The Spiers Memorial Award was presented in recognition of an individual who had made an outstanding contribution to the field of a Faraday Discussion. Each Faraday Discussion meeting is opened by an introductory lecturer who sets the scene for the discussion, and up to two awards could be made to introductory lecturers in any given calendar year.
The award was named after the physical chemist and cofounder of the Faraday Society, Frederick Spiers. Spiers was born in London in 1875. He was educated in London, studying at the Central Foundation School, Finsbury Technical College and the Central Technical College. His research focussed on physical chemistry, specifically contact electricity and standard cells. In 1902 Spiers helped found the Faraday Society to fuel discussions in physical chemistry, and was secretary and editor of the society.
During the First World War, Spiers founded the Nitrogen Products Committee within the Faraday Society. He also organised exhibitions of British Scientific Products in 1917 and 1918 for the British Science Guild. Spiers was secretary of the Institute of Physics in 1920, and was Member of the London University Club.
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 the Spiers Memorial Lecture, to be given by the introductory lecturer at each Faraday Discussion meeting. Each lecturer will also receive a token of recognition.
A web collection, featuring the contributions of Spiers Memorial Lecturers and Introductory Lecturers of previous Faraday Discussion meetings, can be found here on our publishing platform.
The award was established in 1929 by the Faraday Society. 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.