The Lord Lewis Prize is awarded for distinctive and distinguished chemical or scientific achievements, together with significant contributions to the development of science policy.
- Run biennially - Closed for 2023
- The winner receives £5000, a medal and a certificate
- Prize winners are chosen by the RSC Prize Committee
2022 Lord Lewis Prize Winner
Professor Alastair Lewis, University of York and National Centre for Atmospheric Science
For the promotion and application of the chemical sciences to support development of evidence-based policy and regulation in the fields of air pollution and climate change.
Guidelines for nominators
- Nominations open 18 October.
- Nominations close 18 January, 17:00 GMT.
- Only RSC Members can nominate for this prize.
- Nominees may NOT nominate themselves.
- We will not consider nominations of deceased individuals.
- Nominees can only be considered for one of our Research & Innovation Prizes in any given year. In a case where a nominee is nominated for more than one prize independently, RSC staff will ask the nominee which prize they would like to be considered for.
- Individuals named in any of the following roles during the nomination and judging period are not eligible to nominate or be nominated:
- RSC Subject Community Presidents
- RSC Prize Committee members
- Trustees of the Royal Society of Chemistry
- Royal Society of Chemistry staff
- The prize is open to nominees based in the UK or internationally.
- There are no career stage restrictions associated with this prize.
- When nominating previous RSC prize winners, please remember that a person cannot be awarded twice for substantially the same body of work.
- Nominees should only be nominated once for this prize in any given prize cycle. In cases where we receive more than one nomination for the same nominee, only one nomination will go forward to judging.
- Starting from the 2024 cycle, unsuccessful nominations for this prize will automatically rollover to the next prize cycle, unless the nominee’s circumstances have changed so as to make them ineligible, in relation to the eligibility criteria for the prize as outlined above. We encourage nominators to update their nomination between cycles when the nomination window is open. Nominations will be considered for two consecutive prize cycles.
To make a nomination, please use our online nominations system to submit the following information:
- Your name, contact details, and membership number (please contact the RSC Membership team if you do not know your membership details) Your RSC membership must be confirmed at the point of nomination – it is not sufficient to have a membership application in process. The identity of nominators is not made known to our judging panels. The RSC reserves the right to amend nominations if necessary to ensure the anonymity of the nominator.
- The nominee's name and contact details.
- An up to date CV for the nominee (no longer than one A4 side, 11pt text) which should include a summary of their education and career, and a maximum of 5 relevant publications or patents.
- A short citation describing what the nominee should be awarded for. This must be no longer than 250 characters (including spaces) and no longer than one sentence.
- A supporting statement (up to 750 words) addressing the selection criteria. Our guidance for nominators page has more information on writing this supporting statement.
- A statement (up to 100 words) describing how your nominee has contributed more broadly to the scientific community. A list of possible examples is outlined in the ‘selection criteria’ tab.
- References are not required for this prize and will not be accepted.
The RSC reserves the right to rescind any prize if there are reasonable grounds to do so. All nominators will be asked to confirm that to the best of their knowledge there is no impediment, relating to professional conduct, to their nominee receiving this prize. All prize winners will be asked to sign the RSC’s Code of Conduct Declaration for Recognition.Make a nomination
Selection Criteria and Judging Panel
Our selection committees base their evaluations on the overall quality of relevant contributions and achievements by nominees, in relation to the selection criteria listed below.
The scientific content of any supporting publications, as described in the supporting statement, is much more important than publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which it is published.
The selection committee will consider the following aspects of nominations for this prize:
- Contributions to the development of science policy
- Originality of research
- Impact of research
- Quality of publications and/or patents and/or software
- Professional standing
- Collaborations and teamwork
- Other indicators of esteem indicated by the nominator
In an instance where multiple nominees are judged equally meritorious in relation to the above criteria, judging panels have the flexibility to use information provided by the nominator on the nominee’s broader contribution to the chemistry community as an additional criterion.
Examples of relevant contributions could include, but are not limited to:
- Involvement with Royal Society of Chemistry member groups/networks
- Effective mentorship
- Service on boards, committees or panels
- Leadership in the scientific community
- Promotion of diversity and inclusion
- Advocacy for chemistry
- Public engagement and outreach
RSC Prize Committee
- Sabine Flitsch, University of Manchester (Chair)
- Diane Turner, Anthias Consulting
- Mark Bradley, University of Edinburgh
- Mike Ward, University of Warwick
- Dudley Shallcross, University of Bristol
- Stephen Mudge, Norwegian Institute for Air Research
- Dwayne Heard, University of Leeds
- Magda Titirici, Imperial College London
- David O'Hagan, University of St Andrews
- Paul Brewer, National Physical Laboratory
History of the prize
The Lord Lewis Prize was established in 2008 thanks to a generous donation from Johnson Matthey, and marks the significant contributions of Professor Lord Lewis to both chemistry and the advancement of science policy.
Lord Lewis's academic career began at the University of London where he gained his BSc, followed by the completion of a PhD at the University of Nottingham. His lecturing career commenced with appointment as a lecturer at Sheffield University (1954-56), continuing at Imperial College London (1957-61) and then reader and lecturer at UCL (1957-61). Professorships in Chemistry followed at the University of Manchester, UCL and the University of Cambridge, where he also became the first warden of Robinson College.
Lord Lewis's research has resulted in significant developments in the chemistry of the d-transition metals, including in the areas of organometallic and cluster chemistry, and synthesis and characterisation of compounds with new magnetic properties. He received many accolades for his work including the Royal Society's Davy medal (1985) and the Royal Medal (2004).
His positive influence on science policy evolved through his active involvement in numerous committees including, but not limited to, the NATO Scientific Committee, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and the Environmental Industries Commission. He received his knighthood in 1982, sat on the Advisory Council for the Campaign for Science and Engineering, and was a member of the House of Lords where he was a member of Select Committees on Science and Technology.
He was President of the Royal Society of Chemistry from 1986-88, and made an Honorary Fellow in 1988. He died in 2014 at the age of 86.
We would like to thank Johnson Matthey for their generous support of the award.
Re-thinking recognition: Science prizes for the modern world
This report is the result of an independent review of our recognition programmes. Our aim in commissioning this review was to ensure that our recognition portfolio continues to deliver the maximum impact for chemical scientists, chemistry and society.
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