The James Cook Medal

The James Cook Medal is awarded periodically by the Royal Society of New South Wales for outstanding contributions to science and human welfare in and for the Southern Hemisphere.

Nominations for the 2017 award close on 30 September 2017.  A letter of nomination and the nominee's full curriculum vitae should be sent to the Awards Committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The James Cook Medal was established in 1947 with funding by Henry Ferdinand Halloran.  Halloran, who joined the Society in 1892 as a 23-year-old, was a surveyor, engineer and town planner.  He did not publish in the Society's Journal but he was a very enthusiastic supporter of research.  Henry Halloran funded what were to become the Society's two most prestigious awards, the James Cook Medal and the Edgeworth David Medal, the latter being an award for promising young scientists.

James Cook Medal 2016

Professor David Cooper, BSc(Med) MBBS (Syd) MD DSc (UNSW) FRACP FRCPA FRCP FAA FAHMS is the winner of the 2016 James Cook Medal. Located at UNSW, he is Professor of Medicine and Director, Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity in Society.

Professor Cooper’s research has been focused on the understanding and treatment of HIV/AIDS. He introduced one of the first tests for HIV infection to Australia and has made a number of contributions and discoveries in areas such as antiretroviral therapy, complications of HIV treatment, and HIV pathogenesis. His current focus is on dose optimisation in immunotherapy and vaccination.

Year Recipient
1947 The Rt. Hon. J.C. Smuts
1948 B.A. Houssay
1950 Sir Neil H. Fairley
1951 Sir Norman McAlister Gregg
1952 W.L. Waterhouse
1953 Sir David Rivett
1954 Sir Frank M. Burnet
1955 A.P. Elkin
1956 Sir Ian Clunies Ross
1959 Albert Schweitzer
1961 Sir John Eccles
1964 M.R. Lemberg
1965 John Gunther
1966 Sir William Hudson
1969 Lord Casey of Berwick
1974 Sir Marcus L. Oliphant
1975 A. Walsh
1977 I.A. Watson
1978 Sir Lawrence J. Wackett
1979 Robert J. Walsh
1984 Ronald Lawrie Huckstep
1985 Donald Metcalf
1987 Phillip Garth Law
1991 Graeme Milbourne Clark
1994 Sir Gustav Nossal
2013 Brien Holden
2016 David Cooper

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Nominations for the Society’s awards close on 30 September each year.

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