Royal Society recognises excellence in science

09 June 2009

The Royal Society, the UK’s independent academy for science, has announced the recipients of its  2010 Awards, Medals, Royal Medals and Lectures today (9 June 2010). The scientists receive the awards in recognition of their achievements in a wide variety of fields of research - the uniting factor is the excellence of their work and the profound implications their findings have had for others working in their relevant fields and wider society.

Two Copley medals, the world’s oldest prize for scientific achievement, have been awarded this year in celebration of the Royal Society’s 350th Anniversary. They are awarded to Sir David Cox FRS for his seminal contributions to the theory and applications of statistics and to Dr Tomas Lindahl FRS for his seminal contributions to the understanding of the biochemistry of DNA repair.

Of his award Dr Tomas Lindahl FRS said:

“I am deeply honoured to be awarded the Copley medal.  I see this prestigious award as a recognition of the important field of DNA repair, which was a small and often ignored area of research when I did my first experiments on instability and repair of DNA 40 years ago.”

Sir David Cox FRS added:

“I am deeply honoured and indeed overwhelmed by the award of the Copley Medal with its illustrious history. Neither my theoretical nor my applied statistical research would have been possible without the collaboration of colleagues in many different fields.”

The Copley medal was first awarded by the Royal Society in 1731, 170 years before the first Nobel Prize. It is awarded for outstanding achievements in scientific research and has been awarded to such eminent scientists as Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

Dame Jean Thomas DBE FRS, Biological Secretary and Vice-President of the Royal Society, said:

“We are delighted to recognise not one, but two, remarkable scientists with the award of the Copley Medal in this our 350th Anniversary year, something that has not often been done in the Society’s long history. Both are exemplary scientists who have made invaluable contributions to their fields.”

The full list of recipients of Awards, Medals,  Royal Medals and Lectures for 2009 is below:

Copley Medals

Sir David Cox FRS for his seminal contributions to the theory and applications of statistics

Dr Tomas Lindahl FRS for his seminal contributions to the understanding of the biochemistry of DNA repair

Royal Medals

Professor Sir Peter Knight FRS for his pioneering research and international leadership in the field of quantum optics and quantum information science

Professor Azim Surani CBE FRS for his pivotal contributions to the understanding of early mammalian development

Professor Allen Hill FRS for his pioneering work on protein electrochemistry, which revolutionised the diagnostic testing of glucose and many other bioelectrochemical assays

Rumford Medal

Professor Gilbert Lonzarich FRS for his outstanding work into novel types of quantum matter using innovative instrumentation and techniques

Davy Medal

Professor Carol Robinson FRS for her ground-breaking and novel use of mass spectrometry for the characterisation of large protein complexes

Darwin Medal

Professor Bryan Clarke FRS for his original and influential contributions to our understanding of the genetic basis of evolution

Buchanan Medal

Professor Peter Cresswell FRS for his outstanding contributions to immunology, in particular to our understanding of the processing of foreign protein antigens within cells to stimulate T-cell immune responses

Sylvester Medal

Dr Graeme Segal FRS for his highly influential and elegant work on the development of topology, geometry and quantum field theory, bridging the gap between physics and pure mathematics

Hughes Medal

Professor Andre Geim FRS for his revolutionary discovery of graphene, and elucidation of its remarkable properties

Leverhulme Medal

Professor Martyn Poliakoff FRS for his outstanding contributions in the fields of Green Chemistry and supercritical fluids by the application of chemistry to advance chemical engineering processes

Gabor Medal

Professor Gideon Davies for his highly interdisciplinary work into the three-dimensional structures and reaction coordinates of enzymes, which has transformed glycobiochemistry

GlaxoSmithKline Prize and Lecture

Dr Stephen West FRS in recognition of his pioneering work on the molecular mechanisms of genetic recombination and DNA repair and their relation to tumorigenesis

Armourers and Brasiers’ Company Prize

Professor Philip Withers in recognition of his pioneering use of neutron and hard x-ray beams to map stresses and image defects in industrial scale components and devices

Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture

Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell DBE FRS in recognition of her excellence in communicating science

Rosalind Franklin Award

Professor Katherine Blundell for her scientific achievements in astrophysics, suitability as a role model and her proposal to promote women in STEM

Bakerian Lecture

Professor Herbert Huppert FRS for his seminal research into geological fluid dynamics

Clifford Paterson Lecture

Professor S. Ravi P. Silva for his outstanding contributions to basic science and engineering in the field of carbon nanoscience and nanotechnology

Croonian Lecture

Professor John Ellis FRS for his pioneering contributions to biochemistry, molecular cell biology and also plant sciences

Francis Crick Lecture

Professor Gil McVean for his major contributions to the field of population and statistical genetics