This prize was established in 2001, to commemorate the life and work of Sir Derek Barton who died in 1998.
After the development of a new technique of conformational analysis, which gave rise to an entirely new branch of chemistry, and his work on the conformation of the steroid nucleus, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1969.
He was knighted in 1976 and, rather than facing retirement in the UK at 65, he moved to CNRS, Paris, and then to Texas A&M University, where he worked until the day of his death at age 80.
To celebrate Sir Derek's unique approach to his work, this prize is made to a chemist 60 years of age or older.
The prize is presented at a special dinner and ceremony held in London which, as specifically requested by Sir Derek in his bequest to the RSC, should include only the finest food and wines.