Baekeland Lecture

Established 1943

The only chemist in Time magazine's list of the 20 greatest scientists and thinkers of the 20th century, Dr Leo Baekeland's name and contribution to society is highlighted amongst the likes of Einstein, Freud and the Wright brothers.

Baekeland's practical creativity had a massive impact on the industries covered by SCI, leading to the development of the vast polymeric materials sector. Inexpensive to produce and versatile, Bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic, revolutionised the development and manufacture of many products, and made a range of durable household items widely accessible.

Award Information

Award History

Baekeland's industrial application of scientific research and his use of SCI connections, to arrange world-wide manufacture and distribution of the resulting products, are examples of the ethos at the heart of SCI. In 1943, shortly before his death, his company endowed this lecture to perpetuate his memory and promote his visionary approach.


Nominations for the Baekeland Lecture can be made by any SCI Member or Committee, but in particular from SCI Groups related to materials development. The recipient will be selected by SCI Groups related to materials development and the Awards Committee.

Lecture Details

The Baekeland Lecture recipient will be presented with a scroll and expected to present a lecture at an SCI event on a relevant topic. The next lecture and presentation are to be advised.

Eligibility Criteria

    • Authority on Polymeric materials
    Career Stage
    • Mid - Late Career
    • Polymeric materials


Nominations open TBC
Nominations close TBC
Frequency Usually every 4 years

Additional Information

Code of Ethics for Members

Other SCI Awards

George Bessey Award

The award allows the Construction Materials Group to recognise the efforts of dedicated and exceptional Members who have given their time to recruit new Members, administer the Group's affairs, write for publications, and/or otherwise contribute.

Barrer Award

The Barrer Award recognises meritorious recent pure or applied work in the field of porous inorganic materials. It is a joint award of SCI and The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Awards News