Professor Michael Batty and Paul Theroux have both been awarded Royal Medals as part of a series of awards that recognise extraordinary achievement in geographical research, fieldwork and teaching, photography and public engagement.
The Royal Medals, which have been approved by Her Majesty the Queen, are amongst the highest honours of their kind in the world. They have been presented since the 1830s and past winners include David Livingstone, Captain Robert Scott and Sir David Attenborough.
Professor Batty, of the Bartlett School, University College London, receives this year’s Founder’s Medal for the development and promotion of the geographical models of cities. His ground-breaking research work focuses on concepts and methods for understanding how ‘smart cities’ function.
Professor Dame Judith Rees, President of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) said: “Michael Batty’s unparalleled work to develop a science of cities lies at the interface of geography and planning. He is one of the most influential practitioners in this field and wholly deserving of the Founder’s Medal.”
Paul Theroux receives this year’s Patron’s Medal for the encouragement of geographical discovery through travel writing. One of the world’s leading travel writers, he has published more than eighteen non-fiction books, including ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’.
Professor Dame Judith Rees said: “Paul Theroux’s writing has made a significant contribution to people’s understanding of the world in which we live and its people and cultures, whilst also inspiring the next generation of travel writers. I am delighted that he has been awarded the Patron’s Medal.”
This year, the Society’s medals and awards recognise eighteen different people for their outstanding contributions to geography. Amongst other recipients, writer Robert Macfarlane is awarded the Ness Award for his innovative writing on landscape, place and nature. His best-selling books, including ‘The Old Ways’, draw together geography and natural history.
1. 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
2. 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.
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, 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 1 June 2015 as part of the Society’s Annual General Meeting in London. Photos of the winners will be available the following 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 Batty CBE
for the development and promotion of geographical science of cities
Royal Medal - Patron’s Medal
for the encouragement of geographical discovery through travel writing
THE SOCIETY’S COUNCIL has made the following awards:
Professor Stephen Daniels
for research excellence in cultural geography
Dr Jayalaxshmi (Jay) Mistry
for policy-relevant, conservation-related research in the Global South
Cherry Kearton Medal and Award
for excellence in Amazonian photography as a record of natural history
Professor Gill Valentine
for publications relating to the geography of difference, equality and diversity
Professor David Martin
for influencing policy with respect to the census and its applications
Cuthbert Peek Award
Professor Heiko Balzter
for advancing geographical knowledge of human impact through earth observation
Gill Memorial Award
Dr Charlotte Lemanski
for early career achievement in the field of urban geography
Dr Robert Macfarlane
for popularising geography through writing about landscapes, place, travel and nature
for furthering the understanding of polar scientific research in Antarctica
Ordnance Survey Awards (two awards)
for excellence in geography education at secondary level
Taylor & Francis Award
Professor David Lambert
for leadership in the profession and practice of teaching geography
Alfred Steers Dissertation Prize
for the undergraduate geography dissertation judged to be the best in 2014
Dr Rory Horner
for the best article in the journal by a new researcher
Honorary Fellowship (two awards)
Professor Peter Wood
Professor Kenneth Gregory
in recognition of outstanding commitment and contribution to the Society’s work
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