Lavoisier Medalists are extraordinary scientists and engineers.
The DuPont Lavoisier Medal honors men and women throughout the history of DuPont whose extraordinary technical achievements have resulted in significant business impact and enduring scientific value.
Eighteenth century French scientist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier is considered the father of modern chemistry. Through his observations and studies, Lavoisier was the first to conclude that water was a compound of the two gases we call oxygen and hydrogen. This fact supplied the keystone for building the science of chemistry. His major work, Traité élémentaire de chimie (1789), contains the concepts which set chemistry on its modern path.
There is a close personal connection between the father of modern chemistry and the founder of the DuPont Company. E.I. du Pont apprenticed under Lavoisier in gunpowder research and production. In 1802 E.I. du Pont established a company on the banks of the Brandywine River to manufacture high quality black powder for this emerging nation. E.I. had not only learned the most advanced powder making technologies from Lavoisier, he had absorbed the spirit of innovation.
It is an appropriate tribute that the medals awarded to outstanding scientists and engineers in DuPont bear the name Lavoisier. In scientific thought, in dedication to theory, observation and experimentation, in the breadth of efforts in public service, they are all both honorable and brilliant.