Chemistry has a role to play everywhere, from life sciences to energy technology. Chemical expertise should be used to address important issues in society. However, chemistry should not just be an enabler or a problem solver.
In his editorial in Angewandte Chemie, Ferdi Schüth, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Coal Research, Mülheim, and Vice-President of the Max Planck Society, discusses how chemistry also needs to remain attractive to younger scientists through grand challenges and key questions. Such problems could be the ab initio prediction of complex chemical systems or the study of self-repair mechanisms, but the biggest challenge of all for chemists is the origin of life. In his opinion, this significant topic is ideal for bringing young scientists into the field of chemistry.
There are certainly many other issues that chemists have to address, but the grand challenges such as the origin of life will provide intellectual stimulation and will also allow discoveries in unenvisaged areas.
- A Vibrant Science Lives from Within,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016.