Dr Kevin Smith is one of this year’s three recipients of SCI’s Distinguished Service Awards (DSA). He joined SCI in 1989 and is a committee member of SCI’s Lipids group. Here, Kevin describes his involvement and experiences at SCI.
When and why did you become a member of SCI?
In 1989, following encouragement from my manager at the time, I joined SCI to widen my network of contacts and to learn from those who had more experience of working in the same area as me.
Why did you decide to get involved in committee work?
Having experienced meetings organised by the Oils & Fats Group – as it was then – and having got to know many already on the committee, I was invited to join them in 2003. I felt that this was an opportunity both to give back to the organisation that had helped me and to inspire others.
What has driven your continued involvement with SCI?
SCI is in a pretty unique position between industry and academia. I share the desire to bridge that gap and SCI provides an important means of doing so.
How has being involved in SCI activities had an impact on your professional career?
Being part of SCI allowed me to build a strong and broad network that inspired and informed my research, both early in my career and later. The scope of the network that I had grown had a great bearing on my decision to become a consultant.
How do your SCI activities reflect your personal and professional interests?
Science rarely progresses in isolation. Rather, it is the collaboration of, and interaction between, people of diverse interest who share the same curiosity and desire for knowledge. SCI provides an important focus to working together. In addition, it provides a means of educating, training and mentoring young scientists.
What are your thoughts about receiving a Distinguished Service Award?
I was somewhat bemused by the nomination since I hadn’t considered that I had contributed much – I was simply doing what I enjoyed doing! However, it is extremely nice to know that my friends and colleagues at SCI, and on the Lipids Group committee, consider me worthy of such an award. I am very grateful for their support. I will certainly continue to ‘serve’ the SCI!