CfP, ESHS Brussels, 7-10 September 2022:

Service science between policy and practice? The role of chemical institutions and experts

In her editorial address in connection with the 80th anniversary of the history of alchemy and chemistry journal, Ambix in 2017, then editor Jennifer M. Rampling suggested that the future of the history of chemistry is its ubiquity. Indeed, the so-called material turn in the history of science treats chemistry as a “less distinctive and more representative of scientific knowledge and practice as a whole” (Rampling, 2017). As Hasok Chang states in an article in the same issue of Ambix, the combination of the laboratory experience, the systematic theoretical thinking and the usefulness of such knowledge makes chemistry “an exemplary field of science” (Chang, 2017).

In this session, we would like to revisit both the theme of chemical sites or institutions, and that of the chemist as an expert – and the role of these institutions and experts in the development of science-based expertise relevant for decision-making at a political level, local or central. Much attention has been given to the chemistry laboratory but also to other sites of chemistry as places for material research and development (Morris, 2015; Ambix special issues, 2015). Likewise, the role of the chemist as an expert in such various sites of knowledge production has been investigated in Ambix (special issue 2020) and elsewhere. Specifically, the articulation of materials, production and governance is of particular relevance in the making of modern Europe as shown by Roberts and Werrett in their 2018 edited volume Compound Histories.

We welcome contributions on all periods and geographic locations addressing topics including but not limited, to the following:

  • Chemical sites as places and spaces of the development of knowledge useful at the political level
  • The chemist as consultant for state and private lobbyists, including a particular emphasis on women appointed as chemical experts
  • Circulation of chemical knowledge across institutions of authority in decision-making processes
  • The chemist in the courtroom
  • Openness and secrecy in the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and the political use thereof
  • Amateur versus professional scholarship in chemistry, and status of expertise
  • Materials research, testing laboratory (such as standardization assay, and the fight against fraud and falsification), standards analytical procedures… etc. in science policy

The symposium is sponsored by the Working Party on History of Chemistry, European Chemical Society. Interested contributors are invited to send an abstract of maximum 250 words and a bio of maximum 50 words to Annette Lykknes () and Brigitte Van Tiggelen () no later than 12 January. Please also include your current affiliation.

Lives in Chemistry (Lebenswerke in der Chemie) book serie – Launch on 7th September 2021 4-6 pm

The Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) is pleased to announce the launch of a new book series, “Lives in Chemistry”, in an online event on 7 September 2021, 4-6 pm.

Three ‘laudators’ Florian Budde, Frankfurt, Stefanie Dehnen, Marburg, and Peter Schreiner, Giessen, will introduce the authors and read short extracts from their books, and there will be welcome addresses from the GDCh and the Deutsche Bunsen-Gesellschaft, Frankfurt.

Link to the online event : (website in German)

About the book series

Lives in Chemistry – Lebenswerke in der Chemie

The series of autobiographies ‘Lives in Chemistry’ provides insights into the lives and thoughts of outstanding scientists in the context of the times they lived in. What role does the continuous sequence of hypothesis, experiment, and interpretation play in top chemical research? What is the role of impulses from mentors, students, colleagues, and competitors? Successful scientists describe authentically and in a very personal way how new discoveries in the natural sciences are made. Two or three books a year are to be published from the wide fields of chemistry and biochemistry.

Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh)

With approximately 30,000 members from science, business, and free-lance professions, the GDCh  (German Chemical Society) constitutes a large, professionally and socially relevant community. Its more than 150-year-old history, world-wide networks, and high scientific and social standards provide the basis for its creative activities for the benefit of a sustainable world in which life is worth living.


The Verlag für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften und der Technik (Publishers for the History of Natural Sciences and Technology) has dedicated itself to the history of chemistry for over 30 years. Its most recent publications in this regard are on modern chemistry of the atmosphere and new biographic aspects about Otto Hahn.

Press contact

Ralf Hahn,

GNT-Verlag GmbH

Lasiuszeile 2, 13585 Berlin

First National Meeting on the History of Chemistry (1ENHQ 2021), Portugal

The First National Meeting on the History of Chemistry (1ENHQ 2021) will take place on September 17-18, 2021.

The main objective is to bring together the members of the History of Chemistry Group of the Portuguese Chemical Society, and to present the exciting, innovative research developed in this area.

Future meetings will be held on a regular basis, enhancing the area of History of Science, Technology and Medicine and establishing a forum for critical thinking on the development of science and its impact on society.

The website of the event is already available here

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 1ENHQ 2021 will be held as a virtual conference.

Registered participants will receive the link to access.

13ICHC (Vilnius, Lithuania) postponed

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 13th International Conference on History of Chemistry (13ICHC) has changed the date of its venue but will still be held. The conference will take place in Vilnius (Lithuania) in 2023 thanks to the cooperation between two organizers: the EuChemS Working Party on the History of Chemistry (WPHC), and the Vilnius University.

More details about dates and other information will be given in the following months. Keep in touch by subscribing to the WP Newsletter or visiting the WP website and the 13ICHC website.

8th EuChemS Chemistry Congress Reported

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been decided that the 8th EuChemS Chemistry Congress (ECC8) initially scheduled for 30 August to 3 September, 2020, is postponed to 2022. ECC8 will still be held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 28 August to 1 September, 2022.

More information is available on the ECC8 website. As a consequence, the ECC9 planned to take place in Dublin will be held in that same city but in 2024.

Past Events

EuChems 50th Anniversary

2020 will see the European Chemical Society celebrate 50 years since its conception, representing now 51 societies, and by extension some 150,000 chemists eager to play their part in sharing knowledge and advice with the European Union institutions.

Because of the present circumstances of the Covid-19, the birthday celebration will be held online on Friday 3 July 2020, from 10:00 to 11:30 (CEST – Brussels time). An on-site celebration is planned for July 3, 2021, with the award of a EuChemS Historical Landmark plaque to commemorate the founding meeting.

Find out more 

International Symposium «Celebrating D.I. Mendeleev’s Periodic System. A Historical Perspective»

Satellite symposium to XXI Mendeleev Congress, 10-13 September 2019, Saint Petersburg State University.

The XXI Mendeleev Congress is held under the auspices of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The symposium is supported by the EuChemS – Working Party on the History of Chemistry, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the Mendeleev Russian Chemical Society, the St. Petersburg State University and the Russian Chemists Union.

The Mendeleev Congress traditionally maintains an interdisciplinary program and in the frame of the International Year of the Periodic Table, it is only fitting to have a satellite symposium celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first publication of the D. I Mendeleev’s Periodic System (PS) of the elements. This innovative and ground breaking new way of classification of the elements created the iconic Periodic Table (PT) which under different forms and presentations is still in use in every classroom around the world.

But how did this idea emerge and take form? What is the historical context of the discovery of PS? Who were the chemists involved, besides D.I. Mendeleev? How were the ideas and concepts discussed, criticized or appropriated? How did the core ideas of PS and PT develop through the 150 years that separates us from the initial publications? And how is this universal device used and accommodated for teaching, and research? How did it work in classrooms and textbooks, or appear in more popular culture as an icon of chemistry and science?

The Symposium “Celebrating D.I. Mendeleev’s Periodic System. A Historical Perspective” will gather scholars to tackle these questions pertaining to the historical emergence, development and use of the PS, and the most powerful scientific icon, the PT. While there are still much debates and ongoing discussion about the nature of the PS, the best arrangement of the elements, and the underlying laws that govern such the periodic classification, this symposium will specifically hold a historical perspective. Beyond the story of discovery, and its context, it will also examine the response and the appropriation processes that explain the longevity of this classification across time, space and culture. In particular, this symposium aims at providing space for less discussed topics such as the use of PT in textbooks and the pedagogical context, the presence of the PT in popular culture, and the role of women scientist in the development of the PS/PT.

Prof. Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent, Université Paris 1, Panthéon-Sorbonne, France

Mendeleev’s notion of chemical element: a key actor in the construction of the periodic table

Prof. Helge Kragh, Niels Bohr Institute, Denmark

Astrochemistry, New Elements, and Mendeleev’s Periodic Table

Prof. David E. Lewis, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA

Mendeleev, Markovnikov and the Zhurnal Russkago Khimicheskago Obshchestva: Celebrating Three Sesquicentennials

Prof. Martyn Poliakoff, University of Nottingham, England

Mendeleev’s gift to Education

Registration and conference fees:

The participants to the satellite meeting should register at the Mendeleev Congress.

Registration fees for the Mendeleev Congress. The conference fees for the satellite symposium are 250 euros.

In case of problems with the registration or payment, contact Yulia Gorbunova (yulia[at] or Elena Baum-Zaitseva (baumzai[at]

 Contact address:


Secretary of the symposium: Dr. Elena Baum-Zaitseva

Symposium website:

12th International Conference in History of Chemistry

The 12ICHC will take place in Maastricht, the Netherlands from 29 July till 2 August, 2019.

The Conference will be hosted by Maastricht University (UM), a young university, founded in 1976, with a very international student population, and a strong research group in Science, Technology and Society (STS), including the history of science and technology. The conference will be sponsored by UM, the Royal Dutch Chemical Society and several other organizations.

The conference programme will include scientific sessions, key-note lectures, the WP business meeting, as well as social events such as excursions, receptions, and a conference dinner banquet. Key-note lectures will be given by Marco Beretta (Bologna University), Carsten Reinhardt (Bielefeld University) and Lissa Roberts (Twente University).

The Steering Organizing Committee consists of Christoph Meinel, Universität Regensburg, and Ignacio Suay-Matallana, Universidad Miguel Hernández (chairs of the committee), Cyrus Mody, Maastricht University (Steering Organizing Committee), Brigitte Van Tiggelen, Science History Institute (chair of the WPHC), and Ernst Homburg, Maastricht University (chair of the Local Organizing Committee).

 For more information about session or paper submission, deadlines and practical arrangements can soon be found on:

Contact information for practical questions: ICHC2019MAASTRICHT[at]

News from the German Chemical Society

The History Group of the German Chemical Society is proud to announce that its journal “Mitteilungen” is now online and openly accessible. The content of all back issues from 1 (1988) to 24 (2014) is available from the Group’s homepage. Permanent electronic versions of the journal are hosted by the German National Library and linked in the Electronic Journals Library.

In this way the GDCh History of Chemistry Group hopes to improve its service, and to strenghten its ties, to the international community of historians of chemistry. The majority of articles in the “Mitteilungen” is of course in German, but it goes without saying that contributions submitted in English will also be considered for publication.

Christoph Meinel
Managing Editor