Gold Medal (RGS)
The Gold Medal presented by the Royal Geographical Society consists of two separate awards: the Founder's Medal 1830 and the Patron's Medal 1838. Together they form the most prestigious of the society's awards. They are given for "the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery". Royal approval is required before an award can be made.
The awards originated as an annual gift of fifty guineas from King William IV, first made in 1831, "to constitute a premium for the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery". The Royal Geographical Society decided in 1839 to change this monetary award into the two gold medals.
Recipients have included the notable geographers David Livingstone (1855), Nain Singh Rawat (1877), Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen (1878), Alfred Russel Wallace (1892) and William Woodville Rockhill (1893), to more recent winners including Professor William Morris Davis (1919), Sir Halford John Mackinder (1945), Professor Richard Chorley (1987) and Professor David Harvey (1995).
|Date||Founder's Medal||Contribution||Patron's Medal||Contribution|
|2013||Professor Keith Richards||for the encouragement and development of physical geography and fluvial geomorphology||Michael Palin||for the promotion of geography and geographical education|
|2012||Professor Charles Withers||for the encouragement and development of historical and cultural geography||Alastair Fothergill||for promoting globally the understanding of the world’s environments|
|2011||Professor David Livingstone||for the encouragement and promotion of historical geography||Dr Sylvia Earle||for the encouragement, development and promotion of ocean science and exploration|
|2010||Professor Diana Liverman||encouraging, developing and promoting understanding of the human dimensions of climate change||Jack Dangermond||promoting geographical science through the development of Geographical Information Systems|
|2009||Dr Alan Baker||contributions to historical geography||Professor Lord Nicholas Stern||for contributions to climate change policy|
|2008||Professor Julian Dowdeswell||encouragement, development and promotion of glaciology||Professor Jesse Walker||encouragement, development and promotion of coastal geomorphology|
|2007||Professor Roger Barry||international leadership of research on climate and climate change||Professor Paul Curran||international development of geographical science through remote sensing and Earth observation|
|2006||Professor Derek Gregory||international leadership of research in human geography and social theory||Professor Jack Ives||role internationally in establishing the global importance of mountain regions|
|2005||Professor Sir Nicholas Shackleton||research on Quaternary palaeoclimatology||Professor Jean Malaurie||lifelong study of the Arctic and its peoples|
|2004||Professor Leszek Starkel||advancing international understanding of palaeohydrology and geomorphology||Sydney Possuelo||contributions to Brazilian people’s rights and explorations in Amazonia|
|2003||Professor Michael Frank Goodchild||contributions to geographical information science||Harish Kapadia||contributions to geographical discovery and mountaineering in the Himalayas|
|2002||Bruno Messerli||mountain research and the public awareness of mountain issues||Dr David Keeble||advancing knowledge in economic and industrial geography|
|2001||Professor William Graf||research on dryland river processes, and the interactions of science and public policy||Reinhold Messner||mountaineering and mountain regions|
|2000||Professor Brian Robson||urban geography and geographical perspectives to urban policy||Sir Crispin Tickell GCMG KCVO||promoting the understanding of global environmental issues in governmental and wider public arena|
|1999||Professor Mike Kirkby||development of processed-based and modelling approaches in geomorphology||Doug Scott, CBE||mountaineering and the knowledge of mountain regions|
|1979||Professor David Stoddart||For contributions to geomorphology, the study of coral reefs and the history of academic Geography||Robin Hanbury-Tenison||For leadership of scientific expeditions, including the Mulu Expedition, and for his work on behalf of primitive