Bob Geldof KBE and Professor Michael Storper have been awarded the Society’s two Royal Medals. These are part of a series of awards that recognise extraordinary achievement in geographical research, fieldwork and teaching, photography and public engagement.
The Royal Medals, of equal standing, have been approved by Her Majesty the Queen, and are among the highest honours of their kind in the world. They have been presented since the 1830s and past recipients include David Livingstone, Professor Diana Liverman and Sir David Attenborough.
Michael Storper, Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics and Political Science, is awarded this year’s Founder’s Medal for scholarship and leadership in human and economic geography. His research work focuses on contemporary forces of globalisation, technological development, and industrial change.
Professor Michael Storper holds chairs at LSE in London, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, and the University of California Los Angeles.
Broadcaster, writer and geographer Nicholas Crane, President of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said:
“Michael Storper’s research has enhanced our understanding of the significance of the region and the importance of regional economies. He has also conducted pioneering research on the role of informal institutions, as well as on the geography of clusters and innovation. Michael has been at the forefront of setting up the theoretical and empirical framework of modern economic geography, and his work has inspired a generation of geographers.”
Professor Michael Storper said: “Geographers’ research is essential to helping humanity find pathways to more just and peaceful societies that respect the environment and are based on respect for all peoples. I am honoured to take my place among other geographers recognised by the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) for their contributions to our discipline and our commitment to making a better world through geographical research.”
Bob Geldof KBE receives this year’s Patron’s Medal for raising global public awareness and challenging the causes of inequality in Africa.
Nicholas Crane said: “Bob Geldof is recognised for his role, over more than 30 years, in inspiring and encouraging people from across the world to discover for themselves some of the geographical issues faced in Africa and to become more aware of global poverty, inequality and the role of aid from the world’s richer countries."
Bob Geldof said: "I have few heroes. But of the few I have most are on the long and reverent list of recipients of this astonishing award. Equally I am proud of little in my life but, perhaps ridiculously to some, I am absurdly thrilled to be a Fellow of the RGS-IBG. Try and imagine what I feel now!”
This year, the Society’s medals and awards recognise twenty-one different people for their outstanding contributions to geography. Among other recipients, Dr Wendy Darke, Head of the BBC Natural History Unit, is awarded the Cherry Kearton Medal and Award for cinematography of the natural world.
1. For further media enquiries, including image requests, please contact the RGS-IBG Communications and Media Officer, Scott Edwards, on 020 7519 3019 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830 for 'the advancement of geographical science', today we deliver this objective through developing, supporting and promoting geographical research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, public engagement, and geography input to policy. We aim to foster an understanding and informed enjoyment of our world. We hold the world's largest private geographical collection and provide public access to it. We have a thriving Fellowship and membership and offer the professional accreditation 'Chartered Geographer’ www.rgs.org
3. The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)’s prestigious medals and awards recognise excellence in geographical research and fieldwork, teaching and public engagement. They are presented annually to individuals who have made outstanding achievements. Recipients join a prestigious list that includes Sir Alexander Burnes, David Livingstone, Alfred Russel Wallace, Captain R. Scott and more recently Professor Peter Haggett, Dr Sylvia Earle, Professor Diana Liverman, Sir Crispin Tickell and Sir David Attenborough www.rgs.org/medals.
4. Her Majesty the Queen approves the award of the Gold Medals – the Founder’s Medal and the Patron’s Medal – each year, both of which originated in 1831 as an annual gift of fifty guineas to the Society from King William IV. In 1839, it was agreed this sum should be converted into the two gold medals.
5. The awards will be presented on Monday 6 June 2016 as part of the Society’s Annual General Meeting in London. Photos of the winners will be available on the day from the RGS-IBG press office. The full list of medals and awards winners is as follows:
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN has approved the award of the ROYAL MEDALS as follows:
Royal Medal - Founder’s Medal
Professor Michael Storper
For scholarship and leadership in human and economic geography
Royal Medal - Patron’s Medal
Bob Geldof KBE
For raising global public awareness and challenging the causes of inequality in Africa
THE SOCIETY’S COUNCIL has made the following awards:
Professor Ronald Martin ScD FBA FAcSS
For research excellence in regional economic development
Professor Jo Sharp
For innovative field research and empowering others through fieldwork
Cherry Kearton Medal and Award
Dr Wendy Darke
For cinematography of the natural world
Professor Parvati Raghuram
For publications contributing to the geographical understandings of mobility
Professor Colin R. Thorne
For contributions to the scientific study of rivers and the shaping of national and international policy on rivers and flood risk management
Cuthbert Peek Award
Professor Dom Kniveton
For pioneering work on the impacts of climate change and environmental instability on human migration
Gill Memorial Awards (two awards this year)
Dr Harriet Hawkins
For outstanding early career research in creative geographies
Dr Joanna M. Nield
For outstanding early career research in aeolian processes and arid landform development
Ordnance Survey Awards (two awards)
Miss Joanna Debens
For excellence in geography education at the secondary level
Taylor & Francis Award
Dr Margaret H. Byron
For excellence in the promotion and practice of diversity in the teaching of human geography
Marjo T. Nurminen and Juha Nurminen
For collaborative research and writing on the cultural history of mapping
For popularising the histories of geography and of scientific botanical exploration
Alfred Steers Dissertation Prize
For the undergraduate geography dissertation judged to be the best in 2015
Dr Sam Halvorsen
For the best article in the journal by a new researcher
Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team
For outstanding collaborative work to foster student and wider public engagement with the ‘Jurassic’ coastline
Honorary Fellowship (two awards)
Mrs Hokey Bennett-Jones
In recognition of outstanding commitment and contribution to the Society
Neville Shulman CBE
In recognition of outstanding commitment and contribution to scientific exploration and the Society
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