1. What made you want to be a chemist?
I was always a very curious child and I liked science in general. I guess my first choice would not have been chemistry but biology or medicine and indeed I studied biology for one year before realizing that chemistry was my preferred discipline.
2. If you weren’t a chemist and could do any other job, what would it be – and why?
I like many very different things. Perhaps a medical doctor, a neurologist, or a musician or perhaps a film director.
3. How can chemists best contribute to the world at large?
Chemists make our world! Everything we eat, drink, any clothes we wear, anything we touch is chemistry! The challenge now is surely to solve the energy crisis, the water problem and to improve early diagnosis of illness.
4. Which historical figure would you most like to have dinner with – and why?
I would love to have dinner with Albert Einstein. I had since I was very young a special admiration for him as a scientist but in some respect also for his turbulent life.
5. When was the last time you did an experiment in the lab – and what was it?
I must confess that I am often in the lab, even just to look at my student showing me something… The last time I did manually something myself was about 3 years ago showing one of my student how to separate an iridium complex using an alumina column.
6. If exiled on a desert island, what one book and one CD would you take with you?
This is a very difficult question… perhaps the book would be One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. The CD I alternate jazz and classical music but I also love pop music. I guess would probably be Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett the Köln concert.
Luisa De Cola is Professor in Physics and Chemistry at the Universities of Münster (Germany) and Twente (The Netherlands). Her main interest is luminescent and electroluminescent molecules and nanomaterials.