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Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture

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

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 criteria, terms and conditions (PDF) should be read before submitting a nomination.


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 will be awarded the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture 2020 for his exceptional work in explaining complex ideas in modern physics in an approachable way, his contributions to televised histories of electricity and quantum physics, and his work ranging from very recent history of science to the history of Arabic science.

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

Professor Mark Jackson was awarded the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lectur 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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