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Croonian Medal and Lecture

Premier lecture in biological sciences. 

William Croone FRS

Professor Enrico Coen CBE FRSProfessor Enrico Coen CBE FRS

Professor Enrico Coen CBE FRS was awarded the 2016 Croonian Medal and Lecture for his work resulting in a new theoretical and experimental foundation for understanding how the shapes of biological structures arise through development and evolution.

I have had a lifelong obsession with understanding how biological structures like flowers and leaves build themselves and evolve.  It is an obsession I have had the pleasure of sharing with many wonderful colleagues and it is enormously gratifying to have our work recognised through such a prestigious award.

Professor Nicholas Davies FRS was awarded the 2015 Croonian Lecture for his work on the co-evolved responses of brood parasitic cuckoos and their hosts, the process of co-evolution and adaptation and the extraordinary biology of these unusual birds.

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

The award

This prize lecture is the premier lecture in the biological sciences. It is delivered annually at the Royal Society in London and is accompanied by a medal and a gift of £10,000.

The lectureship was conceived by William Croone FRS (PDF), one of the original Fellows of the Society. Among the papers left on his death in 1684 were plans to endow two lectureships, one at the Royal Society and the other at the Royal College of Physicians. His widow later bequeathed the means to carry out the scheme and indicated that the bequest was “for the support of a lecture and illustrative experiment for the advancement of natural knowledge on local motion, or (conditionally) of such other subjects as, in the opinion of the President for the time being, should be most useful in promoting the objects for which the Royal Society was instituted”. The lecture series began in 1738.


The call for nominations is now closed. The next call for nominations 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 restrictions on this award.