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Royal Medals

Royal Medallists

King George IV founded the Royal Medals in 1825.

Royal Medal winners 2016

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.

Nominations for the three Royal Medals 2017 have now closed. Medallists will be announced in July with the next round of nominations opening in November 2017.

Royal Medallists 2016

Sir John Meurig Thomas HonFREng FRS is awarded the Royal Medal 2016 for his pioneering work within catalytic chemistry, in particular on single-site heterogeneous catalysts, which have had a major impact on green chemistry, clean technology and sustainability.

Professor Elizabeth Robertson FRS is awarded the Royal Medal 2016 for her innovative work within the field of mouse embryology and development, establishing the pathways involved in early body planning of the mammalian embryo.

Professor John Goodby FRS is awarded the Royal Medal 2016 for his major advances and discoveries of new forms of matter and materials, in particular the development of chiral liquid crystals.

The Royal Medallists will each be presented a medal of silver gilt, and a gift of £10,000  at the Premier Awards dinner in autumn 2016.

Past winners

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS was awarded the Royal Medal 2015 for her pivotal contribution in observing, analysing and understanding pulsars, one of the most important astronomical discoveries of the 20th century.

Dr Elizabeth Blackburn AC FRS was awarded the Royal Medal 2015 for her work on the prediction and discovery of telomerase and the role of telomeres in protecting and maintaining the genome.

Sir Christopher Llewellyn Smith FRS was awarded the Royal Medal 2015 for his major contributions to the development of the Standard Model, particularly his success in making the case for the building the LHC.

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