Perkin Medal Award Rules


Overview of Perkin Award Process:

Step 1: SCI selects its nominee

  • April – SCI Medals Chair solicits nominees from SCI members
  • August – SCI Medals Committee narrows field to 2/3 candidates
  • September – SCI Executive Committee votes to select SCI nominee

Step 2: Nominees from SCI, ACS, AIChE, and Science History Institute are considered by selection committee who chooses winner

  • Perkin Selection Committee consists of: SCI Chair, SCI Vice Chair, Immediate Past SCI Chair, ACS President, AIChE President and Science History Institute President
  • SCI Secretary is non voting member of selection committee and conducts process
  • November – Solicit nominations from ACS, AIChE and the Institute to go along with individual selected in Step 1
  • December/January – Nomination packages collected and distributed to selection committee
  • January/February – Vote conducted
  • March – Winner announced at SCI Executive Committee meeting and notified by SCI



                            Founded in Commemoration of the Fiftieth

                          Anniversary of the Coal Tar Color Industry,

                                                     1856 – 1906


1.         The Perkin Medal may be awarded annually, at the discretion of the Perkin Medal Committee, for outstanding work in applied chemistry.

2.         (a)        The Award may be made to anyone residing in the United States of America who is actively engaged in the chemical profession in the judgment of the Perkin Medal Committee for outstanding work done at any time during his/her career, whether this work proves successful at the time of execution or publication, or becomes valuable in subsequent development of the industry.

(b)        To be considered for the Perkin Medal Award, a candidate should have done applied chemical work resulting in outstanding commercial development.  His/her contribution may represent either personal scientific accomplishment or leadership of group effort. It should not have been primarily administrative or promotional, or limited to a role in initiating the activity.  His/her contribution should have clearly played a major role in the success of the development.

3.         The Medal may not be received in absentia, except under conditions of grave emergency, approved by the Chairman of the America Section of the Society of Chemical Industry.

  1. The Medal, when awarded, shall be presented at the regular September meeting of members of the America Section of the Society of Chemical Industry, to which non-members shall also be invited to honor the Medalist.  The presentation shall be made by the senior officer of the Section present at the meeting.  Following the presentation, the Medalist shall deliver a lecture on a subject of his/her own choosing.

5.         The Perkin Medal Committee shall consist of the following:

Chair                The Chair of the America Section of the Society of Chemical Industry.

Vice Chair:       The Vice Chair of the America Section of the Society of Chemical Industry.

Secretary:                     The Secretary of the America Section of the Society of Chemical Industry.  The Secretary shall have no vote except under Rule 11 (c) below

Members at Large:

(a)        The Immediate Past Chair of the America Section of the Society of Chemical Industry.

(b)        The President of the America Chemical Society.

(c)        The President of the America Institute of Chemical Engineers.

(d)        The President of the Science History Institute.

6.         (a)        The Chairman, Vice Chairman and each member at large shall be entitled to one vote on the Committee.  In the event that one person occupies two or more of the offices mentioned, his/her vote shall be assigned to the Society of which he/she is an officer first mentioned in the foregoing list: and his/her place and vote in the Society latter mentioned shall be assigned to a person designated by the Executive Committee or Board of Directors of the latter group.

(b)        No employee of any of the above organizations may serve on the Perkin Medal Committee.

7.         The Committee shall meet at the call of the Chairman or on written request of a majority of the Committee submitted to the Secretary in writing.

8.         (a)        Each member of the Perkin Medal Committee, as set forth in Rule 5, shall be certified in writing to the Secretary of the Committee by his respective Society on or before April 1.  Certified members shall serve from April 1 to March 31 following, inclusive.

(b)        Vacancies due to inability of designated persons to serve may be filled by the Executive Committee or Board of Directors of their respective organizations and such replacements will be recognized on receipt of written certification by the Secretary of the Committee.

9.         (a)        The Secretary of the Committee shall notify, in the month of November, the Societies or Sections (listed under Rule 5) through an appropriate officer and shall request each of these organizations to submit to him/her the name of one candidate residing in the United States whom they consider worthy of the Perkin Medal.  Each organization may adopt its own procedures for selecting a candidate, and nominees may be re-nominated as desired.

(b)        The request shall state that such names must be sent to the Secretary of the Perkin Medal Committee before December 1 and that the names must be accompanied by a statement setting forth the reasons for proposing each candidate, including a description of the work the candidate has done, and evidence as to how this work meets the criteria set forth in Rule 2(b) and shall bear no indication of their origin.

10.        Members of the Perkin Medal Committee shall be uninstructed and left solely to their own individual judgment in voting.

11.        (a)        The Secretary of the Committee will conduct the voting process which may utilize written or electronic mail.

(b)        The Secretary of the Committee, before January 15, shall send to each member of the Committee  a copy of these rules and a list of all candidates and the reasons for their nominations, presenting these in the form of statement submitted by their proposers, but withholding the identification of the latter.

(c)        The Secretary of the Committee shall request a letter ballot showing both “First Choice” and “Second Choice” votes.  The candidate receiving a majority of the “First Choice” votes cast shall be considered nominated.  In case a choice shall not have been made on the first ballot, the Secretary shall prepare a second ballot by assigning two points for each “First Choice” vote and one point for each “Second choice” vote case on the first letter ballot.  The two candidates  with  the highest total points shall appear on the second ballot.

In the event any ballot results in a tie, the Secretary shall cast the deciding vote.

(d)        The Committee may, at its discretion, require of the proposers through the Secretary that they furnish, at their own expense, additional information concerning the candidates, twelve copies to be supplied.

12.        Within ten days after completing the selection, the Secretary shall notify the successful candidate of his/her nomination and shall state the requirement that he/she receive the medal in person and deliver a lecture on a subject of his/her own choosing.  On acceptance of these conditions, the nomination shall automatically become an election.  Until the nomination has been finalized by this action, it shall not be made public.

13.        The Perkin Medal Committee shall have the power to decide any question on Committee procedures not specifically covered by these rules.

14.        The members of the Perkin Medal Committee shall use their best offices to encourage, to the fullest extent, the full participation of members of their respective Societies at the award presentation, which will normally be made in the succeeding September following completion of the balloting.

15.        These rules may be amended by a majority vote of the entire Committee or at a meeting of the Committee, provided that written notice of such meeting be sent to each member at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting and provided further that a majority of the entire Committee shall vote for the amendment.

November 2013

How to Nominate

All nominations, accompanied by supporting documentation, should be sent to the SCI Executive Director prior to the deadline. Nominations can be sent via e-mail to , or via fax: 215-629-5353. As additional reference, the documentation can be mailed to SCI America, 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA  19106.  Or call directly: 215-629-5150.

Nomination Form