Not all chemists wear white coats

14 January 2014

Twenty members of the UK's diverse chemistry community have been named in the Science Council's '100 leading UK practising scientists,' announced today.

The list includes the Royal Society of Chemistry's president, Lesley Yellowlees, who is named as a leading science communicator.

Challenging the UK's narrow and old-fashioned view, the Science Council's list is being used to highlight a collective blind spot in the approach of government, media and the public to science - which either tends to refer to dead scientists or to regard only academics and researchers as scientists.

Chief executive of the Science Council, Diana Garnham, said: "It is vital that this narrow vision is challenged urgently because it is inhibiting education policy, the career ambitions of young people and investment in developing the skills we need to deliver a world class economy."

The Royal Society of Chemistry's chief executive, Dr Robert Parker, said: "This list does a fantastic job of showing that not all chemists wear white coats and that a career in chemistry doesn't mean you have to work in the laboratory. 

"The chemistry community is very diverse, encompassing scientists who work in a wide variety of vocations with an expansive range of knowledge and skills, and I'm delighted to see so many of them recognised in the Science Council's list - including our president, Lesley Yellowlees." 

To identify its list, the Science Council organised a competition to identify leading individuals in different categories of '10 types of scientist.' Each type draws on a different mix of skills, knowledge and expertise. 

Twenty chemical scientists from a wide variety of scientific disciplines and sectors are named on the list, as follows:

Professor Hagan Bayley
Professor Lee Cronin
Professor Sir Andre Geim

Sir Alan Fersht
Professor John Pickett

Carol Boyer-Spooner

Service provider/operational
Elizabeth Moran
Professor Christopher Price

Dr Catharine Sturgeon

Dr Simon Campbell
Keith Layden
Professor Cecil McMurray

Professor Sir Christopher Evans
Dr Rabinder Buttar
Reverend Ron Lancaster
Professor Shankar Balasubramanian

Professor Lesley Yellowlees
Jamie Gallagher

Professor Sir John Holman
Dr Peter Wothers

Dr Parker added: "With members of our community being recognised for their great achievements in scientific research, education, public services and business, it goes to show that chemists are making a real difference across society - from helping us meet global challenges such as new energy solutions to securing our economic future."

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Link icon 100 leading UK practising scientists
The Science Council challenges the UK's narrow and old fashioned view of science by releasing a list of the country's 100 leading practising scientists

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