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Royal Medals

Royal Medal winners 2020

King George IV founded the Royal Medals in 1825.

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.

The Royal Medallists will each be awarded with a medal of silver gilt, and a gift of £10,000 at the Premier Awards Dinner to be held at a future date.

Return to this year's Royal Society medal, award and prize winners.

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 2020.

Sign up to be notified when nominations open. 

Past winners

Dame Carol Robinson DBE FMedSci FRS is awarded the Royal Medal 2019 for her pioneering work on structural biology improving the understanding of proteins their interactions and functional regulation.

Dr Michel Goedert FMedSci FRS is awarded the Royal Medal 2019 for identifying and characterising assembled tau protein and alpha-synuclein and showing that they form the inclusions of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Dame Ann Dowling OM DBE FREng FRS is awarded the Royal Medal 2019 for her leading research on the reduction of combustion, aerodynamic noise and the design of aircraft, and her distinguished services to engineering.

See full list of past winners for the Royal Medal. 

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