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Bakerian Medal and Lecture

Premier lecture in physical sciences.

Henry Baker FRS

Professor Andrea GhezProfessor Andrea Ghez

Professor Andrea Ghez was awarded the 2016 Bakerian Lecture for her acclaimed discoveries using the techniques of optical astronomy, especially her sustained work on the motions and nature of the stars orbiting the black hole in the centre of our Galaxy 

I’m thrilled to receive the 2016 Bakerian Medal!   As the original suggestion that our Galaxy might harbor a supermassive black hole was made 40 years ago by Donald Lynden-Bell and Martin Rees,  it is a particular pleasure to be presenting the results of our 20 year study that has shown that this is indeed the case at the Royal Society.

Professor John Ellis CBE FRS was awarded the 2015 Bakerian Lecture for his ground breaking contributions in the physics of the Higgs boson and his attempts at unifying the fundamental forces of nature through his work at the LHC.

Among the previous winners of the lectureship are Athene Donald FRS and Dorothy Hodgkin FRS.

See full list of all past winners of the Bakerian Medal and Lecture.

The award

This prize lecture is the premier lecture in the physical sciences.

The lectureship was established through a bequest by Henry Baker FRS (PDF) of £100 for an oration or discourse “on such part of natural history or experimental philosophy, at such time and in such manner as the President and Council of the Society for the time being shall please to order and appoint”. The lecture series began in 1775.

The Bakerian Medal and Lecture is delivered annually at the Royal Society in London and is accompanied by a medal and a gift of £10,000.


The call for nominations is now closed. Nominations for the 2017 Bakerian Lecture will open in November 2015.

The recipient is chosen by the Council of the Royal Society on the recommendation of the Premier Awards Committee. The committee will consider the nomination a maximum of 3 times, before the nomination is retired. Re-nomination is possible after 1 round has passed.

There are no geographical nomination restrictions on this award.