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Darwin Medal

Charles Darwin FRS
Charles Darwin FRS

The award

The Darwin Medal is awarded for work of distinction in evolution, biological diversity and developmental, population and organismal biology. The Darwin Medal was created in memory of Charles Darwin FRS and was first awarded in 1890 to noted biologist and naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace FRS 'for his independent origination of the theory of the origin of species by natural selection.' The medal is of silver gilt, was awarded biennially until 2018 and is now awarded annually, and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000. 


The Darwin medal 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. Teams or groups may now be nominated for this award. 


Nominations are now closed. Nominations will reopen in November 2022. 

Past winners

Professor Dolph Schluter FRS was awarded the Darwin Medal 2021 for major and fundamental contributions to the understanding of the how species originate, adaptive radiations develop, and geographical patterns of biodiversity emerge and are maintained.

Professor Robert Martienssen FRS was awarded the Darwin Medal 2020 for outstanding contributions to genetics and epigenetics, including defining the role of RNA interference in inherited gene silencing and in genomic stability in the germ line.

Professor Peter Holland FRS was awarded the Darwin Medal 2019 for his work with many organisms and genes elucidating key aspects of how changes in the genome influence evolution of animal development. 

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

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