21 Jul 2016

York Academic Awarded Top Royal Society Accolade

A University of York chemist, whose research has made important contributions to the development of flat-screen displays for TVs, computers and mobile phones, has been awarded a prestigious Royal Medal of the Royal Society.

Professor John Goodby, who holds a Chair in Materials Chemistry and is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), is awarded the interdisciplinary medal in recognition of advances and discoveries of new forms of scientific matter and materials.

John GoodbyfeatProfessor Goodby studied for his doctorate in liquid crystals at the University of Hull before moving to the world-renowned AT&T Bell Laboratories in 1979, where he became Supervisor of the Liquid Crystal Materials Group.

After nearly ten years in the USA, he moved back to the UK and became Head of the Liquid Crystals and Advanced Organic Materials Group, and subsequently Head of the School of Chemistry at the University of Hull.

He is now Emeritus Professor of Materials Chemistry at York, where his research is focused on nano-structural engineering of materials through directed self-organization and self-assembly for applications in liquid crystal displays.

Professor Goodby said: “I am overwhelmed to receive the award of the Royal Medal of the Royal Society.

“Firstly, the successes of my research, particularly in the field of Liquid Crystals, would not have been possible without the support of my brilliant staff, students and academic and industrial colleagues, many of whom have worked with me for over the past 20 to 30 years. I am also greatly appreciative of the support I have received over the years from the Engineering and Physical Research Council, The Defence Research Agency, the Leverhulme Trust, Merck KGaA, and Kingston Chemicals Ltd.”

“Secondly, when I read about the details of the medal, which dates back to 1826, and saw the list of the past winners, I was surprised by how few chemists there were, and yet how many of them were household names in chemistry. That I should be associated with such chemists is daunting and yet humbling!”

Professor Duncan Bruce, Head of the Department of Chemistry, added: ‘Working in the same field as John, I am very well aware of the impact that he has made and the esteem in which he is held in the field. I am delighted that the Royal Society has seen fit to recognise his achievements in this way.”

Professor Goodby was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011 and in 2013 he was awarded the Derek Birchall Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry for creativity and excellence in materials chemistry for Industry. In 2014, he won the AkzoNobel UK Science Award for outstanding contributions in self-assembling and self-organizing materials.