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Sir Andrew Witty awarded 2019 Society Medal and Lecture

Sir Andrew Witty

17 Jan 2019

SCI is happy to announce the 2019 recipient of the Society Medal and Lecture is Sir Andrew Witty for his work in the pharmaceutical industry.
Georgina Hines

Sir Andrew Witty will be awarded the 2019 Society Medal and Lecture at an invite-only event held on the 12 February 2019 at the Palace of Westminster, London, UK.

The Society Medal is SCI’s most prestigious Medal and it remains the longest standing award given globally in recognition of innovation. It is a major accolade, recognising outstanding contributions to leadership in innovation.

The Medal is awarded to an individual who has shown outstanding merit by demonstrating one or more of the following:

  • Leadership in research and innovation
  • Bringing new technologies and products to market
  • Generating understanding of the benefits accruing from the practical application of chemistry and related sciences

It was first awarded to John Glover in 1896, the inventor of the Glover Tower. Since then, it has only been awarded 54 times in its 123-year history. Previous recipients include William Perkin, inventor of the first synthetic dye, Ludwig Mond, one of the founders of ICI, and Viscount Leverhulme of Unilever, with each making outstanding contributions to the territory where science meets business.

In 1923, the Society introduced the opportunity for the recipient to deliver a lecture on their subject which continued until 2003 when the Medal was last awarded.

More about our 2019 recipient

During his tenure at GSK, Sir Andrew Witty invested significantly in research and development to generate a strong pipeline of new products, promoted academic industrial partnerships and worked with philanthropic groups to make medicines more accessible. All of these make him a very worthy recipient of the Society Medal.

Andrew Witty is CEO of Optum, a global health services leader and part of United Health Group. He was named CEO in 2018, after serving as a United Health Group company director.

Andrew served as CEO and a director of leading pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) from 2008 to 2017. He joined GSK in 1985, and prior to being named CEO served as president of GSK Europe. Before that, he held a variety of international leadership roles for GSK in markets including Asia-Pacific.

Andrew is former chancellor of the University of Nottingham, a British public research university, and serves on the Singapore Economic Development Board International Advisory Committee. He is an advisor to 8VC and Hatteras Venture Partners, as well as to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a Non-Executive Director of G1 Therapeutics.

Andrew was knighted in 2012 for services to the UK economy. In 2017, he was named an Honorary Citizen of Singapore for his contributions to the country’s growth and development.

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