Professor Geoffrey Boulton and Hans Rosling are awarded Royal Medals, which have been approved by Her Majesty the Queen and are amongst the highest honours of their kind in the world. These medals have been awarded since the 1830s, when the Society was founded, and past winners include David Livingstone, Alfred Russel Wallace, Robert Falcon Scott and Sir David Attenborough.
Professor Boulton of the University of Edinburgh receives this year’s Founder’s Medal for the development and promotion of glaciology.
Professor Dame Judith Rees, the Society’s President, says: “Within the field of glacial science, Professor Geoffrey Boulton is one of the most influential practitioners of his generation. Current generations follow and test concepts set out by him. Even in retirement he is still pushing frontiers: using geophysics beneath an Antarctic ice stream to observe the process of drumlin formation.”
Hans Rosling of the Gapminder Foundation receives this year’s Patron’s Medal for the encouragement and development of the public understanding of geographical data and influencing decision makers across the world.
Professor Dame Judith Rees says: “Hans Rosling is changing the way very significant numbers of people access data. Through animated statistics and interactive graphics he helps people to understand how the world is changing. His work epitomises the encouragement and promotion of geographical science, by a non-geographer.”
Among other recipients is broadcaster and writer Nicholas Crane, who is awarded the Ness Award by the Society’s Council for popularising geography and the understanding of Britain. Michael Palin, when nominating Nicholas for the award, said: “Over many years his prodigious, high quality output has done an enormous amount to engage the British public with geography.”
Notes to editors:
1. The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830, our Royal Charter of 1859 is 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 enquires please contact the RGS-IBG Communications and Media Officer, Ben Parfitt on 020 7519 3019 or email@example.com . Photos of recipients available on request.
3. Since 1832, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)’s prestigious medals and awards have recognised excellence in geographical research and fieldwork, teaching and public engagement. They are presented annually in recognition of those 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 are presented as part of the Society’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) that takes place on Monday 9 June 2014 at the Society’s headquarters, Lowther Lodge, Kensington Gore, London. 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 Geoffrey Boulton
for the development and promotion of glaciology
Royal Medal - Patron’s Medal
for the encouragement and development of the public understanding of geographical data and influencing decision makers across the world
THE SOCIETY’S COUNCIL has made the following awards:
Professor Susan J. Smith
for conspicuous merit in research in human geography
Professor Uma Kothari
for fieldwork to support an understanding of global development
Cherry Kearton Medal and Award
for photography of indigenous peoples across the world
Professor John A. Dearing
for publications contributing to the understanding of environmental change
Professor David Gibbs
for research that contributes to the development of environmental and economic policy
Gill Memorial Award
Dr Katherine Brickell
for the potential shown in studies on gender relations
for popularising geography and the understanding of Britain
for supporting school students in learning from and being inspired by expeditions
Ordnance Survey Awards (two awards)
Dr Simon Oakes
in recognition of excellence in geography education at secondary level
Taylor & Francis Award
Dr Richard Harris
for excellence in the promotion and practice of teaching quantitative methods
Alfred Steers Dissertation Prize
for the undergraduate geography dissertation judged to be the best in 2013
Dr Thomas Birtchnell
for the best article in the journal by a new researcher
Honorary Fellowship (two awards)
Michael Bernard Jackson
in recognition of outstanding commitment and contribution to the Society’s work