Yves Chauvin (IFP, Rueil Malmaison) has devoted his career to industrial research on the transformations of olefins. Of an exceptional creativity and legendary modesty, he has conceived and achieved four major processes including Dimersol and alpha-butol (15 plants over the world!). He also is the pioneer of the use of ionic liquids in catalysis. In 1971, he has proposed the correct mechanism of olefin metathesis involving a metal-carbene complex and a metallocyclobutane, a molecular dance exchanging carbene partners, for which he has been awarded the 2005 Chemistry Nobel Prize together with R. R. Schrock and R. H. Grubbs.

Jean-Pierre Sauvage carried out his PhD in Strasbourg with Jean-Marie Lehn on cryptates, the subject of his mentor’s Nobel Prize (1987). Director of Research in the CNRS and Professor at the University of Strasbourg, J.-P. Sauvage is very famous for the work that he pioneered on catenanes. With these complex molecules, he is the promoter of the powerful concept of their use as molecular machines and molecular motors inspired by Nature, a field that he is now developing at Northwestern University together with Fraser Stoddart. Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur, he has been awarded inter alia the Izatt-Christensen, Nessim Habif, P. Süe and RB Woodward Prizes.

George R. Newkome (Akron, Ohio) is, together with Donald A. Tomalia one of the two very pioneers of dendrimer chemistry. Both chemists independently published their first article on precise dendrimer syntheses in 1985, and George R. Newkome already established in this first paper the concept of dendritic unimolecular micelles and that of 1—>3 connectivity. A very conceptually productive and charismatic actor in the field and author of several well-known books on dendrimers, he is also a master in the construction and characterization of very impressive macrosupramolecular coordination ensembles that are eventually also dendritic.

Hiroshi Nishihara received his B. Sc. degree, M. Sc. and PhD from the University of Tokyo. He was appointed research associate at Keio University, and promoted lecturer, then associate professor there. He was a visiting research associate with Royce W. Murray at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1987-1989), and a researcher at PRESTO, JRDC (1992-1996). Since 1996, he is professor at University of Tokyo. He is currently serving as Vice president of the International Society of Electrochemistry and Vice president of the Electrochemical Society of Japan, and has contributed to the boards of many journals. He also is the Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry and Education. His research has been focused on the creation of new electro- and photo-functional materials comprising both transition metals and p -conjugated chains, and invention of unidirectional electron transfer systems utilizing molecular layer interfaces. He has been a visiting Professor in Strasbourg and in Bordeaux and has received the Young Scholar’s Lectureship Award of the Chemical Society of Japan in 1994 and the Chemical Society of Japan Award for Creative Work in 2003.

Helmut Werner (Würzburg) is one of the best-known organometallic chemists (700 papers). He prepared both his PhD on metal-olefin complexes and his habitation on Fischer-type carbenes in Munich with E.O. Fischer, 1973 Chemistry Nobel co-laureate for the discovery of the ferrocene structure. After a post-doc in Caltech, he moved to Zurich, where he synthesized the first triple-decker sandwich complex, Cp3Ni2+. He then spent most of his career in Würtburg, where he developed in particular the chemistry of late-transition-metal-vinylidene complexes.

Christiane Perrin carried out her PhD in Rennes with Jacques Prigent on solid state chemistry. Director of Research at “Sciences Chimiques de Rennes”, her main research field concerns solid state chemistry focusing on synthesis, crystal structures and properties of novel transition metal cluster halides and chalcohalides with metal-metal bonds and recent orientations towards hybrid organic/inorganic cluster materials.

Azzedine Bousseksou (PhD: Solid-State Physics, Paris 6, with F. Varret; post-doc with J. Mc-Garvey, N. Ireland) is CNRS Research Director, joint Director of the LCC, Toulouse, and bright leader of a large research group studying molecular bistability and molecular spin crossover phenomena, thin films, nanostructures and applications. He was awarded the 2003 prize of the Coordination Chemistry Division of the SFC, the 2009 Langevin Prize of Académie des Sciences, the 2010 Silver Medal of the CNRS and the 2011 National Prize for Research.

Holger Butenschön (Hannover) studied with A. de Mejere (PhD, Hamburg) and K. P. C. Vollhardt (post-doc, Berkeley) then did his Habilitation in Mülheim. After three semesters in Wuppertal, he moved to the Leibniz University of Hannover in 1993, where he currently serves as a member and the speaker of the senate. He was a visiting professor at Kyushu University and recently at Berkeley. His research interests are in preparative organic and organometallic chemistry.

Ernesto de Jesús Alcañiz (Alcalá de Henares) received his Bsc and PhD in Zaragoza with Pascual Royo and did a post-doc in Strasbourg with P. Braunstein. He now holds a position of Professor Catedrático in Alcalá. His current research is focused on transition-metal dendrimers, aqueous organometallic catalysis, and recoverable catalysts.



Henri Kagan (Orsay) received his PhD in 1960 with A. Horeau at the Collège de France. He pioneered, in 1971, both asymmetric synthesis using circular polarized light (helicenes) and synthesis of bidentate diphosphines (DIOP, the first example of C2 symmetry ligand). Herewith, he provided the first example of high e.e. in asymmetric hydrogenation catalysis. He introduced the idea of non-linear effects in asymmetric catalysis, that is now applied to kinetic resolution. In 1977, he reported a mild preparation of diiodosamarium and its use as a reducing agent. A member of the French Academy of Science since 1990, he has been highly honored including by the Wolf Prize together with B. Sharpless and R. Noyori in 2001.

Herbert W. Roesky (Göttingen) is one of the most creative and original personalities in chemistry. Author of more than 1100 publications (including the largest number, near 200, of Angew. Chem. papers), he is also very famous all over the world for his exciting experimental lectures and tutorial books. A main-group chemist, he has more recently extended his research to the bridge between main group and transition-metal chemistry including catalysis. He is a member of a large number of Academies and has received many very prestigious Awards including the Grand Prix de la Maison de la Chimie, the Wilkinson Prize, the Rao Award, the Wittig-Grignard Award, the ACS Award for creative work in fluorine chemistry and the ACS Award of Inorganic Chemistry.

Alan H. Cowley is a great personality and a very distinguished and original chemist. After his British education, he moved in 1962 to the University of Texas at Austin where he now holds the Robert A. Welch Chair of Chemistry. He was the successor of Sir Geoffrey Wilkinson at Imperial College, London, in the Sir Edward Frankland Chair of Chemistry in 1988-9. As a hard-core main-group chemist, he has authored more than 500 papers and turned toward applications to electronic materials including polymers. He has received an amazing number of awards, honors and appointments in the USA and Europe (including FRS and an ACS Inorganic Award) in recognition of his distinction

Gerard van Koten (Utrecht) has published more than 800 papers and played an important role in the management of science in the Netherlands. He is well known for his ground breaking fundamental and applied research on XCX-pincer metal complexes and for his work on dendrimer catalysis that he pioneered in a Nature paper in 1994. His current interest is in the development of cascade catalysts and sustainable (green) chemistry. He is or has been a board member of several journals and consultant of chemical companies.

Jennifer Green studied in Oxford (BA and PhD), then became a Fellow of St. Hugh’s College and a Professor of Chemistry there. Her research has centred on electronic structure, mainly with photoelectron spectroscopy. Using this technique, she collaborated with Didier on his 19-electron iron-sandwich complexes, which held the record for the lowest known molecular ionization energy.

Jean-Yves Saillard (Rennes) is Member of the Institut Universitaire de France and Director of the Chemistry Department. After his PhD in crystallography with Daniel Grandjean, he did a post-doc with Roald Hoffmann at Cornell University where he learned applied theoretical chemistry. The current research interests of his group include the rationalization of structure, reactivity and physical properties of inorganic compounds having unusual architecture and/or electron count, particularly organometallic complexes and transition-metal clusters. He has co-authored with T. P. Fehlner and J.-F. Halet an excellent recent book on Molecular Clusters and is well known all over the world for his collaborations with inorganic chemists.

Michael McGlinchey (Dublin) studied with R. E. Banks (PhD, Manchester) and F. G. A. Stone (Bristol) and P. S. Skell (Penn State) for pos-docs. After a career in McMaster University (Canada), he moved in 2002 to Dublin where he holds leading administrative positions. He has published widely in organometallic and bio-organometallic synthesis, sterically hindered molecules, NMR fluxionality, and X-ray crystallography. He has held various visiting professorships in France, Switzerland, China and Singapore. In 2000 he received the Alcan Award of the Canadian Society of Chemistry, and in 2008 he was elected to the Royal Irish Academy..


François Varret founded the Laboratoire de Magnétisme et d’Optique in Versailles. His research activities covered Mössbauer Spectroscopy applied to inorganic solids, alloys and molecular compounds, in tight collaboration with chemists. He presently investigates the solid state properties of Switchable Molecular Solids (spin transitions, photo-switchable Prussian blue analogs…) from experimental (magnetic, photo-magnetic, optical) and theoretical (stochastic models) viewpoints. He introduced or developed new physical concepts in several multi-disciplinary networks (GDR, MAGMANet) that he contributed to create.