Longstaff Prize

The Longstaff Prize is given to an RSC member who has done the most to advance the science of chemistry.

Current Winner

Professor Steven Ley

Longstaff Prize 2013 Winner

Professor Steven Ley, University of Cambridge

General information

  • Run triennially 
  • The winner receives 5000, a medal and a certificate, to be presented at an Awards ceremony in November
  • Prize winners are chosen by the RSC Awards Sub-Committee         

Guidelines for Nominators

  • This prize is not accepting  nominations for the 2015 RSC Prizes and Awards main portfolio 
  • Nominations for the 2016 RSC Prizes and Awards main portfolio open on 01 September 2015   

Previous Winners

Longstaff Prize Previous Winners

1881 - present

History of the Prize

First awarded in 1881 this prize commemorates Dr George Dixon Longstaff (1799-1892), a founding fellow and benefactor of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Born in Durham in 1799, Longstaff's introduction to science came from his father, a popular scientific lecturer.  Although there were few scientific books to learn from Longstaff assisted his father and gained sufficient knowledge to deliver his own lectures covering a range of subjects.  This early influence had a positive impact on him as he went on to set up a factory to distil coal-tar in 1822, became an assistant to Professor of Chemistry at Edinburgh University, and graduated as a doctor of medicine from the same institution in 1828.

Longstaff practised as a physician in Hull, founding the Hull and East Riding School of Medicine in 1833.  In the same year he married the daughter of paint manufacturer and fellow chemistry enthusiast Henry Blundell.  Longstaff spent a spell in America where he applied his scientific knowledge in his role as the consulting chemist for the Place Gold Mines Company, after which he returned to England and joined his father in law's firm Blundell Spence and co.  His scientific skills put the company in good stead, with the firm displaying a range of products at the 1851 Great Exhibition.

As well as being a founding fellow of the Chemical Society of London (later to become the Royal Society of Chemistry), he was also Vice-President twice (1853-56 and 1876-77), and helped to establish the Society's Research Fund in 1876.

Contact and Further Information

Royal Society of Chemistry, Thomas Graham House, Milton Road, Science Park, Cambridge, CB4 0WF
Tel: +44 (0)1223 432384
Fax: +44 (0)1223 423623