Ambassador Ammon's speech on the occasion of 150th anniversary of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker and the Royal Society of Chemistry

26 October 2017

Enlarge image On 25 October, Ambassador Peter Ammon spoke to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) and its longstanding relationship with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Read the Ambassador's speech in full below.

Speech by Ambassador Ammon

Professor Lindhorst, Professor Sir John Holman, Professor Koch, Dr Parker,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for including me on this special occasion.

We are here to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) and its longstanding relationship with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Let me confess that, when entering University, I started off as a student of chemistry myself.

I found it, however, too challenging for me, and after only one semester, decided to look for something easier, like diplomacy.

Founded 25 years after the Royal Society, the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker and its British counterpart have maintained close links ever since. Their long shared history is personified by August Wilhelm von Hofmann, an outstanding chemist of the 19th century, who was President of the Chemical Society of London before becoming the founding President of the GDCh’s predecessor society, the Deutsche Chemische Gesellschaft, in 1867.

Celebrating this event together highlights the strong bond between both institutions that has existed over such a long period of time.

However, science by its nature looks forward rather than back. And of course we are all very proud to say that 150 years after its founding, the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker is now the largest chemical society in continental Europe, building on the success of the Royal Society.

In a fast changing world, chemistry is vital for human prosperity, and the work of scientists is becoming more important than ever.

Our joint celebration tonight perfectly underlines that science knows no borders.

Think of Professor von Hofmann, who was called to London because of his excellent reputation and later brought his experience back to Germany, becoming one of the founding fathers of the Deutsche Chemische Gesellschaft.

Science was and is truly transnational.

I think it is important that politics, and we diplomats, don't get in your way when you scientists are building bridges between our two countries.

Despite what all the doomsayers and preachers of Brexit say, I firmly believe that Germany and the UK will remain close partners, in particular in scientific cooperation.

We cannot let the enormous potential that lies in our cooperation go to waste.

Let your voice be heard, within but also beyond scientific circles.

In this spirit, I am very proud that this celebration highlights the flourishing relations between the scientists of our two countries.

May this splendid Anniversary be just the start of even stronger and closer cooperation.

I wish you all a most enjoyable evening.

© German Embassy London