EuChemS Historical Landmarks Award

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The EuChemS Historical Landmarks programme aims at designating sites in Europe where:

  • events in chemistry (be it social, theoretical, experimental, pedagogic, industrial…) occurred that
  • have been important to the European or local (regional) chemical community and/or
  • have inspired a sense of European or local (regional) belonging.

Chemistry is an integral part of the Cultural Heritage of Europe. However, while there are many touristic signs marking the very place where important intellectual developments or events happened, only a few chemical sites are identified and publicised. Most of the existing programmes are run by national chemical societies and therefore often overlook the European, and even the international dimension, of the chemical sciences.

For all these reasons, EuChemS decided to set up EuChemS Historical Landmarks Award. It is meant to reinforce the sense of belonging of European chemists and remind them that as far as the history of Chemistry goes, people and ideas alike have circulated, been shared, and shaped through meetings and communication. It would also bring to the general public some sense of how Chemistry is part of the general cultural heritage and history of every European citizen, especially as the plaques are accompanied with communication material providing information on the discoveries and breakthroughs celebrated, and the impact they had.

EuChemS takes into account that some countries already have national landmarks programmes, while others have an interest but have nothing in place. Given this, two levels of the EuChemS Historical Landmarks Award are foreseen:

  • for initiatives with impact at the European level and
  • for initiatives with impact at the regional level.

Nominations closed on 19 December 2023, 18:00 CET

Please carefully read the guidelines for the EuChemS Historical Landmarks Award before completing the nomination form.

Brigitte Van Tiggelen (Chair of the Landmark Selection Committee) is currently the chair of the EuChemS Working Party on the History of Chemistry. She specialised in the history of chemistry after graduating both in Physics and History, and her PhD was devoted to a Belgian contemporary of Lavoisier, a thesis for which she was laureate of the Belgian Royal Academy. Brigitte has spent research periods in the US (Philadelphia), the UK (Cambridge), France (Paris) and also Germany, where she was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Regensburg. Affiliated with the Centre de Recherche en Histoire des Sciences at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Louvain-la-neuve, Belgium), she is currently the Director for European Operations at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, US.

Whilst her doctoral thesis focused on an 18th century chemist, she has also published work on 19th and 20th century topics. Her research interests include domesticity, women and couples in science, materials and philosophy of chemistry, and history of chemistry in Belgium (among other publication, a book: ‘Chimie et Chimistes de Belgique’, 2004). She co-edited (with Patrice Bret) ‘Madame d’Arconville (1720-1805), une femme de lettres et de sciences au siècle des Lumières’, which was published in 2011, and, along with with Annette Lykknes and Donald L. Opitz, in 2012 ‘For Better or For Worse? Collaborative Couples in the Sciences’. More recently, Brigitte co-edited with Pierre Teissier and Cyrus Mody, ‘From Bench to Brand and Back: The Co-Shaping of Materials and Chemists in the Twentieth Century’ and with Donald L. Opitz and Staffan Bergwik, ‘Domesticity in the Making of Modern Science’. To promote the history of science among the general public and especially among secondary school teachers, she founded Mémosciences, a Belgian non-profit organisation that sets up an annual conference cycle on the history of chemistry, scientific conferences, and teacher workshops.

2nd mandate by 31/12/2025

Torsten John is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA, USA. His research is focused on revealing biochemical structure and function of peptides, DNA and lipids at the molecular level, and to design new materials. He obtained his Ph.D. in Biophysical and Computational Chemistry from Leipzig University, Germany, in 2020. During his career, he has been working at the Leibniz Institute of Surface Engineering (IOM), Germany, and at Monash University, RMIT University, and The University of Queensland, Australia, among others. Torsten John was selected as a SciFinder Future Leader in 2017, an Australia Awards–Endeavour Research Fellow in 2018, and a Feodor Lynen Research Fellow from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2021. Torsten John is an active member of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) and was the Secretary of the European Young Chemists’ Network (EYCN) from 2017-2019.

2nd mandate by 31/12/2025

Pierandrea Lo Nostro is Associate Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Florence since 2011. He completed a PhD (1992) in chemical sciences at the University of Florence and MIT. He joined the University of Florence in 1998 as a researcher, after being a research scholar at the University of South Florida between 1989 and 1992.

In addition, he serves as the Secretary of the European Colloid and Interface Society, a member of the Executive Board and Supervisor of the Chemistry collection in the Museum of Natural History of the U. Florence, Editor-in-Chief for Substantia. An international journal of the History of Chemistry and lead the project “Innovative nanotechnological approach for the conservation of the anatomical waxes of the Zoology section at the Museum of Natural History in Florence”.

Since 2015, he teaches a course on the History of Chemistry and Physics.

He organised various conferences, including Substantia Short Talks (2021), The Periodic Table: our Legacy for current Challenges (2019) and Aqua Incognita, Galileo 400 years on: Why Ice floats on Water (2013).

He also participated in the following conferences:
• 12th International Conference on the History of Chemistry, Maastricht, 2019: “The Hofmeister series. A tantalizing yet unsolved problem in Physical Chemistry”.
• La Chimica nei musei: creatività e conoscenza, Pisa, 2019: “Collezioni chimiche
• ESHS (European Society for the History of Science) Conference, Bologna, 2020: “Hugo Schiff and his bases, a story begun in the XIX century”.
• Heritage and History of Chemistry – WPHC, online event, 2021: “The Chemistry
collection at the Museum of Natural History in Florence”.

1st mandate by 31/12/2025

Dr. Rachel Mamlok-Naaman is the head of the National Center of Chemistry Teachers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, and a previous coordinator of the chemistry group at the Department of Science Teaching (until June 2016). In addition, she serves as: the chair of DivCED EuChemS, IUPAC Titular member of the committee on chemical education, and  executive member of the IUPAC gender gap committee. Her publications focus on the topics which are related to students’ learning (cognitive and affective aspects of learning), and on teachers’ professional development. She got several awards: Two from the Weizmann Institute – 1990-Bar-Ner (for teaching, and 2006-Maxine Singer for professional development of science teachers), and: (1) ACS award (2018) for incorporation of sustainability into the chemistry curriculum, and (2) IUPAC award for 2020 distinguished women in chemistry and chemistry engineering.

1st mandate by 31/12/2025

James Sullivan is an Associate Professor at the University College Dublin (UCD) School of Chemistry in Dublin, Ireland. He joined UCD In 2000 after completing a BSc (1992) and a PhD (1996) at UCC and postdoctoral research at the University of Reading (1996-1999) and Queen’s University Belfast (1999-2000). 

His doctoral project studied the Selective Catalytic Reduction of NOx over zeolitic and vanadia-based catalysts and his post-doctoral research looked at Isotopic Transient Kinetic Analysis of the same reaction and green approaches to Selective Catalytic Oxidation reactions.

Since coming to UCD his research has involved the study of heterogeneous catalysts in the promotion of reactions of interest in Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry. Applications have included the remediation of diesel-engine derived Particulate Matter, the photocatalytic destruction of aqueous pollutants, the use of di-oxygen as a green selective oxidant, the synthesis of sustainable biodiesel, the upgrading of biomass waste to value added products, the artificial photosynthesis reaction to generate sustainable fuels and chemicals and the use of Plasma-Assisted Catalysis to store excess renewable electricity in fuels and chemicals.

As well as acting on the HLAC he presently serves as the treasurer of the Division of Green and Sustainable Chemistry of EuChemS and an Ireland representative to the European Federation of Catalysis Societies.

Within the UCD School of Chemistry he is currently the chair of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee, deputy Head of School and directs the BSc programme in Chemistry with Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry.

1st mandate by 31/12/2025

  • Ioannis A. Katsoyiannis, 2018 – 2021
  • Luigi Campanella, 2018 – 2021
  • Peter Childs, 2018 – 2021

Interactive Map of EuChemS Historical Landmarks

Click on the locations for more details

Map of the EuChemS Historical Landmarks. Click on one of the markers to see more information about these Historical Landmarks.

European level

Regional level