8 Feb 2013
Diane Brown has served on numerous SCI committees and is a Trustee. She has also served as Acting Chairman and Chairman of the Awards Committee. She was awarded the Lampitt Medal in 2012, one of SCI's highest honours. Here she tells Members' News how she first got involved with the Society, and what opportunities she sees for future development.
What made you become a member of SCI?
My bosses at the research institute in which I worked took me to London Section meetings because they thought that it would be good for my personal and professional development.
Why did you decide to get involved in SCI activities?
At first I was a regular meeting attendee but only got involved in the activities of the Environment Group after a couple of career changes, eventually becoming the Chairman and more recently the Minutes Secretary. From there things mushroomed and I began to take an active part in the governance structure. I also became interested in the Society Awards and served for a time as the Chairman of the Awards Committee.
What has driven your long-term involvement with SCI?
I want the Society to be the best it possibly can be. On a more personal level the involvement with, and friendship, of some very interesting and knowledgeable people.
How has your involvement with the Society reflected (or combined with) your professional interests?
My main career was as a senior executive with the Chemical Industries Association, responsible for environmental issues at a time when environment legislation, both at the national and international level, was rapidly developing. Involvement with the Environment Group helped with my understanding of issues and I was able to share my experiences through conferences.
What makes you excited to continue to participate in SCI activities?
There are always improvements to be made and I believe that we are beginning to do things in a more business-like and efficient way, which will benefit members and hopefully secure the future of the Society. Much still remains to be done.
Has your professional career been shaped or influenced in any way by your involvement with SCI?
It is really the other way round.
How do you think your contribution has helped shape SCI?
SCI has to be a constantly changing organisation that meets its members' needs. At the end of the day it is the wishes of the members that shape SCI. People involved in governance have to listen, cost and prioritise.
What would you like to see SCI become in the future? Where are our biggest opportunities?
I would like to see SCI build on what it already offers and become a must-join organisation for a wide range of professionals involved in the production and use of chemicals, which is particularly attractive to people in the early stages of their careers. I hope that we will be able to persuade senior people in companies and organisations that SCI membership will be of great benefit to their employees.
How do you feel about being recognised as a Lampitt Medallist?
What inspires and motivates you?
The inspiration comes from wanting to be part of an excellent and effective organisation. The motivation comes from feeling that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing properly, often driven by a feeling of frustration if it isn't.