in Solvenia Reflects Rich History and Advances in Both Industry and
This article was contributed by Prof. Venceslav Kaucic
(National Institute of Chemistry and University of Lujbljana, P.O.
Box 3430, SI-1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia; E-mail: [email protected]),
President of the Slovenian Chemical Society, together with Dr. Roman
Gabrovsek (National Institute of Chemistry, P.O. Box 3430, SI-1001
Ljubljana, Slovenia; E-mail: roman.gabrovsek@
ki.si), Research Associate, and Dr. Edvard Kobal (Slovenian Science
Foundation, Stefanova 15, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia; E-mail: edvard.kobal@
ustanova-szf.si), Director of the Slovenian Science Foundation.
Chemistry in Pre-20th Century Slovenia
Early 20 th Century Slovenian
Postwar Chemistry in Slovenia
Research WorkIts Development, Importance,
Establishment, Role, and Status of the Slovenian
Slovenian Chemical Days
Chemical education, particularly at the university level,
also felt the aftermath of World War II. There were only ten professors,
four assistant professors, and eight assistants for chemistry teaching
after the war ended. The governmental initiative in 19531954
reorganized all faculties back into one unit under the management
of the University of Ljubljana. The situation then remained unchanged
until the beginning of the 1960s with the same curriculumten
semesters of study and an aver-age of 240 students per year.
At the beginning of the 1960s, two new initiatives were
launched that significantly changed the organization and scope of
chemical education. First, the government passed a law establishing
a three-level higher education system consisting of two-year education,
full undergraduate education (four-year study), and post-graduate
education (additional two-year study). Second, the university itself
proposed a plan for combining science and technology as closely as
possible. The result of the latter initiative was the establishment
of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology, within which the
chemistry department consisted of four divisions: chemistry, chemical
technology, textile technology, and pharmacy.
School reform at the beginning of the 1970s considerably
changed the dynamics and curriculum of university studies. Organized
study of chemical sciences (chemistry and chemical technology) lasted
for four years, and students could benefit from another full "student-
status" year. In the third year of study, students could decide
on signing up for courses in either chemical technology or chemical
and process engineering. The four-year curriculum also incorporated
specialized study of chemical education, intended primarily for future
high school teachers.
At the beginning of the 1990s, as a direct consequence
of the implementation of the matura (secondary school graduation)
exams, the Ministry of Education and Sport divided university studies
into two significantly different parts. Options now included a four-year
period of study leading to a university degree (B.S.), as well as
a three-year curriculum leading to a specialized vocational degree.
In 1991, the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology split into
several independent faculties, among them a newly established Faculty
of Chemistry and Chemical Technology.
With the recent intention of Slovenia to join the European
Union, the European Credit and Transfer System (ECTS) was adopted.
The ECTS enables the free flow of post-second-year students in any
of the European universities that have signed mutual bilateral agreements.
The Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology in
Maribor was established in 1995 under the Act that reorganized the
University of Maribor, although the study of chemistry had its roots
already back in 1959 with the Technical High School. Through the years,
chemical education expanded and reorganized several times, and today
the study of chemical technology forms the main course taught at the
Faculty. There is also the Institute for Chemical Research, which
comprises eight laboratories.
The Faculty of Environmental Sciences was established
in Nova Gorica in 1995 by its cofounders, the Jozef Stefan Institute
of Ljubljana and the city and community of Nova Gorica. The institution
was reorganized and renamed Polytechnic of Nova Gorica in 1998. Post-graduate
studies of interdisciplinary environmental sciences and economy engineering,
along with the school of applied natural sciences, form the backbone
of comprehensive studies supported by research laboratories, libraries,
and the Technology Park of the Primorska region.
Research WorkIts Development,
Importance, and Achievements
The pharmaceutical company Krka, located amid the green scenery
of the Dolenjska region, near the beautiful Krka River.
After the University was founded in Ljubljana in 1919,
its first well-known chemistry professors were Maks Samec and his
colleague Marius Rebek.
During his long academic career in the chemical sciences,
Maks Samec, the founder of modern chemical science and the university
study of chemistry in Slovenia, initiated the establishment of the
Chemical Laboratory under the auspices of the Slovenian Academy of
Arts and Sciences in 1946. Later on, the Chemical Laboratory was transformed
into the Institute of Chemistry, which quickly became the central
institution for chemical research in Slovenia. Samec also assisted
in the establishment of the Slovenian Chemical Society, for which
he was a leading force. He was recognized worldwide in the chemical
profession for his achievements in the colloid chemistry of starch
Frederik Pregl (1869-1930),
the only Slovenian scientist
to have received a Nobel prize
The only Slovenian scientist ever to have received a
Nobel prize in chemistry was Frederik Pregl (1869-1930). A physician
by profession, he became head of the Medical-Chemical Institute in
Graz, Austria in 1913. A year later, he received Liebigs prize
in recognition of his development of methods in organic microanalysis.
He further developed and popularized these methods, which brought
him the Nobel prize in 1923.
Two nonprofit institutions, the Jozef Stefan Institute
and the National Institute of Chemistry (both located in Ljubljana,
the capital of Slovenia) also per-form leading research in chemistry.
Besides basic and applied research, both institutes also perform target-oriented
specialized research and development studies, mostly as projects stemming
from collaboration with Slovenian industry. An important function
of the institutes is their approach to the education of graduate and
postgraduate students. Both institutes are internationally recognized
and maintain extensive contact and collaboration with universities
and other institutes worldwide.
and Status of the Slovenian Chemical Society
The Slovenian Chemical Society was established in Ljubljana
in 1951. It unites specialists in all fields of chemistry, chemical
technology, and chemical engineering, and its goals are as follows:
Maks Samec, well-known teacher and scientist,
founder of modern chemical science in Slovenia, and driving
force for establishment of the Slovenian Chemical Society.
Today the Slovenian Chemical Society has 1300 members.
It is managed by a Board that is elected for a four-year term at the
annual meeting. The executive body of the Board is the Executive Committee,
which consists of the president, two vice presidents, two secretaries,
and the treasurer.
The Society encompasses a Division of Chemistry and
a Division of Chemical Engineering and Technology. Two branch offices
of the Society are active in the Dolenjska region and in Maribor.
These units are man-aged by committees whose presidents are also members
of the Societys Board.
Supervision of the work of the Societys bodies
is performed by the Supervisory Committee. The Code of Ethics Committee
is called in to act in cases of violation of the Professional Code
The Slovenian Chemical Society publishes its own quarterly
periodical, Acta Chimica Slovenica, which contains original
scientific papers; survey papers on the activities of research groups;
reports on investments and industrial achievements; Society news;
book reviews; reports on B.S. degrees, M.S. theses, and Ph.D. dissertations
from both Slovenian universities; and agendas of scientific and specialized
events at home and abroad. Acta Chimica Slovenica is edited
by an International Editorial Board, and all published papers have
been internationally refereed. The publication has been indexed in
Chemical Abstracts, Current Contents, and Science
The Society cooperates with national and foreign institutions,
aside from being a member of the Federation of European Chemical Societies
(FECS), IUPAC, the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE),
Activities of the Society are carried out via ten sections,
two committees, and two regional branches. Membership in the Society
is open to any person with a professional qualification in the chemical
sciences at all levels of education, to practitioners in the chemical
sciences, and to students. Conditions of membership include membership
dues and agreement to abide by the Statutes of the Society and to
adhere to the Professional Code of Ethics.
The Slovenian Chemical Society can nominate Honorary
or Distinguished Service members in recognition of their outstanding
contributions made to the promotion of the Society.
Primary tasks of the Committee for Chemical Terminology
and Nomenclature are to monitor the development of Slovenian chemical
terminology and nomenclature, and to cooperate with the Technical
Committee of the Section for Terminology Dictionaries at the Institute
for Slovenian Language (Fran Ramovs) of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences
and Arts in preparing the third edition of the General Technical Dictionary.
The aim of the Committee is to establish a terminology bulletin board
where researchers from different fields of science would participate
with suggestions for new Slovenian terms from their disciplines. This
bulletin board would also enable researchers from other disciplines
to contribute their own suggestions and comments with a view toward
introducing and disseminating Slovenian chemical terminology.
Slovenian Chemical Days
Slovenian Chemical Days is the annual convention of
chemists and chemical engineers that has taken place in Maribor every
September since 1995. This convention is the meeting place for practitioners,
users, and allied professionals from all areas of the chemical and
process industries. Scientists from other countries also participate
in this traditional event.