Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture

This prize lecture is given on a subject relating to the history of science, philosophy of science or the social function of science.

John Wilkins FRS, John Desmond Bernal FRS and Peter Medawar FRS. John Wilkins FRS, John Desmond Bernal FRS and Peter Medawar FRS.

The Wilkins, Bernal and Medawar lectures were originally delivered as three separate lectures, each given triennially. Since 2007, they have been combined under the one title of the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture, and have been given annually.

The subject matter for the lecture is some aspect of the social function of science, as per the Bernal Lecture Fund endowed by John Desmond Bernal FRS (PDF), the philosophy of science or some other field of interest to Peter Medawar FRS (PDF), and the history of science in recognition of John Wilkins FRS (PDF), the first Secretary of the Society.

If possible the Committee will award the lectureship to an early-to-mid career stage scientist, historian or philosopher. 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 lectureship is accompanied by a medal and a gift of £500. 

Nominations

The call for nominations is now closed.

The recipient is chosen by the Council of the Royal Society on the recommendation of the Public Engagement Committee. Nominations are valid for three cycles of consideration with re-nomination possible after one cycle has passed.

Roger Highfield

Most recent medallist

Dr Roger Highfield gave the 2012 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture on Heroes of science.

Prize lectures

Clifford Paterson Medal and Lecture: Given on a subject in the field of engineering.

Ferrier Medal and Lecture: Given on a subject relating to the structure and function of the nervous system.

Francis Crick Medal and Lecture: Given on a subject in the field of biology.

Kavli Medal and Lecture: Given on a subject relating to the environment or energy.

Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture: Given on a subject in the field of microbiology, bacteriology, virology, mycology, parasitology, and microscopy.

Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture: For excellence in communicating science to UK audiences.

Royal Society GlaxoSmithKline Prize and Lecture: For original contributions to medical and veterinary sciences.

Royal Society Milner Award: For outstanding achievement in computer science by a European researcher.

Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award and Lecture: To support the promotion of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Rutherford Memorial Lecture: An exchange lecture between university centres in the Commonwealth, with at least one in three delivered in New Zealand.

Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture: Given on a subject relating to the social function of science, the philosophy of science or the history of science.

See all medals, awards and prize lectures.

Contact us

For more information on this, and all Royal Society medals, awards and prize lectures, please contact awards@royalsociety.org.