50th Anniversary of the Bürgenstock Conference

50th Anniversary of the Bürgenstock Conference

Author: Jonathan Faiz

50 years ago, the first EUCHEM Conference on Stereochemistry was held in Bürgenstock, Switzerland. This conference, founded by André S. Dreiding, University of Zurich, Switzerland, and know universally known as the “Bürgenstock Conference”, is internationally renowned for scientific excellence and its relaxed atmosphere. Till 2008, the venue of the conference was Bürgenstock at the lake of Lucerne in Switzerland. Since 2009, the meetings have moved to Brunnen.

The latest issue of Angewandte Chemie features two articles commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Bürgenstock Conference. In an Essay, Klaus Müller, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Basel, Switzerland, outlines the factors that make the Bürgenstock Conference so special, including the small number of topics in a program that is not revealed until the conference starts, and the schedule of three lectures per day, where each lecture lasts one hour with 30 minutes for discussion. There are only 120 participants, both established and junior academics as well as scientists from industry, all of whom are expected to stay for the duration of the conference. The afternoons are kept free for recreational activities.

The administrative and technical assistance at the conference is provided by student workers. In an Editorial, Jay S. Siegel from Tianjin University, China, tells the story of how he came to hear about the conference, meeting and working for André Dreiding, and becoming a student worker at Bürgenstock. He describes the journey across Lake Lucerne and the various tasks that the students carried out. He vividly conveys the relaxed atmosphere that was full of stimulating discussions, not only on science but also music and literature. The Bürgenstock program allows for plenty of networking and has resulted in many scientific collaborations and friendships. This unique conference with its unmatchable blend of top-quality science and rigorous discussion in a convivial atmosphere should continue for many years to come.


The 50th Bürgenstock Conference will take place in Brunnen, Switzerland, April 26 – May 1, 2015.


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