.
2. What role can chemistry play?
Chemistry is inextricably linked to our world. New applications, at the intersections between medicine, biology and physics, will discover and make available the molecules to help us meet the world’s challenges.
3. Which trends would you like to see develop? What are your hopes for the future?
The responsible use of knowledge and scientific power for the betterment of humanity as a whole.
4. Which trends would you like to see disappear? What are your fears for the future?
The lack of awareness, on the part of the general public and politicians, of science’s essential role.
5. Which invention(s) would you like to live to see?
I am sure science will uncover and explain concepts that I cannot even imagine now.
6. What would you like to be doing ten years from now?
Still enjoying my time with family and my curiosity for the truth.
7. What advice would you give to up-and-coming scientists? What was the best advice you have ever been given?
Do your best, in every aspect of your life – ethical integrity is an essential requirement for a scientist.
- ICREA Research Professor & ICIQ Senior Group Leader,
- Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ),Tarragona, Spain
1973, Camerino, Italy
- The design of novel organocatalysts, which allow previously elusive synthetic transformations,
- The development of organocatalytic cascade reactions for streamlining the process of complex molecule synthesis.