Advancing the science of chemistry

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.

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 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.