He was the renowned leader of 24 Danish government expeditions to Greenland, and the central character in the Lauge Koch Controversy, an international and intra-national conflict. Beginning in December 1935 a bitter conflict arose between Koch and eleven of the most prominent Danish geologists of the day, including O. B. Bøggild, director of The Mineralogical Museum and professor at the Geological Institute of Copenhagen University, and Victor Madsen, head of the Geological Survey of Denmark.
Controversy started with a review of the Lauge Koch book Geologie von Grönland (1935) written by ‘the eleven’ and accusing Koch of poor and improper scientific practice. Relating to the years 1921–23 in which Lauge Koch conducted the Bicentenary Jubilee Expedition to North Greenland in the year of the bicentennial jubilee of Hans Egede's landing in Greenland, Koch made a sledge journey along the north coast of Greenland, round Peary Land and back across the Inland Ice. On this journey Koch discovered a depression which in his opinion was the one that Robert Peary in 1892 had mistaken for a channel. Koch's observations of the interior of Independence Fjord led to considerable cartographic changes compared with the Peter Freuchen map of 1912.
In 1938, Lauge Koch found in the mountains west of Jameson Land, near Scoresby Sound, the skeleton of a huge extinct mammal similar to the head of a gigantic animal with huge teeth found by Professor Selim Hassan in 1935 near the pyramid of Chephren. The skeleton found by Koch was displayed at the museum in Copenhagen.
Amongst his other contributions to the sciences, in the mid-1930s Koch established a network of field stations and traveling huts in Central East Greenland. This establishment of a permanent infrastructure in the field caused a change in the whole culture and organization of Danish Arctic exploration.
His last expedition would be the 1956-58 Expedition to East Greenland in which he used helicopters. But the Danish government cut funding in mid-expedition and Koch's career as expedition leader was terminated.
Koch was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the American Geographical Society in 1924, its Daly Medal in 1930, as well as the Vega medal of the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography. In 1927 he was awarded the Patron's Gold Medal of the British Royal Geographical Society for his work in Greenland and the Hans Egede Medal of the Royal Danish Geographical Society. In 1949 he was awarded the Mary Clark Thompson Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.
- "Lauge Koch (1892-1964)" (web and PDF). Obituary. The Arctic Institute of North America. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- Christopher Jacob Ries, Roskilde University (2007). "The Lauge Koch Controversy: International Cooperation and intra-national conflict in Danish arctic research 1930-1940" (web). Ideologies and Controversies in 20th Century Scientific Exploration. Steno Institute. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- Michael Bravo; Sverker Sörlin (2002). Narrating the Arctic: A Cultural History of Nordic Scientific. Science History Publications/USA. p. 197. ISBN 0-88135-385-X.
- The Bi-centennary (sic) Jubilee Expedition 1920-23 at eng.jubie
- Wilkins, Harold T. (1998). Secret Cities of Old South America. Adventures Unlimited Press. p. 326. ISBN 0-932813-55-0.
- Christopher J. Ries, Roskilde University, Denmark. "Cartography, authority and credibility". Field Study. fieldstudies.dk. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- Kochite Mineral Data
- Kochite from Mt Hvide Ryg (north slope), Werner Bjerge, Tunu (East Greenland) Province, Greenland
- Matthias Heymann, Henrik Knudsen, Maiken L. Lolck, Henry Nielsen, Kristian H. Nielsen & Christopher J. Ries, Exploring Greenland: Science and Technology in Cold War Settings. Scientia Canadensis, vol. 33, n° 2, 2010, p. 11-42.
- "American Geographical Society Honorary Fellowships" (PDF). amergeog.org. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
- "List of Past Gold Medal Winners" (PDF). Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
- (in Danish)
- "Mary Clark Thompson Medal". National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 15 February 2011.