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Copley Medal

File:Mendeleev Copley medal.jpg
The Copley Medal awarded to Mendeleev in 1905.
File:John Theophilus Desaguliers.jpg
John Theophilus Desaguliers, who won the medal three times, more than any other individual.

The Copley Medal is a scientific award given by the Royal Society, London, for "outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science." It alternates between the physical and the biological sciences.[1] Given every year, the medal is the oldest Royal Society medal still awarded, and probably the oldest surviving scientific award in the world, having first been given in 1731 to Stephen Gray, for "his new Electrical Experiments: – as an encouragement to him for the readiness he has always shown in obliging the Society with his discoveries and improvements in this part of Natural Knowledge".[2]

History

The medal was created following a donation of £100 to be used for carrying out experiments by Sir Godfrey Copley, for which the interest on the amount was used for several years.[3] The conditions for the medal have been changed several times; in 1736, it was suggested that "a medal or other honorary prize should be bestowed on the person whose experiment should be best approved", and this remained the rule until 1831, when the conditions were changed so that the medal would be awarded to the researcher that the Royal Society Council decided most deserved it.[3] A second donation of £1666 13s. 4d. was made by Sir Joseph William Copley in 1881, and the interest from that amount is used to pay for the medal.[3] The medal in its current format is made of silver gilt and awarded with a £5000 prize.[1]

Since its inception, it has been awarded to many notable scientists, including 52 winners of the Nobel Prize: 17 in Physics, 21 in Physiology or Medicine, and 14 in Chemistry. Past winners include: Frederick Sanger, Charles Darwin, Paul Dirac, Ivan Pavlov, Dimitri Mendeleev, John Pople, Robert May, Dan McKenzie, Arthur Cayley and James Lighthill. It is older than the Fields medal and Abel prize in maths.[4] John Theophilus Desaguliers has won the medal the most often, in 1734, 1736 and 1741. In 1976, Dorothy Hodgkin was the first and as of 2014 the only female recipient.


Recipients

Year Image Name Rationale Notes
1731 75px Gray, StephenStephen Gray "For his new Electrical Experiments: – as an encouragement to him for the readiness he has always shown in obliging the Society with his discoveries and improvements in this part of Natural Knowledge" [5]
1732 75px Gray, StephenStephen Gray "For the Experiments he made for the year 1732" [5]
1733 75px No Award
1734 75px Desaguliers, John TheophilusJohn Theophilus Desaguliers "In consideration of his several Experiments performed before the Society" [6]
1735 75px No Award
1736 75px Desaguliers, John TheophilusJohn Theophilus Desaguliers "For his experiments made during the year" [6]
1737 75px Belchier, JohnJohn Belchier "For his Experiment to show the property of a Diet of Madder Root in dyeing the Bones of living animals of a red colour" [7]
1738 75px Valoue, JamesJames Valoue "For his invention of an Engine for driving the Piles to make a Foundation for the Bridge to be erected at Westminster, the Model whereof had been shown to the Society"
1739 75px Hales, StephenStephen Hales "For his Experiments towards the Discovery of Medicines for dissolving the Stone; and Preservatives for keeping Meat in long voyages at Sea" [8]
1740 75px Stuart, AlexanderAlexander Stuart "For his Lectures on Muscular Motion. As a further addition for his services to the Society in the care and pains he has taken therein" [9]
1741 75px Desaguliers, John TheophilusJohn Theophilus Desaguliers "For his Experiments towards the discovery of the properties of Electricity. As an addition to his allowance (as Curator) for the present year." [6]
1742 75px Middleton, ChristopherChristopher Middleton "For the communication of his Observations in the attempt of discovering a North-West passage to the East Indies through Hudsons Bay" [10]
1743 75px Trembley, AbrahamAbraham Trembley "For his Experiments on the Polypus"
1744 75px Baker, HenryHenry Baker "For his curious Experiments relating to the Crystallization or Configuration of the minute particles of Saline Bodies dissolved in a menstruum" [11]
1745 75px Watson, WilliamWilliam Watson "On account of the surprising discoveries in the phenomena of Electricity, exhibited in his late Experiments" [12]
1746 75px Robins, BenjaminBenjamin Robins "On account of his curious Experiments for showing the resistance of the Air, and his rules for establishing his doctrine thereon for the motion of Projectiles" [13]
1747 75px Knight, GowinGowin Knight "On account of several very curious Experiments exhibited by him, both with Natural and Artificial Magnets" [14]
1748 75px Bradley, JamesJames Bradley "On account of his very curious and wonderful discoveries in the apparent motion of the Fixed Stars, and the causes of such apparent motion" [15]
1749 75px Harrison, JohnJohn Harrison "On account of those very curious Instruments, invented and made by him, for the exact mensuration of Time" [16]
1750 75px Edwards, GeorgeGeorge Edwards "On account of a very curious Book lately published by him, and intiyled, A Natural History of Birds, &c. – containing the Figures elegantly drawn, and illuminated in their proper colours, of 209 different Birds, and about 20 very rare Quadrupeds, Serpents, Fishes, and Insects." [17]
1751 75px Canton, JohnJohn Canton "On account of his communicating to the Society, and exhibiting before them, his curious method of making Artificial Magnets without the use of Natural ones" [18]
1752 75px Pringle, JohnJohn Pringle "On account of his very curious and useful Experiments and Observations on Septic and Anti-septic Substances, communicated to the Society" [19]
1753 75px Franklin, BenjaminBenjamin Franklin "On account of his curious Experiments and Observations on Electricity" [20]
1754 75px Lewis, WilliamWilliam Lewis "For the many Experiments made by him on Platina, which tend to the discovery of the sophistication of gold: – which he would have entirely completed, but was obliged to put a stop to his further enquiries for want of materials" [21]
1755 75px Huxham, JohnJohn Huxham "For his many useful Experiments on Antimony, of which an account had been read to the Society" [22]
1756 75px No Award
1757 75px Cavendish, Lord CharlesLord Charles Cavendish "On account of his very curious and useful invention of making Thermometers, showing respectively the greatest degrees of heat and cold which have happened at any time during the absence of the observer" [14]
1758 75px Dollond, JohnJohn Dollond "On account of his curious Experiments and Discoveries concerning the different refrangibility of the Rays of Light, communicated to the Society" [23]
1759 75px Smeaton, JohnJohn Smeaton "On account of his curious Experiments concerning Water-wheels and Wind-mill Sails, communicated to the Society. For his experimental enquiry concerning the powers of water and wind in the moving of Mills" [24]
1760 75px Wilson, BenjaminBenjamin Wilson "For his many curious Experiments in Electricity, communicated to the Society within the year" [25]
1761 75px No Award
1762 75px No Award
1763 75px No Award
1764 75px Canton, JohnJohn Canton "For his very ingenious and elegant Experiments in the Air Pump and Condensing Engine, to prove the Compressibility of Water, and some other Fluids" [18]
1765 75px No Award
1766 75px Brownrigg, WilliamWilliam Brownrigg,

Edward Delaval and

Henry Cavendish

"For an experimental enquiry into the Mineral Elastic Spirit, or Air, contained in Spa-Water; as well as into the Mephitic qualities of this Spirit. (Brownrigg)"

"For his Experiments and Observations on the agreement between the specific gravities of the several Metals, and their colours when united to glass, as well as those of their other preparations. (Delaval)"

"For his Paper communicated this present year, containing his Experiments relating to Fixed Air. (Cavendish)"

[26]
1767 75px Ellis, JohnJohn Ellis "For his Papers of the year 1767, On the animal nature of the Genus of Zoophytes called Corallina, and the Actinia Sociata, or Clustered Animal Flower, lately found on the sea coasts of the new-ceded Islands" [27]
1768 75px Woulfe, PeterPeter Woulfe "For his Experiments on the Distillation of Acids, Volatile Alkalies, and other substances" [28]
1769 75px Hewson, WilliamWilliam Hewson "For his Two Papers, entitled, An Account of the Lymphatic System in Amphibious Animals, – and An Account of the Lymphatic System in Fish"
1770 75px Hamilton, WilliamWilliam Hamilton "For his Paper, entitled, An Account of a Journey to Mount Etna" [29]
1771 75px Raper, MatthewMatthew Raper "For his paper entitled, An Enquiry into the value of ancient Greek and Roman Money"
1772 75px Priestley, JosephJoseph Priestley "On account of the many curious and useful Experiments contained in his observations"
1773 75px Walsh, JohnJohn Walsh "For his Paper on the Torpedo" [30]
1774 75px No Award
1775 75px Maskelyne, NevilNevil Maskelyne "In consideration of his curious and laborious Observations on the Attraction of Mountains, made in Scotland, – on Schehallien" [31]
1776 75px Cook, JamesJames Cook "For his Paper, giving an account of the method he had taken to preserve the health of the crew of H.M. Ship the Resolution, during her late voyage round the world. Whose communication to the Society was of such importance to the public" [32]
1777 75px Mudge, JohnJohn Mudge "On account of his valuable Paper containing directions for making the best Composition for the metals of Reflecting Telescopes; together with a description of the process for grinding, polishing, and giving the best speculum the true parabolic form"
1778 75px Hutton, CharlesCharles Hutton "For his paper, entitled, The force of Fired Gunpowder, and the initial velocity of Cannon Balls, determined by Experiments" [33]
1779 75px No Award
1780 75px Vince, SamuelSamuel Vince "For his paper, entitled, An investigation of the Principles of Progressive and Rotatory Motion, printed in the Philosophical Transactions" [34]
1781 75px Herschel, WilliamWilliam Herschel "For the Communication of his Discovery of a new and singular Star; a discovery which does him particular honour, as, in all probability, this star has been for many years, perhaps ages, within the bounds of astronomic vision, and yet till now, eluded the most diligent researches of other observers" [35]
1782 75px Kirwan, RichardRichard Kirwan "As a reward for the merit of his labours in the science of Chemistry. For his chemical analyses of Salts" [34]
1783 75px Goodricke, JohnJohn Goodricke and Thomas Hutchins "For his discovery of the Period of the Variation of Light in the Star Algol. (Goodricke)"

"For his Experiments to ascertain the point of Mercurial Congelation. (Hutchins)"

[34]
1784 75px Waring, EdwardEdward Waring "For his Mathematical Communications to the Society. For his Paper On the Summation of Series, whose general term is a determinate function of z the distance from the first term of the series" [36]
1785 75px Roy, WilliamWilliam Roy "For his Measurement of a Base on Hounslow Heath" [37]
1786 75px No Award
1787 75px Hunter, JohnJohn Hunter "For his three Papers, – On the Ovaria, On the identity of the dog, wolf, and jackall species, and On the anatomy of Whales, printed in the Philosophical Transactions for 1787" [38]
1788 75px Blagden, CharlesCharles Blagden "For his two Papers on Congelation, printed in the last (78th) volume of the Philosophical transactions" [39]
1789 75px Morgan, WilliamWilliam Morgan "For his two Papers on the values of Reversions and Survivorships, printed in the two last volumes of the Philosophical Transactions" [40]
1790 75px No Award
1791 75px
75px
Rennell, JamesJames Rennell and

Jean-André Deluc

"For his Paper on the Rate of Travelling as performed by Camels, printed in the last (81st) volume of the Philosophical Transactions. (Rennell)"

"For his Improvements in Hygrometry. (De Luc)"

[41]
1792 75px Thompson, BenjaminBenjamin Thompson "For his various Papers on the Properties and Communication of Heat" [42]
1793 75px No Award
1794 75px Volta, AlessandroAlessandro Volta "For his several Communications explanatory of certain Experiments published by Professor Galvani" [41]
1795 75px Ramsden, JesseJesse Ramsden "For his various inventions and improvements in the construction of the Instruments for the Trigonometrical measurements carried on by the late Major General Roy, and by Lieut. Col. Williams and his associates" [43]
1796 75px Atwood, GeorgeGeorge Atwood "For his Paper on the construction and analysis of geometrical propositions determining the positions assumed by homogeneal bodies which float freely, and at rest; and also determining the Stability of Ships and other floating bodies" [44]
1797 75px No Award
1798 75px Shuckburgh-Evelyn, GeorgeGeorge Shuckburgh-Evelyn and

Charles Hatchett

"For his various Communications printed in the Philosophical Transactions. (Evelyn)"

"For his Chemical Communications printed in the Philosophical Transactions. (Hatchett)"

[45]
1799 75px Hellins, JohnJohn Hellins "For his improved Solution of a problem in Physical Astronomy, &c. printed in the Philosophical Transactions for the year 1798; and his other Mathematical Papers" [46]
1800 75px Howard, Edward CharlesEdward Charles Howard "For his Paper on a New Fulminating Mercury" [47]
1801 75px Cooper, AstleyAstley Cooper "For his Papers – on the effects which take place from the destruction of the Membrana Tympani of the Ear; with an account of an operation for the removal of a particular species of Deafness" [48]
1802 75px Wollaston, William HydeWilliam Hyde Wollaston "For his various Papers printed in the Philosophical Transactions" [49]
1803 75px Chenevix, RichardRichard Chenevix "For his various Chemical Papers printed in the Philosophical Transactions" [50]
1804 75px Tennant, SmithsonSmithson Tennant "For his various Chemical Discoveries communicated to the Society, and printed in several volumes of the Philosophical Transactions" [51]
1805 75px Davy, HumphryHumphry Davy "For his various Communications published in the Philosophical Transactions" [52]
1806 75px Knight, Thomas AndrewThomas Andrew Knight "For his various Papers on Vegetation, printed in the Philosophical Transactions" [53]
1807 75px Home, EverardEverard Home "For his various Papers on Anatomy and Physiology, printed in the Philosophical Transactions"
1808 75px Henry, WilliamWilliam Henry "For his various papers communicated to the society, and printed in the Philosophical Transactions"
1809 75px Troughton, EdwardEdward Troughton "For the Account of his Method of dividing Astronomical Instruments, printed in the last volume of the Philosophical Transactions" [54]
1810 75px No Award
1811 75px Brodie, Benjamin CollinsBenjamin Collins Brodie "For his Papers printed in the Philosophical Transactions. On the influence of the Brain on the action of the Heart, and the generation of Animal Heat; and on the different modes in which death is brought on by certain Vegetable Poisons" [55]
1812 75px No Award
1813 75px Brande, William ThomasWilliam Thomas Brande "For his Communications concerning the Alcohol contained in Fermented Liquors and other Papers, printed in the Philosophical Transactions"
1814 75px Ivory, JamesJames Ivory "For his various Mathematical Contributions printed in the Philosophical Transactions" [56]
1815 75px Brewster, DavidDavid Brewster "For his Paper on the Polarization of Light by Reflection from Transparent Bodies" [57]
1816 75px No Award
1817 75px Kater, HenryHenry Kater "For his Experiments on the Pendulum" [58]
1818 75px Seppings, RobertRobert Seppings "For his Papers on the construction of Ships of War, printed in the Philosophical Transactions"
1819 75px No Award
1820 75px Hans Christian Ørsted "For his Electro-magnetic Discoveries" [59]
1821 75px
75px
Sabine, EdwardEdward Sabine and

John Herschel

"For his various Communications to the Royal Society relating to his researches made in the late Expedition to the Arctic Regions. (Sabine)"

"For his Papers printed in the Philosophical Transactions. (Herschel)"

[60]
1822 75px Buckland, WilliamWilliam Buckland "For his Paper on the Fossil Teeth and Bones discovered in a Cave at Kirkdale" [61]
1823 75px Pond, JohnJohn Pond "For his various Communications to the Royal Society"
1824 75px Brinkley, JohnJohn Brinkley "For his various Communications to the Royal Society" [62]
1825 75px
75px
Arago, FrançoisFrançois Arago and Peter Barlow "For the Discovery of the Magnetic Properties of substances not containing Iron. For the Discovery of the power of various bodies, principally metallic, to receive magnetic impressions, in the same, though in a more evanescent manner than malleable Iron, and in an infinitely less intense degree. (Arago)"

"For his various Communications on the subject of Magnetism. (Barlow)"

[63]
1826 75px South, JamesJames South "For his observations of Double Stars, and his Paper on the Discordances between the Suns observed and computed Right Ascensions, published in the Transactions of the Society. For his Paper of Observations of the Apparent Distances and Positions of Four Hundred and Fifty-eight Double and Triple Stars, published in the present volume (1826, Part 1.) of the Transactions" [64]
1827 75px Prout, WilliamWilliam Prout and

Henry Foster

"For his Paper entitled, On the ultimate Composition of simple alimentary substances, with some preliminary remarks on the analysis of organized bodies in general. (Prout)"

"For his magnetic and other observations made during the Arctic expedition to Port Bowen. (Foster)"

[65]
1828 75px No Award
1829 75px No Award
1830 75px No Award
1831 75px Airy, George BiddellGeorge Biddell Airy "For his Papers, On the principle of the construction of the Achromatic Eye-pieces of Telescopes, – On the Spherical Aberration of the Eye-pieces of Telescopes, and for other Papers on Optical Subjects in the Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society" [66]
1832 75px
75px
Faraday, MichaelMichael Faraday and Siméon Denis Poisson "For his discovery of Magneto-Electricity as detailed in his Experimental Researches in Electricity, published in the Philosophical Transactions for the present year. (Faraday)"

"For his work entitled, Nouvelle Theorie de lAction Capillaire. (Poisson)"

[67]
1833 75px No Award
1834 75px Plana, Giovanni Antonio AmedeoGiovanni Antonio Amedeo Plana "For his work entitled, Theorie du Mouvement de la Lune" [68]
1835 75px Harris, William SnowWilliam Snow Harris "For his experimental investigations of the force of electricity of high intensity contained in the Philosophical Transactions of 1834" [52]
1836 75px Berzelius, Jöns JacobJöns Jacob Berzelius and Francis Kiernan "For his systematic application of the doctrine of definite proportions to the analysis of mineral bodies, as contained in his Nouveau Systeme de Mineralogie, and in other of his works. (Berzelius)"

"For his discoveries relating to the structure of the liver, as detailed in his paper communicated to the Royal Society, and published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1833. (Kiernan)"

1837 75px
75px
Becquerel, Antoine CésarAntoine César Becquerel and

John Frederic Daniell

"For his various memoirs on the subject of electricity, published in the Memoires deacademie Royale des Sciences de lInstitut de France, and particularly for those on the production of crystals of metallic sulphurets and of sulphur, by the long-continued action of electricity of very low tension, and published in the tenth volume of those Memoires. (Becquerel)"

"For his two papers on voltaic combinations published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1836. (Daniell)"

[69]
1838 75px
75px
Gauss, Carl FriedrichCarl Friedrich Gauss

and Michael Faraday

"For his inventions and mathematical researches in magnetism. (Gauss)"

"For his researches in specific electrical induction. (Faraday)"

[70]
1839 75px Brown, RobertRobert Brown "For his discoveries during a series of years, on the subject of vegetable impregnation" [71]
1840 75px
75px
von Liebig, JustusJustus von Liebig and

Jacques Charles François Sturm

"For his discoveries in organic chemistry, and particularly for his development of the composition and theory of organic radicals. (Liebig)"

"For his "Memoire sur la Resolution des Equations Numeriques," published in the Memoires des Savans Etrangers for 1835. (Sturm)"

[72][73]
1841 75px Ohm, GeorgGeorg Ohm "For his researches into the laws of electric currents contained in various memoirs published in Schweiggers Journal, Poggendorffs Annalen and in a separate work entitled Die galvanische Kette mathematisch bearbeitet" [74]
1842 75px MacCullagh, JamesJames MacCullagh "For his researches connected with the wave theory of light, contained in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy" [75]
1843 75px Dumas, Jean-BaptisteJean-Baptiste Dumas "For his late valuable researches in organic chemistry, particularly those contained in a series of memoirs on chemical types and the doctrine of substitution, and also for his elaborate investigations of the atomic weights of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and other elements"
1844 75px Matteucci, CarloCarlo Matteucci "For his various researches in animal electricity" [76]
1845 75px Schwann, TheodorTheodor Schwann "For his physiological researches on the development of animal & vegetable textures, published in his work entitled Mikroskopische Untersuchungen uber die Uebereinstimmung in der Struktur u. dem Wachsthun der Thiese u. Bflanzen"
1846 75px Le Verrier, UrbainUrbain Le Verrier "For his investigations relative to the disturbances of Uranus by which he proved the existence and predicted the place of the new Planet; the Council considering such prediction confirmed as it was by the immediate discovery of the Planet to be one of the proudest triumphs of modern analysis applied to the Newtonian Theory of Gravitation" [77]
1847 75px Herschel, JohnJohn Herschel "For his work entitled Results of Astronomical Observations made during the years 1834, 1835, 1836, 1837 and 1838, at the Cape of Good Hope; being a completion of a telescopic survey of the whole surface of the visible heavens, commenced in 1825" [60]
1848 75px Adams, John CouchJohn Couch Adams "For his investigations relative to the disturbances of Uranus, and for his application of the inverse problem of perturbations thereto" [78]
1849 75px Murchison, RoderickRoderick Murchison "For the eminent services he has rendered to geological science during many years of active observation in several parts of Europe; and especially for the establishment of that classification of the older Palaeozoic deposits designated the Silurian System, as set forth in the two works entitled The Silurian System founded on Geological Researches in England, and The Geology of Russia in Europe and the Ural Mountains"
1850 75px Hansen, Peter AndreasPeter Andreas Hansen "For his researches in physical astronomy" [52]
1851 75px Owen, RichardRichard Owen "On account of his important discoveries in comparative anatomy & palaeontology, contained in the Philosophical Transactions and numerous other works" [79]
1852 75px von Humboldt, AlexanderAlexander von Humboldt "For his eminent services in terrestrial physics, during a series of years" [80]
1853 75px Dove, Heinrich WilhelmHeinrich Wilhelm Dove "For his work on the distribution of heat over the surface of the Earth"
1854 75px Müller, Johannes PeterJohannes Peter Müller "For his important contributions to different branches of physiology and comparative anatomy, and particularly for his researches on the embryology of the Echinodermata, contained in a series of memoirs published in the Transactions of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Berlin" [81]
1855 75px Foucault, LéonLéon Foucault "For his various researches in experimental physics" [52]
1856 75px Milne-Edwards, HenriHenri Milne-Edwards "For his researches in comparative anatomy and zoology"
1857 75px Chevreul, Michel EugèneMichel Eugène Chevreul "For his researches in organic chemistry, particularly on the composition of the fats, and for his researches on the contrast of coulours" [52]
1858 75px Lyell, CharlesCharles Lyell "For his various researches and writings by which he has contributed to the advance of geology" [52]
1859 75px Weber, Wilhelm EduardWilhelm Eduard Weber "For the investigations contained in his Maasbestimmungen and other researches in electricity, magnetism, acoustics" [82]
1860 75px Bunsen, RobertRobert Bunsen "For his researches on cacodyls, gaseous analysis, the Voltaire phenomena of Iceland; and other researches" [52]
1861 75px Agassiz, LouisLouis Agassiz "For his eminent researches in palaeontology and other branches of science, and particularly for his great works the Poissons Fossiles, and his Poissons du Vieux Gres Rouge dEcosse" [52]
1862 75px Graham, ThomasThomas Graham "For three memoirs of the diffusion of liquids, published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1850 and 1851; for a memoir on osmotic force in the Philosophical Transactions for 1854; and particularly for a paper on liquid diffusion applied to analysis, including a distinction of compounds into colloids & crystalloids published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1861" [83]
1863 75px Sedgwick, AdamAdam Sedgwick "For his original observations and discoveries in the geology of the Palaeozoic Series of rocks, and more especially for his determination of the characters of the Devonian System, by observations of the order of superposition of the Killas rocks & their fossils in Devonshire" [84]
1864 75px Darwin, CharlesCharles Darwin "For his important researches in geology, zoology, and botanical physiology" [52]
1865 75px Chasles, MichelMichel Chasles "For his historical and original researches in pure geometry" [85]
1866 75px Plücker, JuliusJulius Plücker "For his researches in analytical geometry, magnetism, & spectral analysis" [86]
1867 75px von Baer, Karl ErnstKarl Ernst von Baer "For his discoveries in embryology and comparative anatomy, and for his contributions to the philosophy of zoology" [52]
1868 75px Wheatstone, CharlesCharles Wheatstone "For his researches in acoustics, optics, electricity and magnetism" [52]
1869 75px Regnault, Henri VictorHenri Victor Regnault "For the second volume of his Relation des Experiences pour determiner les lois et les donnees physiques necessaries au calcul des machines a feu, including his elaborate investigations on the specific heat of gases and vapours, and various papers on the elastic force of vapours" [52]
1870 75px Joule, James PrescottJames Prescott Joule "For his experimental researches on the dynamical theory of heat" [52]
1871 75px von Mayer, JuliusJulius von Mayer "For his researches on the mechanics of heat; including essays on: – 1. The force of inorganic nature. 2. Organic motion in connection with nutrition. 3. Fever. 4. Celestial dynamics. 5. The mechanical equivalent of heat" [52]
1872 75px Wöhler, FriedrichFriedrich Wöhler "For his numerous contributions to the science of chemistry, and more especially for his researches on the products of the decomposition of cyanogens by ammonia; on the derivatives of uric acid; on the benzoyl series; on boron, silicon, & their compounds; and on meteoric stones" [52]
1873 75px von Helmholtz, HermannHermann von Helmholtz "For his researches in physics and physiology" [87]
1874 75px Pasteur, LouisLouis Pasteur "For his researches on fermentation and on pelerine" [52]
1875 75px von Hofmann, August WilhelmAugust Wilhelm von Hofmann "For his numerous contributions to the science of chemistry, and especially for his researches on the derivatives of ammonia" [88]
1876 75px Bernard, ClaudeClaude Bernard "For his numerous contributions to the science of physiology" [52]
1877 75px Dana, James DwightJames Dwight Dana "For his biological, geological, and mineralogical investigations, carried on through half a century, and for the valuable works in which his conclusions and discoveries have been published" [52]
1878 75px Boussingault, Jean-BaptisteJean-Baptiste Boussingault "For his long-continued and important researches and discoveries in agricultural chemistry" [89]
1879 75px Clausius, RudolfRudolf Clausius "For his well-known researches upon heat" [90]
1880 75px Sylvester, James JosephJames Joseph Sylvester "For his long continued investigations & discoveries in mathematics" [91]
1881 75px Wurtz, Charles-AdolpheCharles-Adolphe Wurtz "For his discovery of the organic ammonias, the glycols, and other investigations which have exercised considerable influence on the progress of chemistry"
1882 75px Cayley, ArthurArthur Cayley "For his numerous profound and comprehensive researches in pure mathematics" [92]
1883 75px Thomson, WilliamWilliam Thomson "For (1) his discovery of the law of the universal dissipation of energy; (2) his researches and eminent services in physics, both experimental & mathematical, especially in the theory of electricity and thermodynamics" [93]
1884 75px Ludwig, CarlCarl Ludwig "For his investigations in physiology, and the great services which he has rendered to physiological science"
1885 75px Kekulé, AugustAugust Kekulé "For his researches in organic chemistry" [52]
1886 75px Neumann, Franz ErnstFranz Ernst Neumann "For his researches in theoretical optics and electro-dynamics" [94]
1887 75px Hooker, Joseph DaltonJoseph Dalton Hooker "For his services to botanical science as an investigator, author, and traveller" [52]
1888 75px Huxley, Thomas HenryThomas Henry Huxley "For his investigations on the morphology and histology of vertebrate and invertebrate animals, and for his services to biological science in general during many past years" [52]
1889 75px Salmon, GeorgeGeorge Salmon "For his various papers on subjects of pure mathematics, and for the valuable mathematical treatises of which he is the author" [95]
1890 75px Newcomb, SimonSimon Newcomb "For his contributions to the progress of gravitational astronomy" [96]
1891 75px Cannizzaro, StanislaoStanislao Cannizzaro "For his contributions to chemical philosophy especially for his application of Avogadros theory" [52]
1892 75px Virchow, RudolfRudolf Virchow "For his investigations in pathology, pathological anatomy, and prehistoric archaeology" [52]
1893 75px Stokes, GeorgeGeorge Stokes "For his researches and discoveries in physical science" [97]
1894 75px Frankland, EdwardEdward Frankland "For his eminent services to theoretical & applied chemistry" [98]
1895 75px Weierstrass, KarlKarl Weierstrass "For his investigations in pure mathematics" [99]
1896 75px Gegenbaur, KarlKarl Gegenbaur "For his life-long researches in comparative anatomy in all branches of the animal kingdom. etc., etc"
1897 75px von Kölliker, AlbertAlbert von Kölliker "In recognition of his important work in embryology, comparative anatomy, and physiology, and especially for his eminence as a histologist"
1898 75px Huggins, WilliamWilliam Huggins "For his researches in spectrum analysis applied to the heavenly bodies" [52]
1899 75px Rayleigh, LordLord Rayleigh "In recognition of his contributions to physical science" [100]
1900 75px Berthelot, MarcellinMarcellin Berthelot "For his brilliant services to chemical science" [52]
1901 75px Gibbs, Josiah WillardJosiah Willard Gibbs "For his contributions to mathematical physics" [101]
1902 75px Lister, JosephJoseph Lister "In recognition of the value of his physiological and pathological researches in regard to their influence on the modern practice of surgery" [102]
1903 75px Suess, EduardEduard Suess "For his eminent geological services, & especially for the original researches & conclusions published in his great work 'Das Antlitz der Erde'" [102]
1904 75px Crookes, WilliamWilliam Crookes "For his long-continued researches in spectroscopic chemistry, on electrical & mechanical phenomena in highly-rarefied gases, on radio-active phenomena, and other subjects" [102]
1905 75px Mendeleev, DmitriDmitri Mendeleev "For his contributions to chemical and physical science" [102]
1906 75px Metchnikoff, ÉlieÉlie Metchnikoff "On the ground of the importance of his work in zoology and in pathology" [102]
1907 75px Michelson, Albert AbrahamAlbert Abraham Michelson "On the ground of his investigations in optics" [102]
1908 75px Wallace, Alfred RusselAlfred Russel Wallace "On the ground of the great value of his numerous contributions to natural history, and of the part he took in working out the theory of the origin of species by natural selection" [102]
1909 75px Hill, George WilliamGeorge William Hill "On the ground of his researches in mathematical astronomy" [102]
1910 75px Galton, FrancisFrancis Galton "On the ground of his researches in heredity" [102]
1911 75px Darwin, GeorgeGeorge Darwin "On the ground of his researches on tidal theory, the figures of the planets, and allied subjects" [102]
1912 75px Klein, FelixFelix Klein "On the ground of his researches in mathematics" [103]
1913 75px Lankester, RayRay Lankester "On the ground of the high scientific value of the researches in zoology carried out by him" [104]
1914 75px Thomson, Joseph JohnJoseph John Thomson "On the ground of his discoveries in physical science" [102]
1915 75px Pavlov, IvanIvan Pavlov "On the ground of his investigations in the physiology of digestion and of the higher centres of the nervous system" [102]
1916 75px Dewar, JamesJames Dewar "For his important investigations in physical chemistry, more especially his researches on the liquefaction of gases" [102]
1917 75px Roux, Pierre Paul ÉmilePierre Paul Émile Roux "On the ground of his eminence as a bacteriologist, and as a pioneer in serum therapy" [105]
1918 75px Lorentz, HendrikHendrik Lorentz "On the ground of his distinguished researches in mathematical physics" [102]
1919 75px Bayliss, WilliamWilliam Bayliss "On the ground of his researches in general physiology & biophysics" [102]
1920 75px Brown, Horace TabbererHorace Tabberer Brown "On the ground of his work on the chemistry of carbohydrates, &c" [106]
1921 75px Larmor, JosephJoseph Larmor "For his researches in mathematical physics" [107]
1922 75px Rutherford, ErnestErnest Rutherford "For his researches in radio activity & atomic structure" [102]
1923 75px Lamb, HoraceHorace Lamb "For his researches in mathematical physics" [108]
1924 75px Sharpey-Schafer, Edward AlbertEdward Albert Sharpey-Schafer "For the valuable work he has done in physiology and histology and the position he now occupies as a leader in these sciences"
1925 75px Einstein, AlbertAlbert Einstein "For his theory of relativity and his contributions to the quantum theory" [102]
1926 75px Hopkins, Frederick GowlandFrederick Gowland Hopkins "For his distinguished and fruitful work in biochemistry" [109]
1927 75px Sherrington, Charles ScottCharles Scott Sherrington "For his distinguished work on neurology" [110]
1928 75px Parsons, Charles AlgernonCharles Algernon Parsons "For his contributions to engineering science"
1929 75px Planck, MaxMax Planck "For his contributions to theoretical physics and especially as the originator of the quantum theory" [111]
1930 75px Bragg, William HenryWilliam Henry Bragg "For his distinguished contributions to crystallography and radioactivity" [112]
1931 75px Schuster, ArthurArthur Schuster "For his distinguished researches in optics and terrestrial magnetism" [113]
1932 75px Hale, George ElleryGeorge Ellery Hale "For his distinguished work on the solar magnetic phenomena and for his eminence as a scientific engineer, especially in connexion with Mount Wilson Observatory" [114]
1933 75px Smith, TheobaldTheobald Smith "For his original research and observation on diseases of animals and man" [115]
1934 75px Haldane, John ScottJohn Scott Haldane "In recognition of his discoveries in human physiology and of their application to medicine, mining, diving and engineering" [116]
1935 75px Wilson, Charles Thomson ReesCharles Thomson Rees Wilson "For his work on the use of clouds in advancing our knowledge of atoms and their properties" [117]
1936 75px Evans, ArthurArthur Evans "In recognition of his pioneer work in Crete, particularly his contributions to the history and civilization of its Minoan age" [118]
1937 75px Dale, HenryHenry Dale "In recognition of his important contributions to physiology and pharmacology, particularly in relation to the nervous and neuro-muscular systems" [119]
1938 75px Bohr, NielsNiels Bohr "In recognition of his distinguished work in the development of the quantum theory of atomic structure" [120]
1939 75px Morgan, Thomas HuntThomas Hunt Morgan "For his establishment of the modern science of genetics which had revolutionized our understanding, not only of heredity, but of the mechanism and nature of evolution" [121]
1940 75px Langevin, PaulPaul Langevin "For his pioneer work on the electron theory of magnetism, his fundamental contributions to discharge of electricity in gases, and his important work in many branches of theoretical physics" [122]
1941 75px Lewis, ThomasThomas Lewis "For his clinical and experimental investigations upon the mammalian heart" [123]
1942 75px Robinson, RobertRobert Robinson "For his research work of outstanding originality and brilliance which has influenced the whole field of organic chemistry" [124]
1943 75px Barcroft, JosephJoseph Barcroft "For his distinguished work on respiration and the respiratory function of the blood" [125]
1944 Taylor, G. I.G. I. Taylor "For his many contributions to aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, and the structure of metals, which have had a profound influence on the advance of physical science and its applications" [126]
1945 75px Avery, OswaldOswald Avery "For his success in introducing chemical methods in the study of immunity against infective diseases" [127]
1946 75px Adrian, EdgarEdgar Adrian "For his distinguished researches on the fundamental nature of nervous activity, and recently on the localization of certain nervous functions" [128]
1947 75px Hardy, G. H.G. H. Hardy "For his distinguished part in the development of mathematical analysis in England during the last thirty years" [129]
1948 75px Hill, ArchibaldArchibald Hill "For his distinguished researches on myothermal problems and on biophysical phenomena in nerve and other tissues" [130]
1949 75px de Hevesy, GeorgeGeorge de Hevesy "For his distinguished work on the chemistry of radioactive elements and especially for his development of the radioactive tracer techniques in the investigation of biological processes" [131]
1950 75px Chadwick, JamesJames Chadwick "For his outstanding work in nuclear physics and in the development of atomic energy, especially for his discovery of the neutron" [132]
1951 75px Keilin, DavidDavid Keilin "For his fundamental researches in the fields of protozoology, entomology and the biochemistry of enzymes" [133]
1952 75px Dirac, PaulPaul Dirac "In recognition of his remarkable contributions to relativistic dynamics of a particle in quantum mechanics" [134]
1953 75px Kluyver, AlbertAlbert Kluyver "For his distinguished contributions of a fundamental character to the science of microbiology"
1954 Whittaker, E. T.E. T. Whittaker "For his distinguished contributions to both pure and applied mathematics and to theoretical physics" [135]
1955 75px Fisher, RonaldRonald Fisher "In recognition of his numerous and distinguished contributions to developing the theory and application of statistics for making quantitative a vast field of biology" [136]
1956 75px Blackett, PatrickPatrick Blackett "In recognition of his outstanding studies of cosmic ray showers and heavy mesons and in the field of palaeomagnetism"
1957 75px Florey, HowardHoward Florey "In recognition of his distinguished contributions to experimental pathology and medicine" [137]
1958 75px Littlewood, John EdensorJohn Edensor Littlewood "In recognition of his distinguished contributions to many branches of analysis, including Tauberian theory, the Riemann zeta function, and non-linear differential equations" [138]
1959 75px Burnet, Frank MacfarlaneFrank Macfarlane Burnet "In recognition of his distinguished contributions to knowledge of viruses and of immunology" [139]
1960 75px Jeffreys, HaroldHarold Jeffreys "In recognition of his distinguished work in many branches of geophysics, and also in the theory of probability and astronomy" [140]
1961 75px Krebs, Hans AdolfHans Adolf Krebs "In recognition of his distinguished contributions to biochemistry, in particular his work on the ornithine, tricarboxylic acid and glyoxylate cycles" [141] s
1962 75px Hinshelwood, Cyril NormanCyril Norman Hinshelwood "In recognition of his distinguished researches in the field of chemical kinetics, including the study of biological reaction mechanisms, and of his outstanding contributions to natural philosophy" [142]
1963 75px Fildes, PaulPaul Fildes "In recognition of his pioneering contributions to bacteriology."
1964 75px Chapman, SydneySydney Chapman "In recognition of his theoretical contributions to terrestrial and interplanetary magnetism, the ionosphere and the aurora borealis" [143]
1965 75px Hodgkin, Alan LloydAlan Lloyd Hodgkin "In recognition of his discovery of the mechanism of excitation and impulse conduction in nerve, and his outstanding leadership in the development of neurophysiology"
1966 75px Bragg, William LawrenceWilliam Lawrence Bragg "In recognition of his distinguished contributions to the development of methods of structural determination by X-ray diffraction" [102]
1967 75px Katz, BernardBernard Katz "In recognition of his distinguished contributions to knowledge of the fundamental processes involved in transmission across the neuromuscular junction"
1968 75px Reichstein, TadeusTadeus Reichstein "In recognition of his distinguished work on the chemistry of vitamin C and his authoritative studies of the cortico-steroids"
1969 75px Medawar, PeterPeter Medawar "In recognition of his distinguished studies of tissue transplantation and immunological tolerance" [102]
1970 75px Todd, Alexander R.Alexander R. Todd "In recognition of his outstanding contributions to both the analytical and synthetic chemistry of natural products of diverse types" [102]
1971 75px Pirie, NormanNorman Pirie "In recognition of his distinguished contributions to biochemistry and especially for his elucidation of the nature of plant viruses"
1972 Mott, Nevill FrancisNevill Francis Mott "In recognition of his original contributions over a long period to atomic and solid state physics" [102]
1973 75px Huxley, AndrewAndrew Huxley "In recognition of his outstanding studies on the mechanisms of the nerve impulse and of activation of muscular contraction"
1974 75px Hodge, W. V. D.W. V. D. Hodge "In recognition of his pioneering work in algebraic geometry, notably in his theory of harmonic integrals" [144]
1975 75px Crick, FrancisFrancis Crick "In recognition of his elucidation of the structure of DNA and his continuing contribution to molecular biology" [102]
1976 75px Hodgkin, DorothyDorothy Hodgkin "In recognition of her outstanding work on the structures of complex molecules, particularly Penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin" [102]
1977 75px Sanger, FrederickFrederick Sanger "In recognition of his distinguished work on the chemical structure of proteins and his studies on the sequences of nucleic acids" [102]
1978 75px Woodward, Robert BurnsRobert Burns Woodward "In recognition of his masterly contributions to the synthesis of complex natural products and his discovery of the importance of orbital symmetry" [102]
1979 75px Perutz, MaxMax Perutz "In recognition of his distinguished contributions to molecular biology through his own studies of the structure and biological activity of haemoglobin and his leadership in the development of the subject" [102]
1980 75px Barton, DerekDerek Barton "In recognition of his distinguished contributions to a wide range of problems in structural and synthetic organic chemistry and , in particular, his introduction of conformational analysis into stereochemistry" [102]
1981 Mitchell, Peter D.Peter D. Mitchell "In recognition of his distinguished contribution to biology in his formulation and development of the chemiosmotic theory of energy transduction" [102]
1982 Cornforth, JohnJohn Cornforth "In recognition of his distinguished research on the stereochemically-controlled synthesis and biosynthesis of biologically important molecules" [145]
1983 Porter, Rodney RobertRodney Robert Porter "In recognition of his elucidation of the structure of immunoglobulins and of the reactions involved in activating the complement system of proteins"
1984 Chandrasekhar, SubrahmanyanSubrahmanyan Chandrasekhar "In recognition of his distinguished work on theoretical physics, including stellar structure, theory of radiation, hydrodynamic stability and relativity" [146]
1985 75px Klug, AaronAaron Klug "In recognition of his outstanding contributions to our understanding of complex biological structures and the methods used for determining them"
1986 Peierls, RudolfRudolf Peierls "In recognition of his fundamental contributions to a very wide range of theoretical physics, and signal advances in proposing the probable existence of nuclear chain reactions in fissile materials"
1987 Hill, RobinRobin Hill "In recognition of his pioneering contributions to the understanding of the nature and mechanism of the main pathway of electron transport in photosynthesis"
1988 75px Atiyah, MichaelMichael Atiyah "In recognition of his fundamental contributions to a wide range of topics in geometry, topology, analysis and theoretical physics" [147]
1989 75px Milstein, CésarCésar Milstein "In recognition of his outstanding contributions to immunology, in particular to the discovery of monoclonal antibodies and to the understanding of the role of somatic mutations in the maturation of the immune response"
1990 Salam, AbdusAbdus Salam "In recognition of his work on the symmetries of the laws of nature, and especially the unification of the electromagnetic and weak forces" [148]
1991 75px Brenner, SydneySydney Brenner "In recognition of his many contributions to molecular genetics and developmental biology, and his recent role in the Human Genome mapping project"
1992 75px Porter, GeorgeGeorge Porter "In recognition of his contributions to fundamental understanding of fast photochemical and photophysical processes and their role in chemistry and biology" [149]
1993 75px Watson, JamesJames Watson "In recognition of his tireless pursuit of DNA, from the elucidation of its structure to the social and medical implications of the sequencing of the human genome" [150]
1994 75px Frank, Frederick CharlesFrederick Charles Frank "In recognition of his fundamental contribution to the theory of crystal morphology, in particular to the source of dislocations and their consequences in interfaces and crystal growth; to fundamental understanding of liquid crystals and the concept of disclination; and to the extension of crystallinity concepts to aperiodic crystals. He has also contributed through a variety of remarkable insights into a great number of physical problems"
1995 75px Fenner, FrankFrank Fenner "In recognition of his contribution to animal virology with special emphasis on the pox and myxomatosis viruses and their relationship with the host in causing disease"
1996 75px Cottrell, AlanAlan Cottrell "In recognition of his contribution to the understanding of mechanical properties of materials and related topics through his pioneering studies on crystal plasticity, dislocation impurity interactions, fracture and irradiation effects" [151]
1997 75px Huxley, HughHugh Huxley "In recognition of his pioneering work on the structure of muscle and on the molecular mechanisms of muscle contraction, providing solutions to one of the great problems in physiology"
1998 75px Lighthill, JamesJames Lighthill "In recognition of his profound contributions to many fields within fluid mechanics including important aspects of the interaction of sound and fluid flow and numerous other contributions which have had practical applications in aircraft engine design. He is noted also for his ground-breaking work on both external bio-fluid-dynamics – analysis of mechanisms of swimming and flying – and internal bio-fluid-dynamics, including flow in the cardiovascular system and the airways, and cochlear mechanics and other aspects of hearing" [152]
1999 75px Smith, John MaynardJohn Maynard Smith "In recognition of his seminal contributions to evolutionary biology, including his experimental work on sexual selection, his important contributions to our understanding of ageing, his introduction of game theoretical methods for the analysis of complex evolutionary scenarios and his research into molecular evolution, both through his classic work on genetic hitchhiking, and with his more recent, ongoing work on bacterial population growth" [153]
2000 75px Battersby, Alan R.Alan R. Battersby "In recognition of his pioneering work in elucidating the detailed biosynthetic pathways to all the major families of plant alkaloids. His approach, which stands as a paradigm for future biosynthetic studies on complex molecules, combines isolation work, structure determination, synthesis, isotopic labelling and spectroscopy, especially advanced NMR, as well as genetics and molecular biology. This spectacular research revealed the entire pathway to vitamin B12"
2001 75px Miller, JacquesJacques Miller "For his work on the immunological function of the thymus and of T cells, which has revolutionised the science of immunology. Professor Millers work is paving the way for designing new methods to improve resistance to infections, producing new vaccines, enhancing graft survival, dealing with autoimmunity and even persuading the immune system to reject cancer cells"
2002 75px Pople, JohnJohn Pople "For his development of computational methods in quantum chemistry. His work transformed density functional theory into a powerful theoretical tool for chemistry, chemical physics and biology" [154]
2003 75px Gurdon, JohnJohn Gurdon "For his unique range of groundbreaking discoveries in the fields of cell and developmental biology. He pioneered the concept that specialised cells are genetically equivalent and that they differ only in the genes they express not the genes they contain, a concept fundamental to modern biology"
2004 75px Kroto, HarryHarry Kroto "in recognition of his seminal contributions to understanding the fundamental dynamics of carbon chain molecules, leading to the detection of these species (polyynes) in the interstellar medium by radioastronomy, and thence to the genesis of a new era in carbon science" [155]
2005 75px Nurse, PaulPaul Nurse "for his contributions to cell biology in general, and to the elucidation of the control of cell division."
2006 75px Hawking, StephenStephen Hawking "For his outstanding contribution to theoretical physics and theoretical cosmology. " [32]
2007 75px May, RobertRobert May "for his seminal studies of interactions within and among biological populations that have reshaped our understanding of how species, communities and entire ecosystems respond to natural or human created disturbance."
2008 75px Penrose, RogerRoger Penrose "for his beautiful and original insights into many areas of mathematics and mathematical physics. Sir Roger has made outstanding contributions to general relativity theory and cosmology, most notably for his work on black holes and the Big Bang."
2009 75px Evans, MartinMartin Evans "for his seminal work on embryonic stem cells in mice, which revolutionised the field of genetics."
2010 75px Cox, DavidDavid Cox "for his seminal contributions to the theory and applications of statistics." [156]
75px Lindahl, TomasTomas Lindahl "for his seminal contributions to the understanding of the biochemistry of DNA repair." [156]
2011 75px McKenzie, DanDan McKenzie "For his seminal contributions to the understanding of geological and geophysical phenomena including tectonic plates."
2012 75px Walker, JohnJohn Walker "For his ground-breaking work on bioenergetics, discovering the mechanism of ATP synthesis in the mitochondrion." [156]
2013 75px Geim, AndreAndre Geim "For his numerous scientific contributions and, in particular, for initiating research on two‐dimensional atomic crystals and their artificial heterostructures."
2014 75px Jeffreys, AlecAlec Jeffreys "For his pioneering work on variation and mutation in the human genome." [157]

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