The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), which traces its roots to 1841, has elected a woman to be its President for the first time.
Inorganic electrochemist Professor Lesley Yellowlees, of the University of Edinburgh, will take up her two-year Presidency of the RSC in the summer of 2012.
From July this year she will be President-Elect, working with current President Professor David Phillips, of Imperial College, London.
Professor Yellowlees MBE FRSC undertook her degree and her PhD at the University of Edinburgh.
The election of Professor Yellowlees coincides with this year's International Year of Chemistry, designated by the UN, and inspired by the 100th anniversary of Marie Curie's winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.
David Phillips said today: "Professor Yellowlees has an outstanding record of contribution to our science through her research and her teaching as well as her activities to promote chemistry and the RSC, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
"Her academic and scientific record, combined with her profound interest in the future of chemistry as a subject, make Lesley Yellowlees an ideal choice for President. It is a happy, and welcome, coincidence that she has been elected 100 years after a woman chemist was honoured on the world stage for her achievements.
"Lesley is noted for her energy, her sense of commitment and for speaking up for science. All these qualities will be of great value to the advancement of the chemical sciences in the year that she is President-Elect and during her time as President."
Professor Yellowlees said: "I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to become the next President of the Royal Society of Chemistry. The RSC has been in the vanguard of promoting the relevance of the chemical sciences and I plan to work with all members of the society to increase our influence and importance.
"In this International Year of Chemistry, during which we are celebrating the life and achievements of Marie Curie, it gives me additional pleasure to realise that I will be the first woman President of the society. I feel honoured, privileged and excited about my forthcoming role."