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Royal Society David Attenborough Award and Lecture

Jonathan Van-Tam administering vaccine
Jonathan Van-Tam administering vaccine (credit Boston United)

Nominations now open

The call for nominations is now open. There is a new nomination system in place and so please ensure you read through the guidance document fully. 

This year, the Society is encouraging nominations of joint collaborations, groups or teams for almost all its medals to better represent how contemporary science is undertaken. In addition, the Society is extremely keen to broaden the diversity of those nominated for its awards, so do please consider all contacts and colleagues.  

You do not have to be a Fellow of the Royal Society to nominate or be nominated for any of the Royal Society medals and awards.

Nominations close on Friday 24 February 2023 at 3pm GMT.

Nominate now

David Attenborough Award and Lecture 2022 winner

Jonathan Van-TamJonathan Van-Tam

The Royal Society David Attenborough Award and Lecture is awarded to Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam for his critical role in public engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic as UK Deputy Chief Medical Officer, through national and international media.

The award

The Royal Society David Attenborough Award and Lecture is awarded annually to an individual for outstanding public engagement with science. The award, open to everyone, recognises high quality public engagement activities and complements the Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture. The award is named after the United Kingdom’s best-loved naturalist and broadcaster, and honorary Fellow of the Royal Society, David Attenborough. The medal is of silver gilt, is awarded annually and is accompanied by a gift of £2,500.


The Royal Society David Attenborough prize and lecture is open to UK/Commonwealth/Irish Republic citizens or those who have been residents for three or more years. There are no restrictions on career stage and nominations will remain valid and shall be considered by the award selection committee throughout three nomination cycles. 

For further information on the eligibility criteria and the nominations process, please see our guidance (PDF)


Nominations are now closed and will reopen in November 2022.

Past winners

Dr Adam Rutherford was awarded the The Royal Society David Attenborough Award in 2021 and presented his lecture The Politics of DNA.

Professor Alice Roberts was awarded The Royal Society David Attenborough Award in 2020 and presented her lecture Ancestors

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