This follow-on review – which will begin in August 2020 and is expected to last a year – will consider different facets of diversity, including those after whom our historical eponymous awards are named, as well as their beliefs and actions.
The first tranche of changes to our prizes and awards programme will be announced in October this year, following consideration by our Board of Trustees
Dr Helen Pain, Royal Society of Chemistry Acting CEO, said: “We know that in considering eponymous awards we need to answer important questions about how we square the significant scientific achievements of the past with prevailing views and assumptions that we reject today.
“Science has advanced through the centuries by standing on the shoulders of giants. However, some of those leading names held beliefs or behaved in ways that today we reject and are working to change, whether related to disability, gender, race or sexual orientation.
“We are making this announcement in advance of the celebration of our 2020 prize and award winners next week, with this marking the last time they will be presented in their current form.
“As we look to the future, we understand there are important questions we need to answer. We will be rigorous and thoughtful in answering them, and be absolutely prepared to make changes where it is the right thing to do.
“In the meantime, we look forward to celebrating the incredible achievements and contributions of some of our extraordinary 21st century community with you on 24 June.”