The Edgeworth David Medal

The Edgeworth David Medal is awarded each year for distinguished contributions by a young scientist under the age of thirty-five (35) years on 1 January in the year in which the medal is awarded, for work done mainly in Australia or its territories, or contributing to the advancement of Australian science.

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

The medal is presented at the Society's Annual Dinner.

The medal is named after the pioneering geologist and longstanding supporter of the Society, Sir Edgeworth David FRS, who wrote the first comprehensive record of the geology of Australia. In September 1942, Henry Ferdinand Halloran, who had joined the Society in 1892, decided to celebrate his jubilee as a member by making a donation to the Society. In May 1943 the Council decided to use some of Henry Halloran’s gift to establish the Edgeworth David Medal, to be awarded annually to scientists under the age of 35 years.

In October 1943, the sculptor Lyndon Dadswell was commissioned to draw up a design for the Edgeworth David Medal. About three years elapsed before Dadswell finalised the design. The Council of the Society had decided at an early stage that a portrait of the late Professor Sir Edgeworth David would appear on the obverse side of the medal. Members of Council were not satisfied that the first plaster cast of the medal was a good likeness of Sir Edgeworth and a modified design was finally accepted by Council in March 1947.

The first award of the Edgeworth David Medal was made at the Annual General Meeting of the Society in April 1949.

The Edgeworth David Medal 2019

The Edgeworth David Medal for 2019 has been awarded to Professor Si Ming Man, of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. Professor Si Ming Man is an outstanding young researcher in the field of innate immunology, attaining a full professorship only six years after his PhD graduation. Six of his recent papers are recognised as “highly cited”, being in the top 1% of the field. His research has identified a class of disease-fighting “killer” proteins, produced by the cell, which can directly attack bacteria, causing these pathogens to die and release signals that can rapidly trigger activation of the immune system. Further studies have shown that immune receptors have critical roles in preventing gut inflammation and the development of colorectal (bowel) cancer, while most recently he has discovered that toxins from foodborne bacteria can be detected and blockaded by immune receptors to prevent sepsis.

The Edgeworth David Medal 2018

The Edgeworth David Medal for 2018 was awarded to Associate Professor Elizabeth J. New. She is an inorganic chemist working in the field of molecular imaging and medical sensors. Associate Professor New’s research has progressed the field in several ways, including synthesising new chemical tools that can sense chemical environments, promoting a translational approach to the development of new chemical sensors and establishing generalised methods that are now widely used to improve and evaluate potential cellular probes.

Year Recipient Discipline
1948 R.G. Giovanelli &  Astrophysics
  E. Ritchie Organic Chemistry
1949 T.B. Kiely Plant Pathology
1950 R.M. Berndt & Anthropology
  Catherine H. Berndt Anthropology
1951 J.G. Bolton Radio Astronomy
1952 A.B. Wardrop Botany
1954 E.S. Barnes Mathematics
1955 H.B.S. Womersley Botany
1956 J.M. Cowley Chemical Physics
1957 J.M. Cowley & Chemical Physics
  J.P. Wild Radio Astronomy
1958 P.I. Korner Physiology
1960 R.D. Brown Chemistry
1961 R.O. Slatyer Climatology
1962 R.F. Isbell Soil Science
1963 W.H. Fletcher Physics
1964 M.E. Holman Physiology
1965 J.L. Dillon Agricultural Economics
1966 R.I. Tanner Mechanical Engineering
1967 D.H. Green & Geology
  W.J. Peacock Botany
1968 R.M. May Physics
1969 B.W. Ninham Physics
1970 D.A. Buckingham Inorganic Chemistry
1971 W.F. Budd Glaciology
1972 D.H. Napper & Physical Chemistry
  J. Stone Physiology
1973 C.D. Osmond Plant Biology
1974 A.W. Snyder Physics
1975 F.J. Ballard Biochemistry
1976 R.H. Street Mathematics
1977 R.A. Antonia Mechanical Engineering
1978 JT.W. Cole & Astronomy
  M.G. Clark Physiology
1979 G.C. Goodwin Electrical Engineering
1980 Michael Anthony Etheridge Geology
1981 Martin Andrew Green Applied Physics
1982 Nhan Phan-Thien Mechanics
1983 Denis Wakefield Ocular Immunology
1984 Alan James Husband Pathology
1985 Simon Charles Gandevia & Clinical Neurophysiology
  Brian James Morris Molecular Biology
1986 Leslie David Field &  Chemistry
  Peter Gavin Hall Statistics
1987 Andrew Cockburn Zoology
1988 Peter Andrew Lay Inorganic Chemistry
1989 Trevor William Hambley Chemistry
1990 Timothy Fridjof Flannery Taxonomy & Phylogeny - Macropodidea
1991 Mark Harvey Taxonomy - Invertebrates
1992 Peter James Goadsby &  Neurophysiology
  Keith Alexander Nugent Optics
1993 John Skerritt Agriculture (Genetics)
1994 Richard Hume Middleton Electrical Engineering
1995 Anthony Bruce Murphy Physics
1996 Peter Alexander Robinson Physics
1997 Albert Zomaya Mathematics
1999 Dr Merlin Crossley Molecular Biology
2000 Dr Michael Coon Yoong Lee Zoology
2001 Dr Samantha Richardson Evolution
2002 Professor Marcella Bilek Physics
2003 Dr Stuart Robert Batten Chemistry
2004 Dr Cameron Kepert Chemistry
2005 A/Prof Christopher Barner-Kowollik Chemistry
2006 Professor Barry Brook Environmental Science
2007 A/Prof Stuart Wyithe Astrophysics
2008 Dr Adam Micolich Physics
2009 A/Prof Nagarajan Valanoor Materials Science
2010 A/Prof Angela Moles Botany
2011 Dr Trent Woodruff Pharmacology
2012 Dr Joanne Whittaker Geophysics
2012 A/Prof David Wilson Mathematics and Public Health
2013 A/Prof David Wilson Epidemiology
2014 A/Prof Richard Payne Chemistry
2015 A/Prof Simon Ho Biology and Evolution
2016 Dr. Muireann Irish Neuroscience
2017 Dr Angela Nickerson Psychology
2018  Associate Professor Elizabeth J. New Chemistry
2019  Professor Si Ming Man Immunology


This is your chance to nominate a person who you believe is eligible for a Royal Society of NSW Award or Medal.  These prestigious prizes for excellence in science, engineering, philosophy and the arts, awarded by Australia's oldest learned society, recognise outstanding achievement by Australian intellectuals. 

In 2020, nominations are sought for the:
Archibald Ollé Prize, Clarke Medal, Edgeworth David Medal, History and Philosophy of Science Medal, James Cook Medal, Poggendorff Lectureship, Royal Society of NSW Scholarships, and Warren Prize

In addition, the Liversidge Lecture will be awarded in 2020, on a recommendation from the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI).

Nominations are also sought for the Royal Society of NSW Medal and the Royal Society of NSW Citations, each of which recognise substantive contributions, by a Member or Fellow, to the work of the Society.

Nominations close on 30 September of each year and should be sent to the Society’s Awards Committee.

Information about the Awards and instructions for making nominations, click on the Award name in the drop-down list under the “Awards” menu.

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