Distinguished Service Award 2022: Fred Hancock

30 June 2022

The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is given to members of the Society who have contributed significant and sustained service to at least one element in the SCI structure for ten years or more.

Fred Hancock

Fred Hancock is a longstanding member of SCI’s Fine Chemicals Group. We are delighted to be able to present him with his award at SCI’s 141st Annual General Meeting on 6 July 2022.

When and how did you become a member of SCI?
I first became a member of SCI in the late 1990s when I worked as a medicinal chemist and attended the Young Chemist in Industry event – in order to get a reduced rate for the meeting. 

Why did you decide to get involved in committee work?
In ICI and Johnson Matthey I had already organised regular catalysis conferences. I felt they were a very good way to bring the importance and success of catalysis in molecular transformation to a wider audience, so I was completely in agreement with the work of the FCG. Working for the FCG then allowed me to look more broadly at the diversity of synthetic chemistry and biology within the commercial manufacture of complex molecules.

What has driven your continued involvement with SCI?
Within the FCG I have always felt I shared a common purpose – to understand, admire and share the science of chemistry and biology as it is applied to drug design and synthesis. Making molecules for their commercial application is very hard and success can be illusive, but it is hugely satisfying.

How has being involved in SCI activities had an impact on your professional career?
Certainly, Johnson Matthey has generally increased its involvement with the SCI over this time. For me I have learnt a lot about the theory and practice of drug design. I have met many interesting people who have introduced me to new ways to view the pharma business.

How do your SCI activities reflect your personal/professional interests?
I feel SCI is on a good course and trying to ask the difficult questions about our global problems. I have always found the FCG very open to my own list of critical questions to answer.

What motivates you to participate in SCI activities?
I like the business orientation and the drive to use science in business to make things better.

How do you think that your contribution has helped shaped SCI?
I am not a good judge of my impact. I hope I have given practical, positive, professional advice over my time on the Committee.

What are your thoughts about receiving a Distinguished Service Award?
I am extremely grateful to the FCG Officers for nominating me and to the Membership Sub Committee and the Board of Trustees for their approval. It is quite something for me – I practice and expect critical assessments as part of trying to do better.

To get an award for my service from the SCI is well outside (and much higher) than the orbit of my expectations. I have seen my time on the FCG Committee not as service only as brilliantly interesting and enjoyable. An award for working with people I greatly admire – I can only thank everyone again!

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