Darwin Medal

This medal is awarded for work of acknowledged distinction in evolution, population biology, organismal biology and biological diversity.


The Darwin Medal is awarded biennially (in even years) for "work of acknowledged distinction in the broad area of biology in which Charles Darwin worked, notably in evolution, population biology, organismal biology and biological diversity.”

The medal was created in memory of Charles Darwin FRS and was first awarded in 1890.

If possible the Committee will award the medal to an early-to-mid career scientist. The award is open to citizens of a Commonwealth country or of the Irish Republic or those who have been ordinarily resident and working in a Commonwealth country or in the Irish Republic for a minimum of three years immediately prior to being proposed.

The recipient is chosen by the Council of the Royal Society on the recommendation of the Biological Sciences Awards Committee. Nominations are valid for five years after which the candidate cannot be re-nominated until a year after the nomination has expired. The medal is accompanied by a gift of £1,000.


The next call for nominations for this award will open in 2015.

Professor Timothy Clutton-Brock

Most recent medallist

Professor Timothy Clutton-Brock FRS was awarded the Darwin Medal in 2012  for his outstanding work on the diversity of animal societies and demonstration of their effects on the evolution of reproductive strategies, the operation of selection and the dynamics of populations.


Buchanan Medal: For distinguished contributions to the medical sciences.

Darwin Medal: For work of acknowledged distinction in evolution, population biology, organismal biology and biological diversity.

Davy Medal: For important discoveries in chemistry.

Gabor Medal: For interdisciplinary work between the life sciences with other disciplines.

Hughes Medal: For original discoveries relating to the generation, storage and use of energy.

Kavli Education Medal: For impact in the field of science and mathematics education.

Leverhulme Medal: For significant contributions to chemistry or engineering.

Royal Society King Charles II Medal: For foreign Heads of State or Government who have made an outstanding contribution to furthering scientific research in their country.

Rumford Medal: For important discoveries in the field of thermal or optical properties of matter.

Sylvester Medal: For mathematical research.

See all medals, awards and prize lectures.

Open Biology journal

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Photos of the Darwin Medal

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