The Davy Medal is awarded by the Royal Society of London "for an outstandingly important recent discovery in any branch of chemistry". Named after Humphry Davy, the medal is awarded with a gift of £1000. The medal was first awarded in 1877 to Robert Wilhelm Bunsen and Gustav Robert Kirchhoff "for their researches & discoveries in spectrum analysis", and has since been awarded 131 times. The medal is awarded annually, and unlike other Royal Society medals, such as the Hughes Medal, it has been awarded annually without ever missing a year.
The medal has been awarded to multiple individuals in the same year: in 1882 it was awarded to Dmitri Mendeleev and Julius Lothar Meyer "for their discovery of the periodic relations of the atomic weights"; in 1883 to Marcellin Berthelot and Julius Thomsen "for their researches in thermo-chemistry"; in 1893 to Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff and Joseph Achille Le Bel "In recognition of their introduction of the theory of asymmetric carbon, and its use in explaining the constitution of optically active carbon compounds"; in 1903 to Pierre Curie and Marie Curie "for their researches on radium" and in 1968 to John Cornforth and George Joseph Popjak "in recognition of their distinguished joint work on the elucidation of the biosynthetic pathway to polyisoprenoids and steroids".
List of recipients
Source: Royal Society
|1877||Bunsen, Robert WilhelmRobert Wilhelm Bunsen and , Gustav Robert KirchhoffGustav Robert Kirchhoff||"For their researches & discoveries in spectrum analysis"|||
|1878||Cailletet, Louis PaulLouis Paul Cailletet and , Raoul PictetRaoul Pictet||"For their researches, conducted independently, but contemporaneously, on the condensation of the so-called permanent gases"|||
|1879||Boisbaudran, Paul Emile Lecoq dePaul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran||"For his discovery of gallium"|||
|1880||Friedel, CharlesCharles Friedel||"For his researches on the organic compounds of silicon, and other investigations"|||
|1881||Baeyer, Adolf vonAdolf von Baeyer||"For his synthesis of indigo"|||
|1882||Mendeleev, DmitriDmitri Mendeleev and , Lothar MeyerLothar Meyer||"For their discovery of the periodic relations of the atomic weights"|||
|1883||Berthelot, MarcellinMarcellin Berthelot and , Julius ThomsenJulius Thomsen||"For their researches in thermo-chemistry"|||
|1884||Kolbe, Adolph Wilhelm HermannAdolph Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe||"For his researches in the isomerism of alcohols"|||
|1885||Stas, Jean ServaisJean Servais Stas||"For his researches on the atomic weights"|||
|1886||Marignac, Jean Charles Galissard deJean Charles Galissard de Marignac||"For his researches on atomic weights"|||
|1887||Newlands, John Alexander ReinaJohn Alexander Reina Newlands||"For his discovery of the periodic law of the chemical elements"|||
|1888||Crookes, Sir WilliamSir William Crookes||"For his investigations on the behaviour of substances under the influences of the electric discharge in a high vacuum"|||
|1889||Perkin, Sir William HenrySir William Henry Perkin||"For his researches on magnetic rotation in relation to chemical constitution"|||
|1890||Fischer, EmilEmil Fischer||"For his discoveries in organic chemistry and especially for his researches on the carbo-hydrates"|||
|1891||Meyer, VictorVictor Meyer||"For his researches on the determination of vapour densities at high temperatures"|||
|1892||Raoult, Francois MarieFrancois Marie Raoult||"For his researches on the freezing points of solutions, and on the vapour pressures of solutions"|||
|1893||Hoff, Jacobus Henricus van 'tJacobus Henricus van 't Hoff and Bel, Joseph LeJoseph Le Bel||"In recognition of their introduction of the theory of asymmetric carbon, and its use in explaining the constitution of optically active carbon compounds"|||
|1894||Cleve, Per TheodorPer Theodor Cleve||"For his researches on the chemistry of the rare earths"|||
|1895||Ramsay, Sir WilliamSir William Ramsay||"For his share in the discovery of argon, and for his discoveries regarding gaseous constituents of terrestrial minerals"|||
|1896||Moissan, HenriHenri Moissan||"For the isolation of fluorine, and the use of the electric furnace in the preparation of refractory metals and their compounds"|||
|1897||Gladstone, John HallJohn Hall Gladstone||"For his numerous contributions to chemical science, and especially for his important work in the application of optical methods to chemistry"|||
|1898||Wislicenus, JohannesJohannes Wislicenus||"For his contributions to organic chemistry especially in the domain of stereochemical isomerism"|||
|1899||Schunck, EdwardEdward Schunck||"For his researches on madder, indigo, and chlorophyll"|||
|1900||Koerner, GuglielmoGuglielmo Koerner||"For his brilliant investigations on the position theory of the aromatic compounds"|||
|1901||Living, George DowningGeorge Downing Living||"For his contributions to spectroscopy"|||
|1902||Arrhenius, SvanteSvante Arrhenius||"For the application of the theory of dissociation to the explanation of chemical change"|||
|1903||Curie, PierrePierre Curie and , Marie CurieMarie Curie||"For their researches on radium"|||
|1904||Perkin, Jr., William HenryWilliam Henry Perkin, Jr.||"For his notable discoveries in organic chemistry"|||
|1905||Ladenburg, AlbertAlbert Ladenburg||"For his researches in organic chemistry, especially in connection with the synthesis of natural alkaloids"|||
|1906||Fittig, RudolfRudolf Fittig||"For his investigations in chemistry especially his work on lactones and acids"|||
|1907||Morley, Edward W.Edward W. Morley||"On the ground of his contributions to physics and chemistry, and especially for his determinations of the relative atomic weights of hydrogen & oxygen"|||
|1908||Tilden, William A.William A. Tilden||"On the ground of his discoveries in chemistry, especially on the terpenes and on atomic heats"|||
|1909||Dewar, JamesJames Dewar||"On the ground of his researches at low temperatures"|||
|1910||Richards, Theodore W.Theodore W. Richards||"On the ground of his researches on the detrmination [sic] of atomic weights"|||
|1911||Armstrong, Henry EdwardHenry Edward Armstrong||"On the ground of his researches in organic and general chemistry"|||
|1912||Wallach, OttoOtto Wallach||"On the ground of his researches on the chemistry of the essential oils, and the cyclo-olefines"|||
|1913||Meldola, RaphaelRaphael Meldola||"On the ground of work in synthetic chemistry"|||
|1914||Pope, William JacksonWilliam Jackson Pope||"On the ground of his important contributions to structural & organic chemistry"|||
|1915||Sabatier, PaulPaul Sabatier||"For his researches on contact action, and the application of finely divided metals as catalytic agents"|||
|1916||Le Chatelier, Henry LouisHenry Louis Le Chatelier||"On the ground of his eminence as a chemist"|||
|1917||Haller, AlbinAlbin Haller||"On the ground of his important researches in the domain of organic chemistry"|||
|1918||Kipping, F. StanleyF. Stanley Kipping||"On the ground of his studies in the camphor group and among the organic derivatives of nitrogen and silicon"|||
|1919||Frankland, Percy F.Percy F. Frankland||"On the ground of his distinguished work in chemistry, especially that on optical activity, and on fermentation"|||
|1920||Heycock, Charles T.Charles T. Heycock||"On the ground of his work in physical chemistry and more especially on the composition & constitution of alloys"|||
|1921||Guye, Philippe A.Philippe A. Guye||"For his researches in physical chemistry"|||
|1922||Thorpe, Jocelyn FieldJocelyn Field Thorpe||"For his researches in synthetic organic chemistry"|||
|1923||Baker, Herbert BreretonHerbert Brereton Baker||"For his researches on the complete drying of gases and liquids"|||
|1924||Perkin, Arthur GeorgeArthur George Perkin||"For his researches on the structure of natural colouring matters"|||
|1925||Irvine, JamesJames Irvine||"For his work on the constitution of the sugars"|||
|1926||Walker, JamesJames Walker||"For his work on the theory of ionisation"|||
|1927||Noyes, Arthur AmosArthur Amos Noyes||"For his work in physical chemistry, especially on the subject of electrolytic solutions"|||
|1928||Donnan, Frederick GeorgeFrederick George Donnan||"For his contributions to physical chemistry and particularly for his theory of membrane equilibrium"|||
|1929||Lewis, Gilbert NewtonGilbert Newton Lewis||"For his contributions to classical thermodynamics and the theory of valency"|||
|1930||Robinson, RobertRobert Robinson||"For his work on the constitution and synthesis of natural products; also for his contributions to the theory of organic reactions"|||
|1931||Lapworth, ArthurArthur Lapworth||"For his researches in organic chemistry, particularly those connected with tautomerism and the mechanism of organic reactions"|||
|1932||Willstätter, RichardRichard Willstätter||"For his distinguished researches in organic chemistry"|||
|1933||Hobson Mills, WilliamWilliam Hobson Mills||"For his researches in organic chemistry, and for his work on the synthesis and properties of the cyanine dyes, and more especially for his investigation of novel types of asymmetric molecules"|||
|1934||Haworth, NormanNorman Haworth||"For his researches on the molecular structure of carbohydrates"|||
|1935||Harden, ArthurArthur Harden||"For his distinguished work in biochemistry and especially for his fundamental discoveries in the chemistry of alcoholic fermentation"|||
|1936||Bone, William ArthurWilliam Arthur Bone||"For his pioneer work on contact catalysis and his researches on the mechanism of combustion of hydrocarbons and on the nature of flames and on gaseous explosions"|||
|1937||Fischer, HansHans Fischer||"In recognition of his work on the chemistry of the porphyrins, particularly his determination of their detailed structure by degradation and his syntheses of porphyrins of biological importance"|||
|1938||Barger, GeorgeGeorge Barger||"In recognition of his distinguished researches on alkaloids and other natural products"|||
|1939||McBain, James WilliamJames William McBain||"For having opened up the study of colloidal electrolytes, provided the elements of the guiding theory, and developed the subject"|||
|1940||Urey, Harold C.Harold C. Urey||"For his isolation of deuterium, the heavy hydrogen isotope, and for his work on this and other isotopes in following the detailed course of chemical reactions"|||
|1941||Dakin, Henry DrysdaleHenry Drysdale Dakin||"For his work as a pioneer in biochemical research and especially because of his fundamental contributions to the study of intermediate metabolism"|||
|1942||Hinshelwood, Sir CyrilSir Cyril Hinshelwood||"In recognition of his distinguished work on the mechanism of chemical reactions"|||
|1943||Heilbron, Ian MorrisIan Morris Heilbron||"In recognition of his many notable contributions to organic chemistry, especially to the chemistry of natural products of physiological importance"|||
|1944||Robertson, RobertRobert Robertson||"In recognition of his researches on explosives, analytical methods, the internal structure of diamond, and infra-red absorption spectra"|||
|1945||Adams, RogerRoger Adams||"In recognition of his extensive researches in the field of organic chemistry and of his recent work in the alkaloid field"|||
|1946||Ingold, Christopher KelkChristopher Kelk Ingold||"In recognition of his distinguished work in applying physical methods to problems in organic chemistry"|||
|1947||Pauling, LinusLinus Pauling||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to the theory of valency and for theor [sic] application to systems of biological importance"|||
|1948||Hirst, Edmund LangleyEdmund Langley Hirst||"In recognition of his outstanding work in the determination of the structure of sugars, starches, plant gums and especially of vitamin C"|||
|1949||Todd, Alexander R.Alexander R. Todd||"For his structural synthetic studies and achievements in organic and bio-chemistry, with special reference to vitamins B1 and E and the naturally occurring nucleosides"|||
|1950||Simonsen, JohnJohn Simonsen||"For his distinguished researches on the constitution of natural products, especially the plant hydro-carbons and their derivatives"|||
|1951||Rideal, EricEric Rideal||"For his distinguished contributions to the subject of surface chemistry"|||
|1952||Robertson, AlexanderAlexander Robertson||"In recognition of his researches into the chemistry of natural products, particularly the wide range of glycosides, bitter principles and colouring matters containing heterocyclic oxygen atoms"|||
|1953||Lennard-Jones, JohnJohn Lennard-Jones||"For his distinguished work on the applications of quantum mechanics to the theory of valency and to the analysis of the intimate structure of decimal compounds"|||
|1954||Cook, James WilfredJames Wilfred Cook||"For his distinguished fundamental investigations in organic chemistry"|||
|1955||Melville, Harry WorkHarry Work Melville||"In recognition of his distinguished work in physical chemistry and in polymer reactions"|||
|1956||Haworth, Robert DownsRobert Downs Haworth||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to the chemistry of natural products particularly those containing heterocyclic systems"|||
|1957||Lonsdale, KathleenKathleen Lonsdale||"In recognition of her distinguished studies in the structure and growth of crystals"|||
|1958||Norrish, Ronald George WreyfordRonald George Wreyford Norrish||"In recognition of his distinguished work in chemical kinetics, especially in photochemistry"|||
|1959||Woodward, Robert B.Robert B. Woodward||"In recognition of his distinguished researches in organic chemistry and particularly for his contributions to the structure and synthesis of natural products"|||
|1960||Robertson, John MonteathJohn Monteath Robertson||"In recognition of his distinguished pioneering work on the analysis of crystal structure, especially of organic compounds"|||
|1961||Barton, DerekDerek Barton||"In recognition of his distinguished researches in organic chemistry, particularly on the structure and stereochemistry of natural products of the terpene and steroid series; and the analysis of the conformation of cyclic structures"|||
|1962||Emeléus, Harry JuliusHarry Julius Emeléus||"In recognition of his distinguished researches in inorganic chemistry and the discovery and examination of a wide range of new compounds"|||
|1963||Bowen, Edmund JohnEdmund John Bowen||"In recognition of his distinguished work on the elucidation of photochemical reactions, and for his study of fluorescence and phosphorescence in relation to the molecular processes concerned"|||
|1964||Calvin, MelvinMelvin Calvin||"In recognition of his pioneering work in chemistry and biology, particularly his elucidation of the photosynthetic pathway for the incorporation of carbon dioxide by plants"|||
|1965||Thompson, Harold WarrisHarold Warris Thompson||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to infra-red spectroscopy and its application to chemical problems"|||
|1966||Jones, EwartEwart Jones||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to synthetic organic chemistry and to the elucidation of the structures of natural products"|||
|1967||Prelog, VladimirVladimir Prelog||"In recognition of his distinguished work in the development of stereochemical concepts and on the structure of alkaloids and antibiotics"|||
|1968||Cornforth, JohnJohn Cornforth and , George Joseph PopjakGeorge Joseph Popjak||"In recognition of their distinguished joint work on the elucidation of the biosynthetic pathway to polyisoprenoids and steroids"|||
|1969||Dainton, Frederick SydneyFrederick Sydney Dainton||"In recognition of his distinguished work on the mechanisms of chemical reactions"|||
|1970||Coulson, Charles AlfredCharles Alfred Coulson||"In recognition of his distinguished work in theoretical chemistry"|||
|1971||Porter, GeorgeGeorge Porter||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to our understanding of chemical reactions"|||
|1972||Birch, Arthur JohnArthur John Birch||"In recognition of his distinguished biosynthetic studies of organic natural products and his development of new reagents for reduction processes"|||
|1973||Anderson, John StuartJohn Stuart Anderson||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to chemistry especially on the structural investigation of imperfect surfaces and non-stoichiometric materials"|||
|1974||Baddiley, JamesJames Baddiley||"In recognition of his distinguished researches on coenzyme A and studies of the constituents of bacterial cell walls"|||
|1975||Sugden, Theodore MorrisTheodore Morris Sugden||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to physical chemistry including particularly the reactions occurring in flames"|||
|1976||Richards, Rex EdwardRex Edward Richards||"In recognition of his outstanding contributions to nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and its application to chemical and biological problems"|||
|1977||Battersby, Alan RushtonAlan Rushton Battersby||"In recognition of his outstanding and internationally recognized contributions to biosynthesis – his meticulous and logical unravelling of the complex pathways by which alkaloids and porphyrins are elaborated in vivo"|||
|1978||Eschenmoser, AlbertAlbert Eschenmoser||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to modern synthetic organic chemistry, well illustrated by his impressive total synthesis of vitamin B12"|||
|1979||Chatt, JosephJoseph Chatt||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to transition metal chemistry and the understanding of catalysis involving ligating molecules such as olefins or dinitrogen"|||
|1980||Johnson, Alan WoodworthAlan Woodworth Johnson||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to the chemistry of natural products including vitamin B12 porphyrins, plant germination factors and insect hormones and pheromones"|||
|1981||Raphael, Ralph AlexanderRalph Alexander Raphael||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to organic synthesis and in particular his ingenious applications of acetylenic intermediates"|||
|1982||Dewar, Michael James SteuartMichael James Steuart Dewar||"In recognition of his distinguished studies of the mechanisms of a wide range of chemical reactions based on semi-empirical wave mechanical calculations"|||
|1983||Arigoni, DuilioDuilio Arigoni||"In recognition of his distinguished creativity in the fields of biosynthesis and bioorganic stereochemistry"|||
|1984||Edwards, SamSam Edwards||"In recognition of his distinguished contributions to the theoretical basis of thermodynamic aspects of polymer chemistry"|||
|1985||Lewis, JackJack Lewis||"For his outstanding work on the structure and reactivity of metal cluster compounds, including pioneering work on carbido and hydrido derivatives, and pi-donor organic molecules"|||
|1986||Ogston, Alexander GeorgeAlexander George Ogston||"In recognition of his early seminal proposal of the ways enzymes deal asymmetrically with symmetrical substrates and his later quantitative analysis of macromolecule interactions which elucidated polymer exclusion effects"|||
|1987||Jeffreys, Alec JohnAlec John Jeffreys||"In recognition of his contributions to the chemistry of human DNA — in particular the discovery and exploitation of hypervariable satellites in the human genome"|||
|1988||Pople, JohnJohn Pople||"In recognition of his wide-ranging contributions to theoretical chemistry, especially his development and application of techniques for the computation of molecular wave-functions and properties"|||
|1989||Stone, Francis Gordon AlbertFrancis Gordon Albert Stone||"In recognition of his many distinguished contributions to organometallic chemistry, including the discovery that species containing carbon-metal of metal-metal multiple bonds are versatile reagents for synthesis of cluster compounds with bonds between different transition elements"|||
|1990||Ingold, Keith UsherwoodKeith Usherwood Ingold||"For pioneering the quantitative study of free radical reactions in solution, in glasses and in living organisms, particularly using electron magnetic resonance"|||
|1991||Knowles, Jeremy R.Jeremy R. Knowles||"In recognition of his contributions to mechanistic chemistry integrated with enzymology, particularly the application of chemical methods to solve fundamental biological problems of recognition and catalysis"|||
|1992||Carrington, AlanAlan Carrington||"Distinguished for the determination and characterization of the molecular spectra of transient species"|||
|1993||Baldwin, Jack E.Jack E. Baldwin||"Distinguished for his contributions to bio-organic chemistry, in particular to an understanding of the biosynthesis of beta-lactam antibodies"|||
|1994||Thomas, John MeurigJohn Meurig Thomas||"For his pioneering studies of solid-state chemistry, and for the major advances he has made in the design of new materials for heterogeneous catalysis"|||
|1995||Green, M. L. H.M. L. H. Green||"In recognition of his contribution to organometallic chemistry with particular application to catalytic reactions"||—|
|1996||Wilkinson, GeoffreyGeoffrey Wilkinson||"In recognition of his contribution to organotransition metal chemistry and the development of homogeneous catalysis and his work on hydroformylation"|||
|1997||Lehn, Jean-MarieJean-Marie Lehn||"In recognition of his work on supramolecular chemistry, on self-assembling molecules and on chemical devices"||—|
|1998||Fersht, Alan RoyAlan Roy Fersht||"In recognition for his pioneering work on the analysis of proteins by combining the methods and ideas of physical-organic chemistry with those of protein engineering thus illuminating such processes as enzymatic catalysis, protein folding, protein-protein interactions and those macromolecule interactions in general that are dominated by the chemistry of the noncovalent bond"|||
|1999||Chisholm, Malcolm HaroldMalcolm Harold Chisholm||"In recognition of his leading work in inorganic chemistry, particularly his major impact on the chemistry of transition metals and his pioneering research on the unique triply metal-metal bonded dimolybdenum and ditungsten dialkylamides, alkoxides and alkyls, and for the use of these compounds in further important syntheses"|||
|2000||Ley, Steven VictorSteven Victor Ley||"In recognition of his invention of new synthetic methods applied to the synthesis of complex natural products including those from insects, micro-organisms and plants. Among his most outstanding successes have been the synthesis of avermectin B1a, tetronasin, the milbemycins and indanomycin as well as his important development of short, practical syntheses of oligosaccharides"|||
|2001||Scott, Alastair IanAlastair Ian Scott||"For his pioneering contributions to the understanding of biosynthetic pathways, and in particular for his work on vitamin B12. He is a world leader in his area and the impact of his discoveries are likely to have a significant effect on the way natural product chemistry progresses into the future"||—|
|2002||Bartlett, NeilNeil Bartlett||"For his research exploring the highest oxidation limits of the less oxidizable elements, primarily using elemental fluorine. [sic] He has exposed the new chemistry of the noble gases and new procedures for attaining high oxidation state limits across the elements of the periodic table"|||
|2003||Parsons, RogerRoger Parsons||"For his distinguished career in electochemistry. [sic] He developed the method of preparing, for the first time, clean and well-defined metal surfaces and putting them into contact with the electrolyte without contamination"|||
|2004||Oka, TakeshiTakeshi Oka||"For his many and varied contributions to molecular spectroscopy and its applications, particularly to astronomy"|||
|2005||Dobson, ChrisChris Dobson||"For his work on the application of NMR and other structural methods for studying protein folding and misfolding, especially the formation of amyloid fibrils, leading to novel insights on protein structure and folding"|||
|2006||Pope, MartinMartin Pope||"For his pioneering work in the field of molecular semiconductors which has now become a large and important area of semiconductor science and technology"|||
|2007||Simons, JohnJohn Simons||"For his many innovative experimental contributions to a broad area of chemical physics, including molecular reaction dynamics, molecular spectroscopy and most recently, biophysical chemistry"||—|
|2008||Stoddart, James FraserJames Fraser Stoddart||"For his contributions in molecular technology"||—|
|2009||Sanders, JeremyJeremy Sanders||"For his pioneering contributions to several fields, most recently to the field of dynamic combinatorial chemistry at the forefront of supramolecular chemistry"|||
|2010||Carol Robinson||"For her ground-breaking and novel use of mass spectrometry for the characterisation of large protein complexes."|||
|2011||Ahmed Zewail||"For his seminal contributions to the study of ultrafast reactions and the understanding of transition states in chemistry, and to dynamic electron microscopy."|||
|2012||Fraser Armstrong||"For his pioneering protein film electrochemistry allowing exquisite thermodynamic and kinetic control of redox enzymes, exemplified by hydrogenases, key in energy technology."|||
|2013||Graham Hutchings||"for the discovery of catalysis by gold and for his seminal contributions to this new field of chemistry"|||
|2014||Clare Grey||"for further pioneering applications of solid state nuclear magnetic resonance to materials of relevance to energy and the environment"|||
|2015||Gideon John Davies||"for his work in determining the reaction chemistry of enzyme-catalysed carbohydrate transformations"|||
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