The Croonian Medal and Lecture is the premier lecture in the biological sciences. 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. The lecture series began in 1738. The medal is of silver gilt, is awarded annually and is accompanied by a gift of £10,000.
Professor Edward Boyden was awarded The Croonian Medal and Lecture 2020 for his inventions that expand our understanding of the brain and allow therapeutic development including the co-invention of optogenetics, a technology that has revolutionized neurobiology
Dame Kay Davies DBE FMedSci FRS was awarded the Croonian Medal and Lecture 2019 for her achievements in developing a prenatal test for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and her work on characterizing dystrophin related proteins.
Professor Jennifer Doudna ForMemRS was awarded the Croonian Medal and Lecture 2018 for her outstanding structural and functional studies of RNA and ribonucleoprotiens and for elucidating the molecular mechanism of the CRISPR-Cas9 system and developing it for genetic engineering.