Roswitha Harrer

About me…

From 1988 to 1994, I  studied chemistry at the universities of Darmstadt and Würzburg, graduating with a German Diplom degree.

I received my doctorate from the University of Bayreuth with a doctoral thesis in the field of plant physiology.

For three years I conducted postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt am Main and was subsequently employed as an assistant editor at a scientific publishing house.

Since 2003 I have been working as a freelance translator, editor, and writer of  journalistic and specialized texts, and have been operating under the company name WORDS4SCIENCE since 2011.


I have a university degree (Diplom) in chemistry and a doctorate in natural sciences.


In 2018, I became a “Certified Translator for English”.


I am a Member of the German Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (BDÜ).


Long time ago (1994), I joined the German Chemical Society (GDCh), which is “the largest chemical society in continental Europe with members from academe, education, industry, and other areas” (GDCh website). Here I engage in the groups “Electrochemistry” and “Business Owners and Freelance professionals.”

…as an author

I am proud to be co-author of a book on the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry published in 2018, by Dr. Doris Fischer-Henningsen and myself. In this book we covered every single Nobel Prize for Chemistry up to 2017 (108) and some prizes from neighbouring disciplines. We categorized all prizes and placed them in their historical contexts, summarizing all we found interesting about the prizes and the scientists. We also included some anecdotes about the prize winners and a few general considerations. The book has become an offbeat summary of the history of chemistry, neither too detailed nor superficial:


Doris Fischer-Henningsen and Roswitha Harrer, Wenn die Chemie stimmt – Die Fortschritte einer Wissenschaft im Spiegel der Nobelpreise, Bückle & Böhm, Regensburg 2018.


For all my other original texts (journalistic ones as well as the research works), see my Orcid site:

…as a specialized translator

In the journal Angewandte Chemie, which is one of the leading chemistry journals in the world, reviews and essays are not only published in English, but the journal also provides a German version. I am proud to have been part of the regular translator team for this journal for years.


In these reviews, which are detailed and extensive and may be about 20 magazine pages long, the most distinguished authors in the world discuss the latest research and its history. In 2007, the editorial team was awarded the  German Language Cultural Prize of the Eberhard Schöck Foundation Stiftung and the German Language Association in recognition of the fact that the reviews published in German contribute to promoting and maintaining German as a language of science.


Besides preparing a fluent and very readable German version of the text, these review translations sometimes require the creation of new German terminology, if a new tool or discovery is described and the use of the English term cannot be recommended. It is also pivotal to have an excellent knowledge of terminology.


Here, I have specialized on physical and electrochemical topics. A selection of recent reviews and essays I translated into German is shown here:

…Translation and more

In recent years, I have translated some popular science book for several publishing houses from English into German. I also work as a freelance editor for publishing houses and agencies.


I am happy to have been part of the freelance editorial team of the reknowned Ullmann’s Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry by Wiley-VCH for almost 20 years.

Titel/title: Wenn die Chemie stimmt - die Fortschritte einer Wissenschaft im Spiegel der Nobelpreise Autoren/authors: Doris Fischer-Henningsen und Roswitha Harrer ISBN 978-3-941530-09-6
#dkkontrovers - Welche Form hat der Weltraum?
Autor/Author Giles Sparrow Hrsg./Editor Matthew Taylor. Verlag/Publishing House Dorling Kindersley, München, 2019 ISBN 978-3-8310-3856-5 Titel der englischen Originalausgabe/Title of the original english version What shape is space? Thame & Hudson, London, 2018. Übersetzung/Translation Dr. Roswitha Harrer
Theo Gray's Mad Science - Experimente, die man zu Hause macht - oder vielleicht lieber doch nicht
Autor/Author Theodore Gray. Verlag/Publishing House Delphin Verlag GmbH, Köln, 2019. ISBN/EAN 9783961283811 Titel der amerikanischen Originalausgabe Theo Gray's Mad Science - Experiments you can do at home - but probably shouldn't, Black Dog 6 Leventhal Publishers, New York, 2009. Übersetzung/Translation Dr. Roswitha Harrer
Stefan Gates, Das total verrückte Küchenlabor
Autor/Author Stefan Gates Verlag/Publishing House Dorling Kindersley Verlag GmbH, München, 2020 ISBN 978-3-8310-3921-0

„Ein Gelehrter in seinem Laboratorium ist nicht nur ein Techniker; er steht auch vor den Naturgesetzen wie ein Kind vor der Märchenwelt.“

Marie Curie (1867–1934)

WordPress Cookie Notice by Real Cookie Banner