Between 1975 and 2020, the John Jeyes Award recognised excellence in chemistry in relation to the environment. Previously the John Jeyes Lectureship, the prize encouraged those working in more applied fields and the lecturer could, if appropriate, review a particular field and recommend new applications or actions resulting from research in that area.
In 2020, as part of a series of changes introduced following an independent review of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s recognition programmes, this award evolved to become one of our new Horizon Prizes, which highlight the most exciting, contemporary chemical science at the cutting edge of research and innovation. These prizes are for teams or collaborations who are opening up new directions and possibilities in their field, through ground-breaking scientific developments.
The award is named after inventor and scientist John Jeyes. In 1877, John Jeyes filed a patent for his disinfectant liquid. Over 140 years later, the Jeyes Group still uses his formula to produce the classic Jeyes fluid. Jeyes was granted the Royal Warrant in 1896 and the Jeyes Group is still proud to supply the UK's Royal Household.
Dr John Woodman (President of the South Western branch of the British Medical Association) partially attributed the absence of deaths during treatment of Scarlet Fever patients from 1877-1887 to the use of "Warm baths with some Jeyes' fluid in preventing the spread of the infection".
The prize was established through an endowment from the Jeyes Group. In 2021, the purposes of this Trust were amended, and remaining monies were combined with other generous bequests and donations to become part of the RSC Recognition Fund.