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"Aus den Hexenküchen der Materialwissenschaften" ("From the witches cauldrons in materials science")



This event is under the patronage of Prof. Dr. Annette Schavan, Federal Minister of Education and Research.

Press release (in German, April 2, 2009)


April 29-30, 2009 in Goslar, Germany in the Harz mountains

The meeting in Goslar organised by the Center of Interface Science of the universities of Oldenburg, Osnabrück and Bremen, is the first of its kind aiming to bring some of the most outstanding researchers from chemistry and physics together to talk about hot topics in materials science. Physicists and chemists of the field are welcome to participate. Female students and researchers are particularly encouraged to send in their abstracts. There will be a program for accompanying children.


The meeting will start on April 29, 2009 with a school only reserved for female young scientists on the subject of "time and project managment" in the arts museum "Münchehaus-Museum" in Goslar.

The scientific meeting entitled "From the witches cauldrons of materials science" takes place on April 30, 2009 and is open for all scientists (female and male). There is the possibility to present own research in form of a poster. The meeting will be held in the Harz mountains close to the city of Goslar (, not far from the Brocken mountain (, in the old locksmithery of the World Cultural Heritage Rammelsberg



The conference is dedicated to Katharine Burr Blodgett (1898-1979) as outstanding pioneering woman in surface and materials science.

During her early years at the University of Chicago she worked with Harvey B. Lemon on the adsorption of gases on charcoal. This knowledge helped her invent gas masks. More known is her work with her long-time collaborator, Nobel prize laureate Dr. Irving Langmuir. Blodgett and Langmuir worked on monomolecular coatings designed to cover surfaces of water, metal or glass. One interesting example is coated "invisible" glass with more than 99 % transmissivity.

She was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in physics from Cambridge University, U.K. and the first woman to work in a General Electric laboratory in Schenectady, New York. Blodgett received numerous awards during her lifetime but most of them were the "first woman" type. In 1951 she was chosen by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as one of the 15 "women of achievement".


Financial support by the Fonds der Chemischen Industrie is gratefully acknowledged.