Advancing the science of chemistry

07 May 2019 18:07:46.813


Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff has been awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry’s (RSC) Longstaff prize - given in recognition of the RSC member who has done the most to advance the science of chemistry.

Established in 1881 the Longstaff Prize is awarded on the basis of quality, rather than quantity of work. It was awarded to Sir Martyn for “outstanding contributions to green chemistry and for participating centrally in the creation of the Periodic Table Videos”.

Sir Martyn, Research Professor in the School of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham, has been widely recognised for his work in green and sustainable chemistry as well as his role as an ambassador for UK science.

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Professor Steve Howdle, Head of School of Chemistry, said: “This is a fantastic award to Sir Martyn and recognises his excellence in communicating science at all levels. I am proud to see him join the stellar list of previous winners of the Longstaff Prize.”

Sir Martyn has developed a huge international following as one of the stars of the YouTube phenomenon Periodic Table of Videos – which currently boasts nearly 1.2 million subscribers and more than 200 million views.

Martyn said “I am delighted by this award. I am immensely grateful to my colleagues, collaborators, co-workers, students and our technicians for all of their help and support over many years. I have been fortunate in recent years to work with my colleague Professor Mike George, whose generous support is enabling me to continue my research career longer than is usual. I am also very grateful to my video collaborator Brady Haran for his skill in making our videos.”

In 2011 Sir Martyn was nominated as the new Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science.

In 2013 he won the Universitas 21 (U21) Award for Internationalisation, which recognises individual efforts to further internationalisation and build relations between U21’s leading global network of research-intensive universities.

He was knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2015. Professor Poliakoff received the honour for services to Chemical Sciences in recognition of his contribution as a global leader in green and sustainable chemistry. The honour is also in recognition for him acting as an ambassador for UK Science in his role as Vice-President and Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, which is an illustration of the esteem in which he is held by his fellow academics.

In 2016 he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honour bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

In 2017 Sir Martyn was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering for his pioneering work in supercritical fluids.

Sir Martyn’s fans will be able to meet him at the University’s Wonder event on University Park on 15 June and at this year’s Royal Society Summer Exhibition where he will be on hand to explain the work of a green chemist.

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Notes to editors: 

The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world's top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students - Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the  2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia - part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer, proud of our Athena SWAN silver award, and a key industry partner- locally and globally.


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More information is available from Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff, in the School of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham, on +44 (0) 115 9513520, or Lindsay Brooke or Jane Icke, Media Relations Managers for the Faculty of Science at the University ofNottingham, on +44 (0)115 951 5751, or
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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