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John Beacham honoured for outstanding contribution to the Society

John Beacham

Dr John Beacham has been awarded the Lampitt Medal by the Society. The medal was presented by Sandy Gray, who has since been elected chair of SCI’s board of trustees, at a celebratory reception and dinner held in Warrington, Cheshire, UK in June 2007.

John’s early education and first degree in chemistry were taken in London and were followed by a PhD at the University of Liverpool and a post-doctorate research fellowship, as a Fulbright Scholar, at the University of Pittsburgh, US. He then returned to the UK and in 1968 joined ICI at Runcorn to begin a long and distinguished career, finally retiring from ICI in 1998. Very soon after that, he was elected an SCI vice president, and council and executive committee member.

Beacham was tasked with leading a small team to come up with a bold, but realistic, set of proposals for putting SCI back on a course towards growth, recognition, and influence. A direct consequence of the acceptance of his proposals by the executive committee and council was that he was elected to be chairman of council in 2003 with a clear mandate to start implementation of his plan. He determined that the three challenges were membership, stewardship, and influence – alongside a need to look outwards more and rebuild SCI’s international position.

The outcome of much of this work and the reinvigoration and growth of the Society that has come with it is now apparent. One of Beacham’s most significant early moves was to recruit a new chief executive for the Society –which culminated in the appointment of Andrew Ladds in March 2005; around the time Beacham’s term as chair of council ended. Beacham then continued as a vice president, with the clear understanding that he would play a more active role in the pursuit of our strategic goals – particularly he undertook to lead a process to develop a new governance structure for the Society.

Gray presented him with the award, reminding the gathered members and guests that the Lampitt Medal is the highest honour to be endowed on a member of the Society and is in recognition of a sustained and outstanding contribution to the well-being, furtherance, and development of the Society, its activities and its reputation.

Beacham is an honorary professor at both Liverpool John Moores and Liverpool Universities and chaired the working party that led to the merger of Manchester and UMIST universities with the (new) University of Manchester. Alan Heaton, former chair of the SCI Liverpool and North West Regional Group then presented John with his certificate and medal.

Mike Pitts
Chair, Liverpool & North West Regional Group

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