Interview: Lampitt Medal winner Alan Baylis

22 July 2019

22 Jul 2019

Dr Alan Baylis is this year’s Lampitt Medal winner. He is the current Chair of the Board of Trustees and has been a member of SCI for nearly 15 years, holding all officer positions in several Technical Interest Groups, including being Chair of Agrisciences Group for eight years. Here, Alan describes his involvement and experiences at SCI.

Lampitt Medal winner and Chair of the Board of Trustees, Alan Baylis, and President, Paul Booth. Image: Andrew Lunn for SCI.

What made you become a member of SCI?

I realised that although I had a substantial international network, everyone worked for the same company – the one I had just left.

Why did you decide to get involved in SCI activities?

I thought that it would be mutually beneficial to me and SCI. I would extend my network and knowledge while organising activities for the charity.

What has driven your long-term involvement with SCI?

Getting involved in group committees, the teamwork, organising events, and building contacts and relationships proved to be useful and enjoyable. As I got to be more familiar with SCI, I could see opportunities and aspects to improve the organisation.

How has your involvement with the Society reflected (or combined with) your professional interests?

Through involvement with groups my professional interests have been complemented by meeting people and learning things not possible to do so easily elsewhere.

Has your professional career been shaped or influenced in any way by your involvement with SCI?

Yes, I have undertaken projects I would not otherwise have come across or been able to complete as effectively; and I have been invited to speak at many UK and international conferences.

What makes you excited to continue to participate in SCI activities?

Seeing the progress made.

How do you think your contribution has helped shape SCI?

I have been pleased to have been able work with colleagues on the Agrisciences Group committee to develop agendas and programmes to make it a vibrant community, and to have been fortunate to be elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees where I have worked with fellow trustees, the CEO (Sharon Todd) and other members of the Executive Board to develop SCI’s strategy and create value for members and other stakeholders.

When I see the HQ building packed with delegates attending meetings, conferences or lectures and feel the ‘buzz’ it is great to see the progress made.

What would you like to see SCI become in the future? Where are our biggest opportunities?

SCI needs to pursue activities, stage events and develop communities of interest that reflect and engage with the societal challenges and emerging technologies relevant to the society’s wide multidisciplinary scope. This will make it a uniquely successful organisation supporting innovation at the interface of science and business.

How do you feel about being recognised as a Lampitt Medallist?

It is an honour.

What inspires and motivates you?

Engaging with like-minded people from diverse backgrounds and the chance to create things of lasting interest and value.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get more involved with SCI?

Do not wait to be asked, you have to be proactive. Do a good job and you will be asked again by those inside SCI and elsewhere.

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