SCI, the society established nearly 140 years ago to link science with business in the application of scientific innovation, has recognised three top UK scientists in the International Honours announced on 12 November 2009.
Professor Richard Dawkins received the SCI Science Communication Award for his work in helping non-scientists to 'make friends with science'. In a speech at the awards ceremony held in SCI’s elegant Georgian townhouse headquarters in London’s Belgrave Square, Prof Dawkins reminded his audience that science is not just useful to mankind – it also has an aesthetic and poetic dimension, and must be brought more into the mainstream culture. But, he stressed, that mustn’t mean dumbing down: science, he said, should be fun – but not in a trivial way.
The SCI Mond Award for Health and Safety (named after Ludwig Mond, one of the pioneers of the British chemical industry and a founder of SCI) went to Professor Trevor Kletz, OBE. Kletz, now 87, has won world renown for his work in the vital area of process safety.
Mrs Sue Halliday won the SCI Education Award for her inspiring revitalisation of Catalyst, an education centre in Widnes, NW England, born from the one-time Museum of Chemical Industry. When Mrs Halliday took over some four years ago, the centre was effectively moribund. Now it is highly successful, helping children from 7 to 17 to take an interest in science and consider adopting it as a career.
After the awards ceremony, the winners joined around 100 guests for an informal dinner.
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