Nottingham Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff receives China's highest scientific honour

13 January 2020

10 January, Beijing: Sir Martyn Poliakoff, Research Professor of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham, was granted the 2019 International Science and Technology Cooperation Award - the nation's highest honour for foreign scientists. The certificate was presented by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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This award recognises the key role foreign scientists have played in China's scientific development and reflects China's increasing efforts to diversify its science partners over recent years. Professor Poliakoff was the only British scientist among the 10 awardees.

Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff joined the University of Nottingham in 1979. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2002 and later served as its Foreign Secretary and Vice-President. He was knighted for "Services to the Chemical Sciences” in 2015 – the same year he received an Honorary Fellowship of the Chinese Chemical Society, one of numerous international honours. Throughout his career, Professor Poliakoff’s research has focused on super-critical fluids, continuous reactions and their applications in Green Chemistry.

Professor Poliakoff is also a lecturer of BSc (Hons) Chemistry for the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC). During their studies, students spend two years studying at the UK campus and regularly receive lectures from visiting UK professors during their time in NIngbo.

Now in his seventies, Professor Poliakoff continues to travel to China to share his experience and expertise with students in Ningbo. He has claimed that, as he himself received inspiration from numerous supportive instructors, he wishes to pass on his experience to support the emerging generation of young scientists.

Sir Martyn also appears on a YouTube channel with over one million followers. Working with a professional film-maker on the “Periodic Videos”, he performs fascinating experiments with all 118 elements of the Periodic Table. Dedicated to popularising basic chemistry, he has appeared in over 600 such videos since 2008.