Royal Society to honour the unsung heroes of science

02 April 2009

The Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, announced this week that it will recognise the unsung heroes of science, technology, engineering and maths for their work and commitment in these areas with a new award.  The Royal Society Hauksbee Awards will celebrate the contribution made to the UK science base by the many individuals who support these disciplines.

The call for nominations for the awards, which will be made in February 2010 as part of the Society’s 350th Anniversary celebrations, is now open. Employers and senior colleagues will have until 29 May 2009 to make nominations and up to ten recipients will receive a Royal Society engraved bronze medal, scroll and £500 at a ceremony held in London.

The Royal Society will recognise and reward those in roles that support the UK science base in the following categories: schools and colleges, universities, industry and the public sector. Nominations are expected to cover roles such as laboratory technicians, teachers, teaching assistants and many more.

The awards are named after Francis Hauksbee who was Isaac Newton's laboratory assistant at the Royal Society.  During his time as President, Newton appointed Hauksbee as curator and instrument maker, and Hauksbee later became a Fellow in his own right in 1705.

Professor Carol Robinson FRS, who is chair of the Hauksbee Awards Committee which will be selecting award recipients said:

“Many laboratories and science classrooms could not operate but for the dedication and skill of individuals working behind the scenes. These people are dedicated to their fields and inspire all around them. The Hauksbee Awards are a way for us to take note of the excellent work being done by these individuals and thank them for their invaluable contribution to the sciences.”