Department of Chemistry

A. I. Scott Medal for Excellence in Biological Chemistry Research

Award

The award was established in 2008 by the Texas A&M Section of the American Chemical Society and the Chemistry Department of Texas A&M University. The award is supported by an endowment from the late Ms. Elizabeth Scott in loving memory of her husband, Professor A.I. Scott.

Description

The Medal is minted in 10K gold and is 2.5 inches in diameter. The obverse is A. I. Scott’s relief that gives the name of the medal and the words “Texas A&M ACS Section". The reverse of the medal bears the words "For Excellence in Biological Chemistry Research" and a representation of the vitamin B12, which was Scott’s life-long research focus. The recipient receives, in addition to the medal, a gold plate replica thereof and a certificate describing the award.

Presentation

  1. A gold medal shall be awarded annually by the Texas A&M Section of the American Chemical Society and the Department of Chemistry at Texas A&M University at a meeting open to the public, preferably in October. The Medal is to be known as the A. Ian Scott Award in Chemistry. The award shall be made according to the rules here set forth and made a part of the Bylaws of the Section.
  2. The award shall be made by the absolute majority vote of a jury of seven to a scientist who has made an important contribution to the area of Biological Chemistry.
  3. A condition of the award shall be that the recipient of the medal shall deliver an address upon a chemical subject selected by the recipient. The recipient of the Medal shall be notified at least three months prior to the date of the meeting at which the award is to be presented.
  4. The jury of the award, to be known as the Jury of the A. Ian Scott Award in Chemistry shall consist of seven members. The chairman shall be, ex officio, the person who is the chairman of the local ACS section during the calendar year preceding the year in which the award is to be made. Two members shall be ACS members not resident within the local section. The remaining four members must be members of the teaching and/or research staff of Texas A&M University.
  5. Prior to October the Board of Directors shall elect, as necessary to maintain a full jury, new members of the jury to serve for a term of three years. In the first election only, three of the members will be appointed for three year terms, and three for two year terms. Any juror who has served two conservative terms of three years each shall not be eligible for election to the next succeeding term.
  6. At the call of the chairman, the jury shall begin its deliberation on November 1 of each year. It will be the duty of each member of the jury (other than the chairman) to make a nomination. Thus, there will be from one to six nominees. No juror may be a candidate. The chairman will conduct a first ballot in which each juror, including the chairman, shall cast one vote. Should one candidate receive four or more votes, that candidate will be the medalist. Should no candidate receive four votes there will be a runoff among those having the highest number of votes. Any candidate with three votes must be a finalist. Should there be a tie for either first or second place, the chairman shall choose the finalist(s) from among those tied. If, at any time between November 1 and the completion of the selection process, a juror is unable to serve, the chairman of the jury shall appoint a replacement to serve until the selection process is completed. The replacement shall have the same resident or non-resident status as the juror replaced. The Head of the TAMU Department of Chemistry shall count the votes or shall designate someone not on the jury to do so if the Head is a juror.
  7. The travel expenses and other expenses necessary to receiving the Award in person and presenting a lecture will be borne by the TAMU Department of Chemistry as part of its colloquium and seminar program. Other expenses will be covered by the income from the Award endowment.

Presentation

Guidelines for the Presentation of the A. Ian Scott Award in Chemistry

The annual presentation of the A. Ian Scott Award in Chemistry will be made in the Fall, normally in October. It will consist of a gold medal, a gold-plated bronze replica and a certificate.

It will be presented during a program run jointly by the Local ACS Section and the TAMU Department of Chemistry.

The Awardee will be invited by the Department of Chemistry to be one of the Frontier’s Speakers during the week of the presentation of the award and will have the prerogative of inviting two of his/her peers to present a seminar each on the day the award is presented.

As stipulated in the Rules for the Award, the travel expenses and other expenses necessary for accepting the award in person and for presenting the lectures will be borne by the Department of Chemistry. Other expenses will be covered by the income from the award endowment.

Selection

Additional Guidelines for the Selection Procedure for the Recipient of the the A. Ian Scott Award in Chemistry

The essential features of the selection procedure are clearly delineated in the pertinent article of the Bylaws of the Texas A&M Section of the American Chemical Society. These rules are in themselves sufficient to guide the process. However, a few additional words concerning the manner in which the rules must be best implemented may be helpful to those charged with the responsibility.

  1. Regarding confidentiality of the selection process: It is intended that the process be conducted by the Chairman and six additional members of the award jury among themselves and in privacy. It is probably best that the membership of the jury, other than the name of the chairman (which will necessarily be known), be kept confidential , i.e. known only to themselves and to the section’s Executive Committee, who have the responsibility of selecting them as noted in Section V of the Bylaw.
  2. It is expected that the jurors will be in contact with one another. Indeed, it is desirable that they freely discuss with each other the merits of possible candidates since this is far more likely to produce a wise selection than is a blind process of the type used for national ACS awards. The common practice for sectional ACS awards is to have open discussion among the jurors and that is the intention here.
  3. It is noted that the six jurors, other than the Chairman, are to be the sole source of nominations. It is not necessary that each juror individually make a nomination, but all should participate in the nominating phase and support some candidate.
  4. It is essential that in the voting phase, each juror must vote. This is the obligation assumed by accepting appointment to the jury, and also assures that the selection of the recipient of the award can be completed in a maximum of two ballots.
  5. It is important that the selection process be conducted and completed in a timely way. Thus, by very early November, the nomination process should be complete and the second ballot, if required, should be conducted before the end of November. Note that the rules are so designed that no further ballot will ever be required. The reason for reaching a decision by early December at the latest is that the presentation of the medal the following October requires a great deal of lead time in order to ensure that the Awardee and others who will participate in the award symposium can be contacted. The date for the award program should be chosen well in advance, given that the Awardee may be expected to be a prominent and busy person who cannot be expected to make plans of short notice. Additionally, the Department of Chemistry, which will host the award program and ceremony, also needs to have adequate time to make arrangements.

Previous Recipients

  1. Christopher T. Walsh, Harvard Medical School
  2. John A. Gerlt, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  3. Hung-Wen (Ben) Liu, University of Texas at Austin
  4. Judith Klinman, University of California, Berkeley
  5. Craig A. Townsend, The Johns Hopkins University
  6. John S. Blanchard, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  7. JoAnne Stubbe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  8. Jon Clardy, Harvard University