Award from EuChemS 2021 to the Research Station Jungfraujoch: Historical Landmark

The Jungfraujoch High Altitude Research Station, Switzerland, was awarded the EuChemS Historical Landmarks Award in recognition of the pioneering work and exceptional “liaison reussie” between the research group of Prof. Marcel Migeotte (1912-1992) with collaborators from the University of Liege, Belgium, and the International Foundation of the High Altitude Research Stations Jungfraujoch and Gornergrat (HFSJG), Switzerland. History was made at this alpine site in terms of the first fundamental measurements and early identification of harmful atmospheric constituents, such as anthropogenic greenhouse gases, and evidence of how their presence in our atmosphere has changed over the last 70 years. Our current understanding of atmospheric chemistry and physics in the context of Earth’s climate system would not be possible without the visionary approach of asking the right questions, developing cutting-edge instrumentation and forging strong coalitions at a seminal time for atmospheric chemistry.

In the early last century, pioneering scientists in Switzerland initiated the initiative to set up an international research center for atmospheric and environmental science issues, combining chem­ ical and physical measurements in an innovative manner. After having finished the railway from Kleine Scheidegg to the Jungfraujoch, which is still the highest railway station in Europe, the conditions for the construction of the station were met. Influenced not least by the events of World War I, it took almost 10 years until 1922 for the project to be officially approved and implemented with the establishment of the international foundation. Another 10 years later, in 1931, the research station was officially inaugurated. From the very beginning, international cooperation was given high priority, so it is not surprising that the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft from Germany and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, among others, were founding members of the foundation. Based on this 100-year cooperation, both the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) and the Gesellschaft Österreichischer Chemiker (GOCH) support this nomination. The cooperation of the three Alpine countries as well as seven other European countries is underlined by the Virtual Alpine Observatory (VAO) initiative and the regular symposia that guarantee scientific exchange throughout the community.

To celebrate this award, an international symposium will be held in Bern on February 16, 2023 and on February 17, 2023, invited guests will travel to Jungfraujoch to reveal the plaque.