Royal Society announces 2011 Copley Medal recipient

19 July 2011

The Royal Society, the UK’s independent academy for science, has announced the recipients of its 2011 Awards, Medals and Prize Lectures today (19 July 2011). 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.

This year’s Copley Medal has been awarded to Professor Dan McKenzie FRS. 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.

Of his award Professor McKenzie said:

“I was surprised and delighted to be awarded the Copley Medal.  It is very special to be honoured by one's colleagues in this way.”

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said:

“We’re very pleased to be able to recognise these outstanding scientists in this way. The Society’s awards and medals are a crucial part of our work in highlighting excellence in science across the disciplines. This year’s recipients represent the very best science taking place across the globe.”

The full list of recipients of Awards, Medals and Prize Lectures for 2011 is below:

Premier Awards

Copley Medal

Professor Dan McKenzieFRS for his seminal contributions to the understanding of geological and geophysical phenomena including tectonic plates.

Royal Medals

Professor Steven Ley CBE FRS for his pioneering research in organic chemistry and outstanding contributions to the methodology of synthesis.

Dr Robin Holliday FRS for his highly influential discoveries of the 'Holliday junction' structure in meiotic recombination and the function of DNA methylation at CG base pairs.

Sir Gregory Winter CBE FRS for his pioneering work in protein engineering and therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, and his contributions as an inventor and entrepreneur.


Davy Medal

Professor Ahmed Zewail ForMemRS for his seminal contributions to the study of ultrafast reactions and the understanding of transition states in chemistry, and to dynamic electron microscopy.

Buchanan Medal

Professor Stephen Jackson FRS for his outstanding contributions to understanding, DNA repair and DNA damage response signalling pathways.

Hughes Medal

Professor Matthew Rosseinsky FRS for his highly influential discoveries in the synthetic chemistry of solid state electronic materials and novel microporous structures.

Gabor Medal

Professor Angela McLean FRS for her pivotal work on the mathematical population biology of immunity.


Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture

Professor Colin Pillinger FRS for his excellent work in science communication.

Kohn Award

Dr Chris Lintott for his excellent engagement with society in matters of science and its societal dimension.

Rosalind Franklin Award

Professor Francesca Happé for her scientific achievements, suitability as a role model and her proposal to promote women in STEM.

Prize lectures

Kavli Medal and Lecture 2011
Professor Clare Grey FRS for her pioneering work in the use of solid state NMR in the development of lithium-ion batteries.

Francis Crick Lecture 2011
Dr Simon Boulton for his exceptional achievements in the field of DNA repair and genome instability.

Five prize lectures for 2012 have also been chosen and are as follows:

Bakerian Lecture 2012
Professor Peter Edwards FRS for his decisive contributions to the physics, chemistry and materials science of condensed matter including his work on the metal-to-insulator transition.

Croonian Lecture 2012
Professor Tim Bliss FRS for his seminal contributions to the discovery of long-term potentiation in the brain, which has revolutionised our understanding of the basis of memory.

Leeuwenhoek Lecture 2012
Dr Brad Amos FRS for his exceptional impact on the field of cell biology through his co-development of the laser scanning confocal microscope.

Clifford Paterson Lecture 2012
Professor Molly Stevens for her significant contributions to the biomedical applications of materials science.

Francis Crick Lecture 2012
Dr Sarah Teichmann for her exceptional achievements in structural bioinformatics relating to decoding the principles of protein interactions.

For further information on the Royal Society’s Awards, Medals and Prize Lectures please visit the Awards page