News Feature | March 4, 2014

AkzoNobel Honors British Scientist With UK Science Award

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By Estel Grace Masangkay

AkzoNobel awarded Professor John Goodby, FRS, Chair of Materials Chemistry at the University of York, the AkzoNobel’s UK Science Award for 2014.

Professor Lesley Yellowlees, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry and prize selection committee chair, said, "I'm thrilled to be celebrating Professor Goodby's invaluable contributions to a technology that has a beneficial effect on everyday lives across the world. The field of liquid crystal chemistry is an excellent demonstration of the value of curiosity-driven research and, more than 125 years after they were first discovered by accident, it’s fantastic to be recognizing Professor Goodby's role in what is now a billion-dollar industry."

Professor John Goodby will officially receive the award and £50,000 in cash prize at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London on March 5. The company recognized the British scientist’s contribution to the materials chemistry in the field of liquid crystals and soft matter, which helped form the basis for flat-screen TVs, mobile phone displays, and computers.

Andrew Burgess, AkzoNobel's Chief Scientist, said, "I am delighted that we can once again recognize the wealth of science talent in the UK through this award. Professor Goodby is a hugely worthy recipient, with his work having made a great contribution to advances in liquid crystals and display technologies that people around the world now take for granted."

Current research is expected to lead liquid crystals applications in sensors and in the medical field. Over 100 clinical trials are presently ongoing around the world to evaluate the use of liquid crystals as vectors to translate DNA across membrane walls in the human body.

"I would like to pay tribute to all of my colleagues and students past and present, as well as my fellow academics at the University of York, who have made this scientific journey so exciting, memorable and enjoyable. The relatively short time span between the invention of commercial LCDs in the 1970s and their current market dominance has required a huge effort by scientists and engineers from many disciplines, demonstrating the critical importance of multidisciplinary research," Professor John Goodby said in response to AkzoNobel’s recognition.