aston medal


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Aston Medal

The Aston Medal was established by the British Mass Spectrometry Society in 1987 as the Society's prestigious scientific award, to be given to individuals deserving special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the biological, chemical, engineering, mathematical, medical, or physical sciences relating directly to mass spectrometry.

It takes the name of one of Britain's founders of mass spectrometry Francis William Aston†. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1922 for his discovery "by means of his mass spectrograph, of isotopes, in a large number of non-radioactive elements, and for his enunciation of the whole-number rule".
  † Find out more about Francis Aston


To honour individuals deserving special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the biological, chemical, engineering, mathematical, medical, or physical sciences relating directly to outstanding exploitation, application or development of mass spectrometry.


Open to academic and industrial scientists who have worked in the United Kingdom. The nominee does not necessarily have to be a member of BMSS or be a British citizen. .


Full details of the criteria for the award of the Aston Medal (as with other BMSS awards) will be posted continuously on the BMSS web site and occasionally in the Newsletter and any other media of advertisement which the Committee deems appropriate. Advertisement will be made at a date that allows members sufficient time to make nominations to the selection committee together with the current address where to submit nominations.


Any nomination must have a minimum two supporters who MUST be current BMSS members. Other supporters, who are not members of the BMSS, can support an application. Further, the following criteria must be met :
Nominations must include

  • at least one letter of recommendation
  • support from at least one person not associated with the same area/company/institution as the nominee
  • be received in the BMSS administrative office by 20th April in the year of nomination.

Selection Committee

This will comprise the BMSS Committee, or a sub-committee nominated by the BMSS Committee.  Selection will be made by this committee which will comprise at least six scientists. The BMSS Chair will usually chair the selection committee.  In the event of the members of the BMSS committee or the nominated sub-committee not being familiar with the work of the nominee, individuals who are able to provide an appropriate critique of the nominee should be identified and asked to provide independent comment on the nomination. The selection committee will usually meet on the same date as the BMSS Committee at the Committee meeting prior to the Annual Meeting. Any person associated with a nomination will not be permitted to participate in the consideration or decision making process for the award of the medal.

Frequency of the Award

The award is occasional with no more than one per year. The Aston Medal will not be associated with a particular year or number.

Announcement and Presentation of the Aston Medal

The announcement and presentation of the award will usually be made at the Annual Meeting of the BMSS. The BMSS Chair will usually make the award. In years where no annual meeting falls, and an award is made, the timing of the announcement and award date will be left to the discretion of the selection committee, and in consultation with the BMSS committee if a sub-committee is used for selection.

The Award

A gold-plated medal carrying a portrait of Aston together with a certificate commemorating the Award duly signed by the BMSS Chairperson and BMSS President.

Aston Medal Holders

Professor John Beynon
Professor Allan Maccoll
Brian Green
Professor Keith Jennings
Professor Dai Games
Professor Colin Pillinger
Dr Tom Preston
Professor John Todd
Robert Bateman
Professor Richard Evershed
Professor Carol Robinson
Professor Tony Stace

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