On Monday 30th November Martin White joined the Strix Committee Chair, Doug Veal, at the RSC "Celebrating the history of chemical information" meeting to present the Tony Kent Strix 'Owl Trophy' and a certificate to Professor Michael Lynch.
Michael Lynch’s nomination for the UKeiG Tony Kent Strix Award was based on the first two award criteria, which the judges felt made a strong case. The nomination stated that his main contribution to a theoretical understanding of the information retrieval process was an extended analysis of the role of frequencies of occurrence of database characteristics on the efficiency of database searching. This approach, named variety generation, was first developed in the design of screening systems for chemical substructure searching, but was then shown to be applicable to increasing the efficiency of processing for a range of text-based phenomena, including compression, sorting and signature searching. In terms of the second criteria, the development of, or significant improvement in, mechanisms, a product or service for the retrieval of information, it was felt that, whilst at CAS Mike Lynch carried out some of the first experiments anywhere in the world on the use of computers for the creation and searching of both textual and chemical databases, work that led to the first version of the CAS Registry Service, the world’s premier information resource in chemistry. His work at Sheffield led directly to systems in use throughout the world for chemical substructure searching, for indexing databases of chemical reactions, and for the indexing and searching of the generic structures in chemical patents.