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Davy Medal

For important an outstandingly important recent discovery in any branch of chemistry.

Humphry Davy FRS

Professor Gideon John Davies FMedSci FRSProfessor Gideon John Davies FMedSci FRS

Professor Gideon John Davies FMedSci FRS was awarded the 2015 Davy Medal for his field-defining work in determining the reaction chemistry of enzyme-catalysed carbohydrate transformations with major applications in medicine and biotechnology. 

It is deeply humbling to be awarded the Davy Medal of the Royal Society;  an award so steeped in science history. It is testament to the dedication of my research team who tackle the challenging areas of carbohydrate chemistry and glycobiology so enthusiastically.

Professor Clare Grey FRS was awarded the 2014 Davy Medal for further pioneering applications of solid state nuclear magnetic resonance to materials of relevance to energy and the environment.

Past winners include Marie and Pierre Curie, for their research on radium, and Dame Kathleen Lonsdale FRS, for her studies in the structure and growth of crystals.

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

The award

The medal is named after Humphry Davy FRS, the chemist and inventor of the Davy Lamp, and was first awarded in 1877. The Davy Medal is awarded annually “for an outstandingly important recent discovery in any branch of chemistry”. Originally it was stipulated that the discovery must have been made in Europe or North America, but this restriction has now been removed.

The medal is of bronze and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000.


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 Physical Sciences 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.

The award is open to citizens of a Commonwealth country or of the Irish Republic or those who have been ordinarily resident and working in a Commonwealth country or in the Irish Republic for a minimum of 3 years immediately prior to being proposed.