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Copley Medal

Copley medallist 2019

Professor John Goodenough ForMemRSProfessor John Goodenough ForMemRS

The Copley Medal 2019 is awarded to Professor John Goodenough ForMemRS in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the science and technology of materials, including his discovery that led to rechargeable lithium batteries. 

Professor Goodenough will be presented with a medal of silver gilt and a gift of £25,000 at the Premier Awards dinner in Autumn 2019.

The award

The Copley Medal is the Society’s oldest and most prestigious award. The medal is awarded for outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science.  

First awarded in 1731 following donations from Godfrey Copley FRS (PDF), it was initially awarded for the most important scientific discovery or for the greatest contribution made by experiment. The Copley Medal is thought to be the world's oldest scientific prize and it was awarded 170 years before the first Nobel Prize. Notable winners include Benjamin Franklin, Dorothy Hodgkin, Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin. The medal is of silver gilt, is awarded annually, alternating between the physical and biological sciences (odd and even years respectively), and is accompanied by a a gift of £25,000. 

Past winners

Professor Jeffrey Gordon was awarded the 2018 Copley Medal for his contributions to understanding the role of gut microbial communities to human health and disease.

Sir Andrew Wiles KBE FRS was awarded the Copley Medal in 2017 for his beautiful and unexpected proof of Fermat's Last Theorem which is one of the most important mathematical achievements of the 20th century.

Dr Richard Henderson FMedSci FRS was awarded the Copley Medal in 2016 in recognition of his fundamental and revolutionary contributions to the development of electron microscopy of biological materials, enabling their atomic structure to be deduced.  

To find out more about past winners you can read this series of blogs.

See full list of all past winners of the Copley Medal.

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