In 2007 you were awarded the prestigious Körber Prize for European Science, and in 2008 a documentary was made about you by ZDF. In 2018 you received the Ernst Hellmut Vits-award, in 2020 the Emil Fischer Medal for Organic Chemistry: What do you want to achieve in the future?
I am driven by the new. I want to explore new things. If in the next ten years we can still do basic research for something that will lead to a vaccine, then I’m happy. The next big challenge is materials made of polysaccharides, long-chain sugars. These are materials from the deep sea, mostly algae. Very little is known about these materials. When we understand this, we will understand how extremely large amounts of CO2 can be fixed. This will be a major topic for the future. My dream is that we can cover all or a great deal with renewable raw materials. I imagine that at some point, based on renewable resources, there will be materials that we can use as materials: Cellulose that is harder than steel. Then we could use the raw material wood to produce materials that are so strong and robust that they could replace steel in construction. I would like to see a green economy that can be driven forward by chemists. There is an incredible amount of added value that we can use to do a lot against climate change. These are my plans for the next 15 years. I am already looking forward to them.
Prof. Dr. Seeberger, thank you for the interview!