Early career scientists in Germany benefit from a robust network of chemical societies throughout their academic journey, including the German Bunsen Society for Physical Chemistry (DBG) and its group of young Physical Chemists (yPC).
The German Bunsen Society was founded in 1894 in Kassel, a city in the center of Germany, and now resides in Frankfurt am Main. The founders van ’t Hoff, Ostwald and Walther Nernst founded the non-profit organization to support Physical Chemists. Main goals were (and still are) the purposeful endorsement of publications of research results from Physical Chemistry and other important information, scientific discussions, and exchange at yearly conferences which date back to the founding year in 1894 (e. g. “Bunsen-Tagung”). In more recent years, another focus has been on the younger members and their career development. The young members in the society and their interests are represented by the young Physical Chemists (yPC). The core team of the yPC currently consists of Noah Al-Shamery (EYCN Delegate and Communications Team Lead), Simon Sprengel, Carolin Müller (EYCN Delegate), and the current speakers Mathias Micheel and Katharina Meyer.
How can Physical Chemistry be of use in my future job? Is it possible to pursue a career outside of my research field after my Ph.D.? “yPC meets Industry” and “yPC meets Science” are the flagship events of the yPC that try to answer these kinds of questions by inviting a new set of speakers every month to an online event held in English. These events are open to any scientist and are announced in the EYCN newsletter, amongst others. The yPC also organizes a podium discussion on career choices with industry experts at the annual conference of the DBG “Bunsen-Tagung” as well as a networking evening for all the young members of the society (www.bunsentagung.de). On the initiative of the yPC, the Agnes-Pockels-PhD Award was established. All young European researchers in Physical or Theoretical Chemistry can apply for this annual award. The jury picks the four best candidates who are invited to give a talk at the annual conference and the award is given to the PhD with the best talk out of the four. Once a year, the yPC is a Guest Editor of an issue of the magazine of the DBG, the “Bunsen-Magazin”. This great opportunity enables the young researchers to introduce some topics important to young scientists and highlight the voices of young members in the society.