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Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture

John Wilkins FRS, John Desmond Bernal FRS, and Peter Medawar FRS

Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture winner 2021

WBM-Barrow-GreenProfessor June Barrow-Green (Credit Louise Vacher)

The Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture 2021 is awarded to Professor June Barrow-Green for her research in 19th and 20th century mathematics, notably on historical roots of modern computing, dynamical systems and the three-body problem. Her work places special emphasis on the under-representation of women in historical narratives and in contemporary mathematics. Her recent work includes decolonising of the mathematical curriculum.

Professor Barrow-Green will be presented with a medal and a gift of £2,000 at the associated prize lecture at a future date.

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

The award

The Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture is given for excellence in a subject relating to the history of science, philosophy of science or the social function of science. The Wilkins, Bernal and Medawar lectures were originally delivered as three separate lectures, each given triennially. Since 2007, they have been combined under the one title of the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture. The medal is of bronze, is awarded annually and is accompanied by a gift of £2,000. 


The Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar medal and lecture is open to UK/Commonwealth/Irish Republic citizens or those who have been residents for three or more years. There are no restrictions on career stage and nominations will remain valid and shall be considered by the award selection committee throughout three nomination cycles.


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

Past winners

Professor Jim Al-Khalili OBE FRS was awarded the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal in 2020 and presented his lecture What is (Quantum) Life? 

Professor Simon Schaffer was awarded the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal in 2019 and presented his lecture Defining science through history.

Professor Mark Jackson was awarded Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal in 2018 and presented his lecture Life begins at 40: the biological and cultural roots of the midlife crisis

See full list of all past winners of the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture.

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