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Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture

To the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary.

Michael Faraday FRS

The award

The award is named after Michael Faraday FRS (PDF), the influential inventor and electrical pioneer who was prominent in the public communication of science and founded the Christmas lectures at the Royal Institution. The first award was made in 1986.

The Royal Society Michael Faraday Prize is awarded annually to the scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary. Normally, preference will be given to a practising scientist or engineer, but other individuals whose primary expertise is in writing, broadcasting or other relevant forms of communication may also be considered.

The medal is of silver gilt and is accompanied by a gift of £2,500. The winner is called upon to deliver a lecture at the Society.


The call for nominations is now closed. Nominations for next year's prize will open on 30 November 2016.

The recipient is chosen by the Council of the Royal Society on the recommendation of the Public Engagement 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.

Teams are not normally considered, except where each member made an individual and clearly identifiable contribution. A scientist whose contribution was essentially a single item (for example, a lecture or book) would also not be considered.

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.

The winner will be selected based on the following criteria

The recipient is required to give an agreed lecture (usually in January of the following year).

Past winners

Professor Katherine WillisProfessor Katherine Willis

Professor Katherine Willis was awarded the 2015 Michael Faraday Prize  for her excellent work in science communication. Professor Willis will present her prize lecture on 11 February 2016.

See full list of all past winners of the Michael Faraday Prize.