SCI Perkin Medal

The SCI Perkin Medal is recognized as one of the highest honors given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States. It commemorates the discovery of the first synthetic dye (Perkin mauve) by Sir William Henry Perkin in 1856. This discovery was a significant step forward in organic chemistry that led to the birth of a major segment of the chemical industry.

The Perkin Medal was first awarded to Sir William at a banquet in New York in 1906. The room was festooned with banners dyed a brilliant Perkin mauve, a piece of which is on display in our museum. Today the award is presented as part of Innovation Day and will be awarded at the 2021 event.

2019 Medalist: Chad A. Mirkin

The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI), America Section, presented its prestigious Perkin Medal to Chad A. Mirkin at a dinner in his honor on September 10, 2019, at the Bellevue Hotel in Philadelphia.

Chad A. Mirkin is known for his discovery and development of spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) and SNA-based biodetection and therapeutic schemes, the invention of dip-pen nanolithography and related cantilever-free nanopatterning methodologies, on-wire lithography, coaxial lithography, and contributions to supramolecular chemistry and nanoparticle synthesis. He is the author of more than 730 manuscripts and 1,100 patent applications worldwide (more than 330 issued) and the founder of multiple companies, including AuraSense, Exicure, TERA-print, and CDJ Technologies.

Mirkin has been recognized for his accomplishments with more than 130 national and international awards, including the inaugural National Academy of Sciences Sackler Prize in Convergence Research, the Linus Pauling Medal, the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, and the iCON Innovator Award. He served as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (Obama administration) for eight years, and he is one of very few scientists to be elected to all three U.S. National Academies (Medicine, Science, and Engineering). In addition, Mirkin is a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Inventors, the American Chemical Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Materials Research Society. Mirkin has served on the editorial advisory boards of more than 20 scholarly journals and is currently an associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society and a board member of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He is the founding editor of Small, one of the premier international nanotechnology journals, and he has coedited multiple best-selling books.

Mirkin holds a BS from Dickinson College (1986, elected into Phi Beta Kappa) and a PhD in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University (1989). He was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT before becoming a professor at Northwestern University in 1991.

Previous Winners of the SCI Perkin Medal

The SCI Perkin Medal has been presented since 1906, when the very first award went to Sir William Henry Perkin. For a full list of winners visit SCI’s website.

About the Society of Chemical Industry

SCI is a unique multidisciplinary forum where science meets business on independent, impartial ground. SCI provides the opportunity for sharing information among sectors as diverse as food and agriculture, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, environmental science, and safety.

Established in 1881 as the Society of Chemical Industry, SCI is today a registered charity with individual members in over 70 countries. Its headquarters are in London.

Ever since its foundation SCI’s principal objective has been to further the application of chemistry and related sciences for the public benefit, through our events and publication.