Public Release: 

A special day with 4 Nobel Laureates

150th anniversary of the German Chemical Society


Ben Feringa, Bob Grubbs, William E. Moerner, Jack Szostak -- these Nobel Laureates are heading the list of speakers at the "Angewandte Festsymposium" of the journal Angewandte Chemie. In addition, further internationally recognized scientists from America, Asia, and Europe will talk about their research. This event will take place on September 11, 2017 in the Henry Ford Building of the Freie Universität Berlin as part of the "Wissenschaftsforum Chemie 2017" (WiFo) that celebrates the 150th anniversary the German Chemical Society (GDCh), and be broadcast on the internet. Media representatives are welcome.

"In our symposium, we want to show a broad audience the wide range of topics that chemistry covers today" explains Dr. Peter Gölitz, who is the long-standing Editor-in-Chief of the GDCh journal Angewandte Chemie and is heavily involved with the organization of the symposium. "We are extremely happy that we, in conjunction with the GDCh's 150th jubilee celebrations, could successfully attract such excellent speakers. They will all describe where the cutting edge of chemistry research currently lies."

The speakers will report on the latest findings from both fundamental and applied research, for example the development of nanostructures and innovative technologies in pharmaceutical research. A main focus will be the chemical origin of life. The Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine 2009, Jack Szostak, will talk about his current research on how chemical molecules in the prebiotic phase reproduced, before the step to living organisms was achieved. Previously researchers have not been successful in reproducing this step in test-tubes. Szostak will provide insights into the advances he and his team have made in this area.

Petra Schwille, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, is working on a similar question. Her approach is to understand life from a "bottom-up" viewpoint. From the observation of simple biological subsystems such as membrane proteins, under standardized but as natural conditions as possible, she can work out theories about how chemistry made the transition to life. In her lecture "How Simple Can Life Be?", Petra Schwille will discuss her latest exciting results on this topic.

In addition to purely scientific findings, science policy is also on the program: Jürgen Kaube, Co-Publisher of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung will pose the question about how research can be influenced when politically motivated grand challenges are applied to science, such as combating climate change and securing food supplies.

"The program of the Angewandte Festsymposium at our WiFo 2017 will be a highlight for everyone who is interested in the latest chemical research and the meaning of chemistry in our world" says GDCh President Professor Thisbe K. Lindhorst: "here we can learn about thoughts of internationally recognized researchers in a most stimulating way".

About the event

The "Angewandte Festsymposium" is an event of the German Chemical Society (GDCh; Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker) organized by its journal Angewandte Chemie as part of the GDCh's Wissenschaftsforum 2017 on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. It will take place during the whole day on Monday September 11 2017 starting from 8.30 a.m. in the Henry Ford Building of the Freie Universität Berlin, Garystr. 35, 14195 Berlin. See to register for the Wissenschaftsforum and the Angewandte Festsymposium.

Media representatives are welcome. Interviews with the speakers are possible by arrangement. Lectures will mainly be given in English. Please contact the GDCh Public Relations,, Tel. +49 69 7917-327 or -493. The full program can be found at This gives information about how the lectures will be broadcast (live and on-demand video).


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