Sir Martyn Poliakoff receives China’s highest scientific honour

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Sir Martyn Poliakoff has been recognised for his work on the international scientific stage by the 2019 International Science and Technology Cooperation Award of the People’s Republic of China - the nation's highest honour for foreign scientists.

Sir Martyn was the only UK recipient amongst the 10 people who won the 2019 award which recognises the key role foreign scientists have played in China's scientific development and reflects China's increasing efforts to diversify its science partners over recent years.  As the leading recipient, Sir Martyn was handed his certificate by President Xi Jinping in a formal ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing in front of an audience of 3000.

As well as his research on super-critical fluids for green chemistry and being the face of the popular Periodic Table of Videos, Professor Poliakoff is also a lecturer on the four year BSc (Hons) Chemistry course at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC). During their studies, students spend their final two years studying at the UK campus and regularly receive lectures from visiting UK professors during their first two years in Ningbo.

Professor Poliakoff has also established a collaboration with the Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he has worked with Buxing Han, Honorary Professor of Chemistry at both UNUK and UNNC.  As Foreign Secretary of the UK’s Royal Society, he worked extensively with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Sir Martyn has also recently worked with CAST (the China Association for Science & Technology) on science communication and was the opening speaker at their inaugural World Conference on Science Literacy in Beijing in 2018. 

“I am honoured and delighted to receive this highly prestigious award. I look forward to continuing to strengthen the scientific collaboration between our two countries, so that, together, we can address the challenges of the 21st century.”
Sir Martyn Poliakoff

Professor Poliakoff continues to travel to China to share his experience and expertise with students in Ningbo. He has claimed that, since he himself received inspiration from numerous supportive instructors, he wishes to pass on his experience to support the emerging generation of young scientists.

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More information on the research is available from Professor Martyn Poliakoff at the University of Nottingham on Icke Media Relations Manager for the Faculty of Science at the University of Nottingham, on 0115 951 5751 or

Jane Icke - Media Relations Manager Science
Phone: 0115 951 5751

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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 25 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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