Our summer party is held each July, seeing our members, colleagues and friends from around the world gather at our Burlington House home, for a glittering evening of awards, recognition and celebration of our diverse community.
The first part of the evening sees prizes and awards presented by our new president, Professor Dame Carol Robinson, to people who have made significant contributions to the chemical sciences in a number of ways.
The 2018 Tilden Prize was presented to Professor Euan Brechin from the University of Edinburgh. Euan said: "It's an enormous honour, any time you get any prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry is a huge boost of confidence – to think that your peers have essentially voted to give you this award is hugely humbling and enormously satisfying.
"Especially looking at something like the Tilden Award – the list of people who have gone before me and won it is a Who's Who of British chemistry, so it's an amazing honour and I'm very grateful that the RSC has given it to me."
Professor Christine Willis from the University of Bristol received an Award for Service for her outstanding contribution to numerous Royal Society of Chemistry committees over more than 25 years. Chris said: "It's very special, as much as anything because it's so unexpected. You do it partly because you enjoy it, partly because you really believe in it – I believe very much in seeing our post-graduates and post-docs doing well."
Dr John Woodland from our South Africa (South) Local Section and the University of Cape Town received an Inspirational Member Award for his positive impact, through plays promoting the chemical sciences, and ensuring that the performances were accessible to children from all parts of the local community.
John, who travelled to London from Cape Town for the Summer Party, said: "I think it’s fantastic that the Royal Society of Chemistry rewards work beyond research. As we all know, science is not done in isolation – community is so important in science – and something that I really admire about the RSC is that they really try to foster and create this sense of community, so it’s a great honour to be here as an inspirational member – to have been identified as someone who I suppose has contributed to the chemical community in some way."
Read more about the efforts of the wonderful recipients of our member awards.
We presented four of this year's illustrious intake of honorary fellows at our presidents' reception, with Professor Thisbe Lindhorst, Professor Graham Richards, The Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts and Ms Emma Walmsley receiving their certificates from Professor Dame Carol Robinson.
Emma Walmsley, who is chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, spoke about sharing the the Royal Society of Chemistry's aspiration to inspire future scientists. She said: "I think we are at one of the most exciting times in terms of the acceleration of both science and technology, and as those two things come together – great chemistry very much at the heart of it – we can literally impact hundreds of millions of people's lives.
"It's always the next generation who are here to challenge us and it's our responsibility to inspire and sponsor and support them. There's no better institution than this to lead the way for that."
Professor Thisbe Lindhorst, past president of the German Chemical Society (GDCh) returned to Burlington House after we celebrated their 150th anniversary last October. The theme for that event was celebrating our international collaborations, something Professor Lindhorst echoed at our Summer Party.
She said: "I would like to point out that chemistry knows no borders and we should appreciate this".
Celebrating our community at the Royal Society of Chemistry Summer Party