Paul Walden was a Latvian and his first scientific results were obtained in Riga under the supervision of Nobel prize winner Professor Wilhelm Ostwald. In 1896 he discovered his famous rule, later called the “Walden inversion”. 150th anniversary of the birth of Paul Walden is included in the UNESCO Celebrations Day Calendar for Year 2013.

Every three years, starting in 1988, a Paul Walden medal has been awarded in Chemistry and Science History (both beloved Walden’s scientific disciplines) by the Riga Technical University.

In 1997 Prof. Edwin Vedejs (University of Michigan, USA) was awarded this medal, which was a starting point for traditional Paul Walden Symposiums.