Chemistry Talks

A European Chemist, If Not A World Citizen

Chemistry Europe Fellows Award Ceremony during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Last year, Chemistry Europe recognised the exceptional commitment of members of the chemistry community with its highest honor for the third time. The Chemistry Europe Fellows Program was established in 2015. New Fellows are announced every two years. In 2020, 37 Fellows were honored. There are now a total of 103 Chemistry Europe Fellows and 6 Honorary Fellows.

Traditionally, the new Fellows receive their certificates at a reception at the EuChemS Conference. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we meet and interact. It was not possible to honor the new Fellows at a reception at the 8th EuChemS Congress in Lisbon as planned. The congress will now take place in 2022.

Therefore, together with the national membership magazines of the Chemistry Europe societies, we came up with a new approach: The Editors-in-Chief interviewed the Fellows from their society and published the interviews in their magazine. Depending on which society you are a member of, you may have seen the interviews in Anales de Química, Chimia, C2W/MeMo, La Chimica e l’Industria Online, Magyar Kémikusok Lapja, ChemistryViews.

These interviews provide a very nice insight into the experiences and careers of the Fellows. They talk about formative moments in their lives, discuss current issues, and reflect on chemistry in their country and globally. They also look back at historical visions for Europe and the individual chemical societies and a pan-European publication network.

To make this treasure accessible to a larger audience and to bring the individual interviews together, I have highlighted some aspects and quotes from the interviews that resonate with me in an article. You are welcome to read the full interviews and/or the excerpts that cover topics such as Current Goals and Visions, Which Language Do We Speak?, “Times They Are a-Changin,” and what got individual fellows excited about chemistry.

Link to full article in ChemistryViews
(links to individual interviews are listed at the end of this article)

Vera Koester
Editor in Chief of ChemistryViews, the magazine of Chemistry Europe