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Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture

Professor Jon Agar, 2016 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Prize winner

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, and have been given annually.

The subject matter for the lecture is some aspect of the social function of science, as per the Bernal Lecture Fund endowed by John Desmond Bernal FRS, the philosophy of science as per the Medawar Lecture endowed by Peter Medawar FRS, and the history of science in recognition of John Wilkins FRS, the first Secretary of the Society.

Nominations for the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture 2017 have now closed. Medallists will be announced in July with the next round of nominations opening in November 2017.

Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medallist 2016

The Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal 2016 is awarded to Professor Jon Agar in recognition of his work as a leading figure in the history and philosophy of science, publishing ground breaking research on issues including military technology, the origins of computing, astronomy, surveillance, and public engagement with science.

Professor Agar will be presented with a medal of silver gilt, and a gift of £2,000 as part of his prize lecture to be given in Spring 2017.

Past winners

Professor Hasok Chang, Hans Rausing Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge, gave the 2015 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture with the talk 'Who cares about the history of science?'. 

Dr Roger Highfield, Director of External Affairs at the Science Museum Group, gave the 2012 Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Lecture on 'Heroes of science'.

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