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Chemist in a Laboratory (1950)
Chemists preparing samples for q-PCR analysis

A chemist is a scientist who deals with topics related to chemistry . The job title of chemist is not protected. In contrast, the academic degree Diplom-Chemiker (Dipl.-Chem.) Is protected by the state and requires a university degree with a successfully passed diploma. With the abolition of diploma courses in the course of the Bologna process, the bachelor or master degree is increasingly replacing the diploma degree as a professional title for newly acquired degrees.

Studied chemist in Germany

In the Federal Republic of Germany is at about 50 universities , the study of chemistry possible. Diploma courses begin with a four-semester basic course which is concluded with the pre-diploma examination, which does not qualify for a profession . The main course follows the basic course . This is followed by the mostly oral diploma exams and the six to nine month diploma thesis . The course consists of lectures , seminars and exercises , exams and oral exams, as well as regular internships at the university that accompany the course . In the internships, manual skills and scientific, systematic work are learned. The proof of performance ( certificates ) is mainly provided through written exams, oral exams and certificates for successfully completed internships.

In the course of the Bologna process , the diploma courses have largely been transferred to the six-semester Bachelor course with a subsequent, optional four-semester Master’s course . In addition, several engineering courses with a focus on chemistry have established themselves.

Doctorate in chemistry in Germany

After graduation can usually after a multi-year PhD Promotion to Doctor of Natural Sciences (rer. Dr. nat.) Take place. If the doctoral topic is technically oriented and a university education has been completed accordingly, a doctorate in engineering (Dr.-Ing.) Is also possible. The doctorate is started by the majority of the chemists who have graduated in Germany.

The duration depends primarily on whether the doctoral student can only pursue his doctoral goals during his or her activity or is involved in additional obligations, such as B. the inclusion in the writing of third-party funding applications for new projects, the use in teaching at the university or the assumption of administrative tasks at the chair of the supervising professor . The duration of the doctorate is also difficult to compare because some of the doctoral students continue to work on the successful tasks of previous doctoral students after their doctorate and continue to use the concept and structure of their predecessors, while another part of the doctoral students tries to work on absolutely new topics for the first time. The doctoral student is usually paid according to the TV-L (for doctorates at colleges / universities) or according to the TVöD (for doctorates at research institutions, e.g. the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft ) with - as a rule - not full weekly Working time (usually 50% or 2/3) or through a grant .

Purpose and goals of the doctorate

The completed doctorate should provide evidence of independent research activity , i.e. the scientific development and processing of a topic. This includes largely individual test planning, the test set-up and the execution of the test including the evaluation of the results up to the publication of the results (dissertation) with classification in the scientific context .

The doctorate is required for research activities at universities, in industry or in research institutes such as B. the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers , the Max Planck Society , the Fraunhofer Society or the Leibniz Association .

Qualifications based on the doctorate

Graduated chemists with the professional goal of university lecturers usually follow up with a junior professorship lasting up to six years or a habilitation . Post-doc positions in Germany and abroad offer another opportunity to gain additional experience and to expand the list of publications . Above all, they serve to collect the " international experience " desired by those hiring in the industry and for " language skills " and "proof of flexibility."

Chemist societies in German-speaking countries

The Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh), the specialist organization for chemists in Germany, has over 27,000 members. The Society of Austrian Chemists (GÖCH) has around 1,900 members. The Swiss Chemical Society (SCG) had 2,700 members at the beginning of 2016.


Historical names for the chemist

For those who dealt with chemistry , which was formerly also called chymy , different terms were used side by side and synonymously : In the 17th century these were the terms chymicus , chemicus , chemist and chemist . Also in the 18th century and in the first half of the 19th century the terms Chymicus , Chymiker , Chymist , Chemicus and Chemist were used and usually explained as “ mixed and cutting artist ”. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe used the terms chemist , chemist and - more rarely - chemicus ; as used Johann Trommsdorff alternately chemist or Chemist / chemist, . In the course of the 19th century, the term " chemist " became popular. This is also due to the fact that in many analogous cases (such as academics and botanists ) the formations with the ending - iker have prevailed and that the - ist formations have an end stress , while the - iker form emphasizes the penultimate syllable becomes.

Development of the chemist's profession

In Germany, Johann Bartholomäus Trommsdorff carried out systematic chemistry classes after 1800, but these were primarily aimed at pharmacists. In 1824 Justus Liebig received a professorship in Giessen, where he systematically trained chemists.

The first edition of the Chemiker-Zeitung appeared in Germany in 1877 and the Österreichische Chemiker-Zeitung in Austria in 1887 , which shows that the profession of chemist was well established at this point in time.

Eminent chemists

Web links

Commons : Chemists  - collection of images, videos, and audio files
Wiktionary: Chemist  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
File category Files: Chemist  - local collection of images and media files

Individual evidence

  1. Klara Hechtenberg: Foreign dictionary of the seventeenth century . B. Behr, Berlin 1904, p. 29 ( online in the Internet Archive [accessed on February 14, 2016] keyword Chymici).
  2. Johann Gottfried Sommer : The latest word and factual explanatory dictionary of Germanization . all those from foreign languages ​​... a most useful manual. 2nd Edition. Johann Gottfried Calve, Prague 1819, p. 92 , col. rights ( online at Google Books [accessed on February 14, 2016] keyword "Chymicus, Chymiker, Chemist").
  3. ^ Jacob Heinrich Kaltschmidt : Language comparative dictionary of the German language . in which the high German root words ... Hinrichs, Leipzig 1839, p. 223 ( online in the Internet Archive [accessed on February 14, 2016] keyword “Die Chemie, Chymie”).
  4. a b Stefanie Stricker: Competitions in the word formation system around 1800 . Demonstrated by the word formation of Goethe. In: Mechthild Habermann, Peter O. Müller, Horst Haider Munske (ed.): Historical word formation of German (=  German linguistics, edited by Helmut Henne et al. ). tape 232 . Max Neimeyer Verlag / Walter de Gruyter, Tübingen 2002, II Word formation in historical epochs of German ,, p. 315–339 ( online at Google Books [accessed February 14, 2016]).
  5. ^ Wilhelm Strube : The historical way of chemistry . From prehistoric times to the scientific and technical revolution. Aulis, Cologne 1989, ISBN 3-7614-1180-4 , p. 243 .
  6. ^ Wilhelm Strube : The historical way of chemistry . From prehistoric times to the scientific and technical revolution. Aulis, Cologne 1989, ISBN 3-7614-1180-4 , p. 314 .