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.
Professor Ray Jones is a longstanding Committee Member of SCI’s Fine Chemicals Group and is currently Chair of the Membership Committee, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees. Ray will be awarded with his DSA at SCI’s 141st Annual General Meeting on 6 July 2022.
When and how did you become a member of SCI?
I joined SCI in the mid-1990s, after attending several of the one-day meetings organised by Fine Chemicals Group, when an academic colleague (at that time a member of Fine Chemicals Group Committee) suggested that I might find it useful for networking, and pointed out the reduced registration fees for members.
Why did you decide to get involved in committee work?
I wanted to help in organising the kinds of meetings that had made me aware of SCI in the first place, that I had found to be both informative and stimulating. I hoped also to put forward ideas for new meetings.
What has driven your continued involvement with SCI?
The opportunities provided within Fine Chemicals Group for generating activities, both new and ongoing, the networking, the camaraderie and the atmosphere within the committee – informal but efficient.
How has being involved in SCI activities had an impact on your professional career?
The contacts established via the Fine Chemicals Committee were very useful in providing openings for discussion about my research and more directly, leading to successful funding opportunities.
How do your SCI activities reflect your personal/professional interests?
I have spoken up to make sure the Fine Chemicals Group maintains meetings in the pure synthetic chemistry arena, when there were pressures to reduce the number of meetings.
What motivates you to participate in SCI activities?
After I retired from full-time academic life, I wanted to give something back to SCI to go towards repaying the benefits I had received from the activities in which I had participated.
How do you think that your contribution has helped shape SCI?
Since becoming a founder-member of the new Membership Committee in 2017 and its Chair in 2021, I have helped to shape its activities. After being elected a member of Board of Trustees in 2018, I have been part of many discussions formulating and updating the strategy of the Society and have been involved in a number of specific projects.
What are your thoughts about receiving a Distinguished Service Award?
I feel surprised, honoured and very proud to be receiving a Distinguished Service Award. I wish the Society every success as it moves past its 140th anniversary and towards its 150th.