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Royal Society of Chemistry

Royal Society of Chemistry
The RSC's logo, introduced in 2013
Motto Pro scientia et humanitate
(For the sake of knowledge and for the benefit of mankind)
Formation 1980 (1980) (1841)[1]
Type Learned society
Headquarters London
  • United Kingdom
Membership 51,000
Official language English
President Dominic Tildesley
Key people Robert Parker (CEO)
Website .org.rscwww
RSC London Headquarters

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is a journals, books and databases, as well as hosting conferences, seminars and workshops. It is the professional body for chemistry in the UK, with the ability to award the status of Chartered Chemist (CChem) and, through the Science Council the awards of Chartered Scientist (CSci), Registered Scientist (RSci) and Registered Science Technician (RScTech) to suitably qualified candidates. The designation FRSC is given to a group of elected Fellows of the society who have made major contributions to chemistry. The names of Fellows are published each year in The Times (London). Honorary Fellowship of the Society ("HonFRSC") is awarded for distinguished service in the field of chemistry.


  • President 1
  • Membership grades and post-nominals 2
    • GRSC 2.1
  • Divisions and forums 3
  • Local sections 4
  • Publications 5
  • Burlington House 6
    • History 6.1
  • Library and information centre 7
  • Prizes and awards 8
  • Coat of arms 9
  • Other resources 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


The president is elected biennually and wears a badge in the form of a spoked wheel, with the standing figure of Joseph Priestley depicted in enamel, mainly in red and blue, on a hexagonal medallion in the centre. The rim of the wheel is gold, and the twelve spokes are of non-tarnishable metals.

The current president is Dominic Tildesley (2014–2016).[4] Past presidents of the society have been:

Membership grades and post-nominals

The following are membership grades with post-nominals (designatory letters):[14]

  • Affiliate: (no post-nominal) The grade for students and those involved in chemistry who do not meet the requirements for the following grades.
  • AMRSC: Associate Member, Royal Society of Chemistry The entry level for RSC membership, AMRSC is awarded to graduates (or equivalent) in the chemical sciences.
  • MRSC: Member, Royal Society of Chemistry Awarded to graduates (or equivalent) with at least 3 years' experience, who have acquired key skills through professional activity
  • FRSC: Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry Fellowship may be awarded to nominees who have made an outstanding contribution to chemistry (see Category:Fellows of the Royal Society of Chemistry).
  • CChem: Chartered Chemist The award of CChem is considered separately from admission to a category of RSC membership. Candidates need to be MRSC or FRSC and demonstrate development of specific professional attributes and be in a job which requires their chemical knowledge and skills.
  • CSci: Chartered Scientist The RSC is a licensed by the Science Council for the registration of Chartered Scientists.
  • EurChem: European Chemist The RSC is a member of the European Communities Chemistry Council (ECCC), and can award this designation to Chartered Chemists.
  • MChemA: Mastership in Chemical Analysis The RSC awards this postgraduate qualification which is the UK statutory qualification for practice as a Public Analyst.[16] It requires candidates to submit a portfolio of suitable experience and to take theory papers and a one-day laboratory practical examination.[17]


The qualification GRSC (Graduate of the Royal Society of Chemistry) was awarded from 1981 to 1995 for completion of college courses equivalent to a chemistry degree and overseen by the RSC.[18] It replaced the GRIC offered by the Royal Institute of Chemistry.[19]

Divisions and forums

The society is organised around 5 divisions and 4 forums, based on subject areas, and local sections, both in the United Kingdom and overseas. Divisions and forums cover broad areas of chemistry but also contain many special interest groups for more specific areas.

  • Analytical Division for analytical chemistry and promoting the original aims of the Society for Analytical Chemistry. 12 Subject Groups.
  • Dalton Division, named after inorganic chemistry. 6 Subject Groups.
  • Education Division for chemical education. 4 Subject Groups.
  • Faraday Division, named after Michael Faraday, for physical chemistry and promoting the original aims of the Faraday Society. 14 Subject Groups.
  • Organic Division for organic chemistry. 6 Subject Groups.
  • Chemical Biology Interface Division. 2 Subject Groups.
  • Environment, Sustainability and Energy Forum. 3 Subject Groups.
  • Materials Chemistry Forum. 4 Subject Groups.
  • Industry and technology Forum. 13 Subject Groups.

There are 12 subjects groups not attached to a division or forum.

Local sections

There are 35 local sections covering the United Kingdom and Ireland. In countries of the Commonwealth of Nations and many other countries there are Local Representatives of the Society and often some activities.


Thomas Graham House - from where the Society's publishing arm operates - in 2014

The Society is a not-for-profit publisher: surplus made by its publishing business is invested to support its aim of advancing the chemical sciences.

In addition to scientific journals including its flagship journals Chemical Communications, Chemical Science and Chemical Society Reviews (see Category:Royal Society of Chemistry academic journals for a list), the Society publishes:

  • Education in Chemistry for teachers
  • A free online journal for chemistry educators, Chemistry Education Research and Practice.
  • A general chemistry magazine Chemistry World, sent monthly to all members of the Society throughout the world. The editorial board consists of 10 academic and industrial chemists. It was first published in January 2004. It replaced Chemistry in Britain, first published in 1965. Its contents include news, articles of a general chemical nature, such as the history of chemistry and technological developments, book reviews and letters from readers. Its ISSN is 1473-7604. Chemistry World is supported by the Chemistry World Podcast, which is presented by Cambridge University scientist Dr Chris Smith, who also edits the Naked Scientists.
  • Books for students, including the Tutorial Chemistry Texts series of 23 books, edited by Professor E. W. Abel, and the 8 books in the Molecular World series, whose coordinating editor is Professor L. E. Smart.
  • Books on the history of chemistry, such as a history of the Faraday Society.

Burlington House

Burlington House
Established 2010
Location Piccadilly, London W1, England
Website .org.rscwww

The the Green Park tube station or Piccadilly Circus tube station.

The events have attracted notable science writers such as Philip Ball, Antony John Williams and John Emsley to give public lectures. Most of these are available as archived video streams via the RSC's Reaction website.[20]


Although opened as the Chemistry Centre in 2010 the building has been occupied by the Royal Society of Chemistry since 1857 (at which time it was known as the Chemical Society) – the heart of the Chemistry Centre is the RSC's Library and Information Centre which itself dates back to 1842. Over the years the library for the RSC has received many gifts from notable fellows including Michael Faraday. The library became a centre for information on the chemical sciences during the 1st and 2nd world wars when extensive use was made on the chemical reference material available. In November 2014, the society announced that the centre would be rebranded as simply "Royal Society of Chemistry at Burlington House" and the name "Chemistry Centre" dropped.

Library and information centre

The Society has a large library covering mainly Chemical-based subjects, including online access for members, housed at the Chemistry Centre at Burlington House. It is part of the Chemistry Centre and is a resource for RSC members, although the public are also welcome.

Prizes and awards

The RSC awards a variety of Prizes and Awards each year that include awards for excellence in any area of chemistry, in specialist areas or for achievement at particular stages of a chemist's career.[21]

Medals are awarded centrally by the RSC and by the divisions of the organisation. There are also awards that are administered by RSC interest groups.

The centrally awarded medals include the

  • Official website
  • History of the RSC
  • RSC Awards & Funding
  • RSC Publishing
  • Chemistry Centre
  • The society's blue plaques at OpenPlaques
  • Royal Society of Chemistry’s interactive Periodic Table
  • History of the RSC Library and Information Centre

External links

  1. ^ a b c d e Lagowski, J. J. (1991). "A British Sesquicentennial," Journal of Chemical Education, Vol 68, No. 1, p. 1; acknowledging the sesquicentennial of The Chemical Society in London, which eventually became the Royal Society of Chemistry.
  2. ^ "RSC History". Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  3. ^ "RSC Contacts". Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  4. ^ RSC Press Release 9 July 2014
  5. ^ Richard Oswald Chandler Norman Obituary in the Independent
  6. ^ Jack Lewis Biography
  7. ^ Charles Wayne Rees Obituary in the Independent
  8. ^ Howard Purnell Obituary in the Independent
  9. ^ Anthony Ledwith Biography
  10. ^ Press Release 2006 Simon Campbell Biography
  11. ^ www.nottingham David Garner
  12. ^ David Phillips
  13. ^ College of Science and Engineering University of Edinburgh Lesley Yellowlees
  14. ^ "RSC Website – Designatory Letters". Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  15. ^ "Press release: Lesley Yellowlees pays tribute to Lord Ballyedmond". Royal Society of Chemistry. 14 March 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Statutory Instrument 1990 No. 2463 The Food Safety (Sampling and Qualifications) Regulations 1990". 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  17. ^ "RSC Web page MChemA". Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  18. ^ Graduate Qualifications in Chemistry
  19. ^ Royal Institute of Chemistry
  20. ^
  21. ^ "RSC prizes and awards". Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  22. ^ "Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize". 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  23. ^ "Corday-Morgan Prizes". 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  24. ^ "Marlow Award". 2012-09-01. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  25. ^ The Interactive Lab Primer
  26. ^ "RSC awards a Blue Plaque to Professor Andrews FRS". Queen's University Belfast. Retrieved 1 October 2014. 


See also

The society operates a blue plaque scheme, "Landmarks of Chemistry", erecting plaques at places associated with notable chemical events or people.[26] Recent plaques are hexagonal.

The Society's ChemSpider is a database of chemicals and chemical properties.

The Interactive Lab Primer is a site developed to provide tips to a variety of chemical experimentation skills.[25] The site covers basic lab safety tips, demonstrates primary lab techniques, introduces a couple common lab apparatus in lab, and provides other references.

Other resources

The RSC has its own coat of arms. Two forms exist: the full coat of arms has lion and unicorn bearers, and the Latin motto "Pro scientia et humanitate" (For the sake of knowledge and for the benefit of mankind). The smaller version uses just the central shield, which is similar to that in the Royal Institute of Chemistry's arms.

Coat of arms

The Faraday Division annually awards the Marlow Award for contributions to physical chemistry or chemical physics by members of the Faraday Division under the age of 32.[24] Recent recipients include Andrew Orr-Ewing, (1999), Jonathan A. Jones, (2000), Helen Fielding (2001), Jonathan Essex (2002), Daren Caruana (2003), Jonathan Reid (2004), Julie Macpherson (2005), Fred Manby (2006) and Alessandro Troisi (2007).

Corday-Morgan medal recipients include George Porter (1955). Later recipients include many of the current leaders of the chemistry community in the United Kingdom.

Previous winners of the Harrison-Meldola Prize (known as the Meldola Medal and Prize prior to its merger in 2008 with the Edward Harrison prize) include Christopher Kelk Ingold (1921, 1922), Cyril Norman Hinshelwood (1923), R.H. Stokes (1946), D.H. Williams (1966) and J. Evans (1978).

The Tilden Prize, previously known as the Tilden Lecture, consists of three awards annually to scientists in mid-career for advances in chemistry. [23]

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