DAC tries a new format

Jens Enevold Thaulov Andersen, Bo Karlberg, Hendrik Emons

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The European Analytical Column has a somewhat different format this time. From now and on it is our ambition to invite a guest columnist to give her/his view on various matters related to Analytical Chemistry in Europe. This year we have invited Prof. Hendrik Emons at the Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) to give his perspectives of Analytical Chemistry with inputs obtained from colleagues at the same institute. Recent activities of DAC and changes of its governance are also reported. Analytical Chemistry in Europe has many facets and the Division of Analytical Chemistry, DAC, is discussing a broad range of them. I would like to focus my introduction of this European Analytical Column to one question: Do we need analytical chemists with high quality education? More than every second chemist working outside the educational system in the world is an analytical chemist. This factual circumstance is neglected in most European countries. If Europe wants to be competitive with respect to its industrial activities based on chemistry then a comprehensive and advanced education of skilled analytical chemists becomes crucial. A high quality education in analytical sciences assumes a platform of high quality research. Unfortunately, the various governmental financing of research in analytical sciences in Europe does not reflect and nor does it meet the industrial needs. The grants that are given to analytical chemists are marginal and heavily disproportional in comparison with other chemistry branches. Consequently, there are too few high quality research platforms in analytical chemistry in Europe. The recruitment of qualified analytical chemistry researchers at the universities is hampered by the fact that most industries can offer a skilled PhD in analytical chemistry a much more attractive environment than that of a university. The recent developments in analytical sciences have provided a broad spectrum of tools and techniques. It is often difficult to find an expert and an appropriate education in a certain analytical discipline in some European countries. The position of analytical chemistry in Europe could be improved through formation of research networks, arrangement of advanced courses and conferences, etc. This is a challenge for us within DAC and EuCheMS during the years to come. A great deal has already been accomplished through the excellent work by Reiner Salzer regarding guidelines for the content of the education in analytical chemistry at the BSc level (Eurobachelor) [1].
Original languageEnglish
JournalTRAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)97-100
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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