The Royal Society of Chemistry’s (RSC’s) chief executive Helen Pain is one of several members of the chemical sciences community to have been recognised in the UK’s 2024 New Year Honours list.

Pain, who has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to science, said she was ‘immensely proud’ to be recognised for her contributions to the field.

Biomedical materials scientist Molly Stevens, who holds positions at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London, was awarded the rank of Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to medicine, while Yvonne Perrie, an expert in drug delivery systems and head of the Institute for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Strathclyde was made MBE for services to pharmaceutical innovation and regulation.

Two leaders at the Met Office were included in the honours list; Penelope Endersby, its first female chief executive and an expert in armour and explosives was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to meteorology, defence science and technology, while Peter Stott, a science fellow in climate attribution who also holds a position at the University of Exeter, was made a MBE for his services to climate science.

Imperial College London chemist Richard Templer was recognised with the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to climate innovation, while biotechnology company Exscientia’s chief executive Andrew Hopkins was recognised with a CBE for services to science and to innovation.

Honours were also awarded to people who have supported science and the environment in government.

Kay Williams, head of international chemicals, pesticide and hazardous waste in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) was made MBE for services to the international environment and charitable service through Bees Abroad, an organisation working directly with local communities to mentor and train in beekeeping.

Michael Collins, a former science lead on EU and international science partnerships at Defra was made MBE for his services to international science policy, while Karl Hoods, chief digital and information officer in the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology and Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, was recognised with a CBE for services to technology and to education.

Elizabeth Hogben who had served as secretary on the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology, in the Government Office for Science was appointed an OBE for services to science in government.

Several people were recognised for their efforts to improve inclusion and diversity within the sciences. Simon Grant, technical director at the chemical manufacturing company Thomas Swan was appointed a MBE for his services to diversity in the chemical industry. Margaret Aderin, chancellor at the University of Leicester, received the title of DBE for her services to science education and to diversity, and Kirsty Tilley, programme manager in the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory at the Ministry of Defence was awarded a medal of the order of the British Empire for services to defence and to inclusion.