Scots chemist awarded for ‘major contribution’

Monday 17 April 2006

A University of St Andrews chemist will be awarded a prestigious science prize at a ceremony in Edinburgh tonight (Tuesday 18th April 2006).

Dr Douglas Philp, a Reader in Chemistry, has been awarded The Saltire Society and Scottish & Newcastle Scottish Science Award for 2005. Dr Philp is the third recipient from St Andrews in the award’s 17- year history.

The Scottish Science Award (founded in 1989) is presented annually to a distinguished scientist, who is in the middle of their career and either based in Scotland or of Scottish descent. The award is presented in recognition of ‘major contribution to science’ to an academic who has not been previously recognised by public honours or by election to one of the senior learned societies, and who are able to communicate their scientific results to the wider public.

In his citation for the award, Dr Philp is described as a ‘master’ in the detailed, highly challenging field of physical organic chemistry, who has made a major contribution to the world of replicating systems and nanotechnology.

Recently Dr Philp has designed, made and demonstrated one of the most efficient self replicating models in science so far, placing a spotlight on Scotland in this area, and furthering the great contemporary challenge in chemistry and origin of life science.

Dr Philp will deliver a lecture on nanotechology during the award ceremony tonight. He said:

“According to many observers, the science of nanotechnology is about to transform our lives. We are about to enter a bewildering future where the science of the nanometre scale will dominate and machines and materials only a few billionths of a metre in size will be able to perform seemingly unbelievable tasks

“In our research, we are trying to learn lessons about replication from Nature. We hope to develop systems that can manufacture themselves from our blueprint and which can use the blueprint to make exact copies of themselves without our intervention. Our ultimate goal is the creation of a toolkit that enables the objects and devices needed to drive the development of nanotechnology to be manufactured quickly, safely and cleanly.”



Dr Philp will accept The Saltire Society and Scottish & Newcastle’s Scottish Science Award on Tuesday 18 April 2006 at The Royal Society of Edinburgh 22-24 George Street at 5.00 for 5.30. He will deliver the lecture ‘From Grey Goo to the Greater Good: Harnessing Replication for Nanoscale Manufacturing’.

Issued by Beattie Media – On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st- Ref: Saltire Society Science Prize 180406.doc View the latest University press releases at

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