|Sir Martyn Poliakoff
CBE CChem FRS FRSC FIChemE
Poliakoff during the filming of his online video series
|Born||16 December 1947|
|Alma mater||King's College, Cambridge|
|Spouse(s)||Janet Frances Keene|
|Awards||Fellow of the Royal Society (2002)
Order of the British Empire (2008)
Knight Bachelor (2015)
|Thesis||The matrix isolation of large molecules. The photochemistry of transition metal carbonyls (1973)|
|Doctoral advisor||J. J. Turner|
Sir Martyn Poliakoff CBE CChem FRS FRSC FIChemE (born 16 December 1947) is a British chemist, working on gaining insights into fundamental chemistry and also on developing environmentally acceptable processes and materials. The core themes of his work are supercritical fluids, infrared spectroscopy and lasers. He is a Research Professor in Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. His group comprises several members of staff, postdoctoral research fellows, postgraduate students and overseas visitors. As well as carrying out research at the University of Nottingham he is a popular lecturer, teaching a number of modules including green chemistry where much of his research lies. He is also known for his participation in The Periodic Table of Videos.
Poliakoff was educated at Westminster School followed by King's College, Cambridge graduating with a B.A. degree in 1969 and Ph.D. degree in 1973 under the supervision of J. J. Turner. While an undergraduate at Cambridge, Poliakoff met and become close friends with Tony Judt, who later became a widely known historian and writer.
Poliakoff is the narrator in most of a series of over 500 short videos called The Periodic Table of Videos, which is a popular science project, produced by Brady Haran, originally intended to familiarize the public with all 118 elements of the periodic table. The project has since expanded to cover molecules; there are also several special videos about other chemical topics. He hit the news for calculating that the FIFA World Cup Trophy could not have been made from solid gold as it would be too heavy to raise aloft.
Honours and awards
Poliakoff was awarded the Meldola Medal and Prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1976. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2002, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) also in 2002, and Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (FIChemE) in 2004. He served on the IChemE Council between 2009 and 2013. Poliakoff was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours  and is a member of the Advisory Council for the Campaign for Science and Engineering since 2008. In 2008, he was elected an Honorary Member of the Chemical Society of Ethiopia and a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2011. He took up the position of Foreign Secretary and Vice-president of the Royal Society in November 2011. In 2011, he won the Nyholm Prize for Education. In 2012, Poliakoff was elected a Fellow of the Academia Europaea and in 2013, an Associate Fellow of TWAS, the World Academy of Science. He was elected an Associate Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences in 2014. Poliakoff was knighted in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to the chemical sciences.
Poliakoff was born to an English mother, Ina (née Montagu), and a Russian father, Alexander Poliakoff, both Jewish. Poliakoff has a daughter, Ellen Poliakoff, a psychology lecturer at the University of Manchester; and a son, Simon Poliakoff, a physics teacher. His brother is the screenwriter and director, Stephen Poliakoff. Martyn Poliakoff was a lifelong friend of Tony Judt and produced a web eulogy of Judt in 2010.
- "‘POLIAKOFF, Prof. Martyn’, Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012 ; online edn, Nov 2012".(subscription required)
- http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/supercritical/beta/mp-entry.html Martyn Poliakoff's biography at the University of Nottingham
- "Tracking Traffic - Periodic Table of Videos". Material World. 28 August 2008. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 2014-01-18.
- Parrott, A. J.; Bourne, R. A.; Akien, G. R.; Irvine, D. J.; Poliakoff, M. (2011). "Self-Optimizing Continuous Reactions in Supercritical Carbon Dioxide". Angewandte Chemie International Edition 50 (16): 3788–3792. doi:10.1002/anie.201100412. PMID 21442710.
- Bourne, R. A.; Han, X.; Chapman, A. O.; Arrowsmith, N. J.; Kawanami, H.; Poliakoff, M.; George, M. W. (2008). "Homogeneous photochemical oxidation via singlet O2 in supercritical CO2". Chemical Communications (37): 4457–4459. doi:10.1039/b806063k. PMID 18802589.
- Poliakoff, M.; Licence, P. (2007). "Sustainable technology: Green chemistry". Nature 450 (7171): 810–812. doi:10.1038/450810a. PMID 18064000.
- Asfaw, N.; Chebude, Y.; Ejigu, A.; Hurisso, B. B.; Licence, P.; Smith, R. L.; Tang, S. L. Y.; Poliakoff, M. (2011). "The 13 Principles of Green Chemistry and Engineering for a Greener Africa". Green Chemistry 13 (5): 1059. doi:10.1039/c0gc00936a.
- List of publications from Microsoft Academic Search
- Poliakoff, Martyn (1973). The matrix isolation of large molecules. The photochemistry of transition metal carbonyls (DPhil thesis). University of Cambridge.
- Poliakoff, M.; Turner, J. J. (1970). "The infrared spectra of trimetal carbonyl species in frozen gas matrices at 20°K". Journal of the Chemical Society D: Chemical Communications (16): 1008. doi:10.1039/C29700001008.
- Toast to Tony, Periodic Table of Videos, accessed 22 January 2015.
- Haran, B.; Poliakoff, M. (2011). "How to measure the impact of chemistry on the small screen". Nature Chemistry 3 (3): 180–182. doi:10.1038/nchem.990. ISSN 1755-4330. OCLC 4795274937. PMID 21336314.
- Haran, B.; Poliakoff, M. (2011). "The Periodic Table of Videos". Science 332 (6033): 1046–1047. doi:10.1126/science.1196980. ISSN 0036-8075. OCLC 4898209818. PMID 21617067.
- Chemistry of the World Cup trophy on YouTube
- "Professor says World Cup trophy cannot be solid gold". BBC News. 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- "Doubts raised over World Cup trophy". Rthk.org.hk. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- Turner, James J.; Poliakoff, Martyn (1997-07-24). "Obituary : Professor Jeremy Burdett". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "The Royal Society Fellows". The Royal Society. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
- "Martyn Poliakoff". University of Nottingham. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
- "Professor Sir Martyn Poliakoff". Retrieved 2015-04-12.
- "Advisory Council of the Campaign for Science and Engineering". Retrieved 2011-02-11.
- Poliakoff, Martyn. "The Royal Society, the Foreign Secretary, and International Relations". http://www.sciencediplomacy.org/. Science & Diplomacy.
- The Royal Society – profile
- "Nyholm Prize for Education 2011 Winner". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2014.
- 2015 New Year Honours List
- "New Year Honours: YouTube sensation Professor Martyn Poliakoff to be knighted for making chemistry fun to learn". Notthingham Post. Retrieved 2014-12-30.
- "Stephen Poliakoff Biography (1952?–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
- Dr. Ellen Poliakoff, University of Manchester
- http://www.periodicvideos.com/videos/feature_tony_judt.htm Tony Judt Tribute
- Royal Society profile
- Grants awarded to Martyn Poliakoff by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
- Martyn Poliakoff talks about the Periodic Table of Videos on YouTube