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Past medals, awards and prize lectures

Bernal Lecture

The Bernal Lecture is now incorporated into the annual Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture. Previously the Bernal Lecture was given triennially on some aspect of the social function of science.

The lectureship was established following a bequest by John Desmond Bernal FRS. The first lecture was given in 1971. The Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture was formed in 2006.

See full list of all past winners of the Bernal Lecture.

Blackett and Jagdish Chandra Bose Memorial Lectures

The Blackett Memorial Lecture (when held in India) and the Jagdish Chandra Bose Memorial Lecture (when held in the UK) were established by the Indian National Science Academy and the Royal Society in 1975. The Society proposed UK lecturers and the Academy proposed Indian lecturers.

The lecture was named in honour of the physicist Patrick Blackett FRS, who had close associations with India and Jagdish Chandra Bose FRS who studied in the UK.

See full list of all past winners of the Blackett and Jagdish Chandra Bose Memorial Lectures.

Florey Lecture 

The Florey Lecture was established by the Royal Society and the Australian National University in 1981. The lectures were given in alternate years in Australia and the United Kingdom at a number of institutions during a visit of between two and six weeks. The subjects of the lectures were those in which Howard Florey FRS was himself interested. The lecture was given for the last time in 1992.

See full list of all past winners of the Florey Lecture.

Humphry Davy and Claude Bernard Lectures

The Humphry Davy Lecture (when held in France) and the Claude Bernard Lecture (when held in the UK) was established by the Académie des Sciences and the Royal Society in 1984.

The lecture was named in honour of Humphry Davy FRS, who travelled in France and the physiologist Claude Bernard.

See full list of all past winners of the Humphry Davy and Claude Bernard Lectures.

Medawar Lecture

The Medawar Lecture is now incorporated into the annual Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture. Previously the Medawar Lecture was given triennially on the subject of the philosophy of science or some other field of Peter Medawar’s interest. The Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture was formed in 2006.

The lectureship was established following an anonymous bequest in honour of Peter Medawar FRS. The first lecture was given in 1986. 

See full list of all past winners of the Medawar Lecture.

Royal Society Mercer Prize

The award was open to any post-doctoral researcher in academic organisations, research institutes or any other research and technology organisation, including SME commercial organisations.

Nominations were invited from all Fellows of the Society, Society research award holders, research institutions and industry. Self-nominations were allowed.

The medal was of silver gilt and accompanied by a gift of £5,000 and a grant of up to £25,000.

Philips Lecture 

The Philips Lecture was established by the Royal Society with support from Philips Industries Limited in 1980, the object being to strengthen contacts between the Society and industry and more generally between universities and industry. The general theme of the series was science in industry. The lecture was annual and was given for the last time in 1992.

See full list of all past winners of the Philips Lecture.

Pilgrim Trust Lecture 

The Pilgrim Trust Lecture was arranged by the Royal Society and the National Academy of Sciences, in Washington, to be given alternately in London and Washington. It was supported by the Pilgrim Trust. The lectures were given between 1938 - 1945.

See full list of all past winners of the Pilgrim Trust Lecture.

Royal Society and Académie des sciences Microsoft Award 

The Royal Society and Académie des sciences Microsoft Award was designed to recognise and reward scientists working in Europe who have made a major contribution to the advancement of science through the use of computational methods.

The award was jointly established by the Royal Society and the Académie des sciences, with the support of Microsoft Research. The first award was made in 2006.

It has been replaced by the Royal Society Milner Award.

See full list of all past winners of the Royal Society and Académie des sciences Microsoft Award.

Royal Society Esso Energy Award 

The Royal Society Esso Energy Award was “for outstanding contributions to the advancement of science,engineering or technology leading to the more efficient mobilization, use or conservation of energy resources.”

The award was supported by the Esso Petroleum Company Limited and was awarded for the final time in 1999.

See full list of all past winners of the Royal Society Esso Energy Award.

The medal was of gold and was accompanied by a gift of £2,000.

Royal Society Hauksbee Award 

The Royal Society Hauksbee Awards were made in 2010 to recognise and reward excellence in supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics in the UK and to mark the Society’s 350th anniversary.

The awards were named after Francis Hauksbee FRS, who was Isaac Newton's laboratory assistant at the Royal Society. During his time as President, Newton appointed Hauksbee as curator and instrument maker, and Hauksbee later became a Fellow in his own right in 1705.

The winners were:

  • Mr Trevor Beek, Technician, Department of Physics, Imperial College London
  • Mr Alex Brooks, Teacher, Design and Technology, Barking Abbey School, Barking
  • Ms Judith Green, Advanced Skills Teacher (AST), The Robert Smyth School, Market Harborough
  • Dr Sharon Hannah, Laboratory Manager, MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, University of Edinburgh
  • Mr Timothy Harrison, School Teacher Fellow, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol
  • Mr Robert MacDonald, Faculty Head of Science, Selby High School, Selby
  • Mr Ian Miller, Grade 7 Technician, Department of Physics, Lancaster University
  • Miss Caroline Molyneux, Head of Science Department, Balshaw's CE High School, Leyland
  • Mr Christopher Newsome, Science Technician, Parkside School, Cullingworth
  • Mr Kerry Pendergast, Science Teacher, West Monmouth School, Pontypool

Royal Society Kohn Award

The Royal Society Kohn Award was for UK-based early-career stage scientists who had undertaken high-quality public engagement activities which had a strategic impact on institutions, organisations and cultures, and whose career and future public engagement activities benefited from the award.

The medal was of silver gilt and was accompanied by a grant of £7,500 for science communication activities and a gift of £2,500.

The award was supported by the Kohn Foundation and was first awarded in 2005.

See full list of all past winners of the Royal Society Kohn Award.

Tercentenary Lectures 

These lectures were given in 1960 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the Royal Society.

See full list of all past winners of the Tercentenary Lectures.

UK-Canada Rutherford Lecture 

The lecture was established by the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society and was first delivered in 1982.

See full list of all past winners of the UK-Canada Rutherford Lecture.

Wilkins Lecture

The Wilkins Lecture is now incorporated into the annual Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture. Previously the Wilkins Lecture was given triennially on the subject of the history of science.

The lectureship was established following an endowment by JD Griffith Davies, Assistant Secretary of the Society from 1937 to 1946. The first lecture was given in 1948. The Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture was formed in 2006.

See full list of all past winners of the Wilkins Lecture.