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Royal Medals

King George IV founded the Royal Medals in 1825.

The award 

Each year two medals are awarded for the most important contributions to the advancement of "Natural Knowledge” in the physical and biological sciences respectively. A third medal is awarded for distinguished contributions in the applied sciences.

The three Royal Medals, also known as the Queen’s Medals, are awarded annually by the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Council of the Society. Frederick Sanger FRS, Max Perutz FRS and Francis Crick FRS are among those who have been awarded a Royal Medal.

The Royal Medals were founded by HM King George IV in 1825. Between 1826 and 1964 two medals were awarded each year. In 1965 the third medal, covering the applied sciences, was introduced on behalf of HM The Queen.


The call for nominations is now closed. The next round of nominations will open in November 2021.

Past winners

Professor Herbert Huppert FRS is awarded the Royal Medal 2020 for his work at the forefront of research in fluid mechanics. As an applied mathematician he has consistently developed highly original analysis of key natural and industrial processes.

Dame Caroline Dean DBE FRS is awarded the Royal Medal 2020 for elucidating molecular mechanisms underlying seasonal timing in plants, thus discovering fundamental processes of plant developmental timing and the epigenetic basis of vernalization.

Professor Ian Shanks OBE FREng FRS is awarded the Royal Medal 2020 for extending knowledge of liquid crystals and applying this successfully to invent novel LCDs, and for developing commercial diabetes test strips, which have revolutionised the control and therefore the lives of diabetics worldwide.

See full list of past winners for the Royal Medal. 

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