The Power List 2021
Professor in Water Chemistry, Technical University of Crete, Greece
Controversial opinion? Many priorities and strategies tend to direct research in analytical chemistry to applications and the “known unknowns” – establishing and solving the obvious problems. While delivering known answers to questions is important, solving problems we don’t even know exist is far more valuable because that sets our future agenda. To do this, we must defend bottom-up and curiosity-driven research, adopt a constructive skepticism in the science we do, and allow “space” in the field for creative scientific debates to happen. Promoting the study of fundamentals will demonstrate that the academic practice of analytical chemistry is dependent upon more than just producing data or copying a method. It will show that research in the field surpasses explicitly knowing things and seeks deeper appreciation of how systems work and especially, how systems fail. The generation and handling of data are of utmost importance in our field; but from a scientific viewpoint, sometimes, we seem to miss the forest for the trees.