The SCI Distinguished Service Award is given to honour members for their long-term service, hard work and enthusiastic efforts to further the aims of the Society. Dr Andrew Rous was nominated for this Award by his colleagues in the All Ireland Group, in recognition of his instrumental role in the revival of the Group from the late 1990s to the early 2000s; collaborating with other Groups and societies. He currently serves as the All Ireland Group's Treasurer.
Dr Andrew Rous obtained a BA in Natural Sciences at Cambridge in 1979, the year that the UK elected a chemistry graduate as Prime Minister. He went on to obtain a PhD with Professor Mike Page at Huddersfield, and then undertook a two-year postdoctorate at Leicester, and a second at Trinity College Dublin. It was in Dublin that Dr Rous joined the SCI and later became an active member of the committee.
At the time, the committee faced a number of challenges: as the Irish economy expanded dramatically in the period, Dublin experienced city centre congestion, which made it difficult for many members based outside the city centre to attend events at the traditional venue. In addition, Guinness had recently closed its research division, which had long been a source of active SCI members. With Dr Rous' help, the committee worked hard to tackle these problems in a number of innovative ways, including taking the speakers to the audience, rather than the other way around.
Dr Rous served as the committee's Secretary between 1999 and 2002, then Chairman between 2002 and 2005, and has since acted as Treasurer. 'Serving as Treasurer of the only UK regional Group to operate in the Eurozone can be an interesting experience, not least as we frequently provide the coordinating account (in euros) for events organised by other Groups of the Society,' comments Dr Rous. 'The inclusion of Northern Ireland in our remit, effectively makes us dual currency, which will doubtless bring its own challenges.'
The SCI Awards Committee selected Dr Andrew Rous as one of two recipients of the Distinguished Service Award, presented at SCI's Annual General Meeting on 7 July 2010.