Dr. Klaus-Dieter Röker (Roeker@t-online.de) received his doctoral degree in chemistry in 1974 from TU Clausthal. After his business career with Continental AG and TÜV NORD AG (Chairman of the Management Board) he followed his interest in the history of chemistry. From 2007 to 2010 he had lectureships for the history of chemistry and organic chemistry at the Stiftungsuniversität Hildesheim. 2012 he published the non-fiction book “Chemische Zeitreisen”.
Science in danger – shifting the feeding bowl for scientists. With this spectacular headline in October 2012 the internet magazine SPIEGEL ONLINE pinpointed the increasing importance of utilitarianism in research. What is it good for? According to Professor Gerd FOLKERS (*1953, professor for Pharmaceutical Chemistry) this ubiquitous question is limiting the freedom of the scientists to follow their own ideas. At a first glance a discussion on the interrelation between chemistry and freedom seems to be rather artificial. But at a second glance it might be worthwhile to reflect on. Might be that a short look into history is appropriate.