The Clarke Memorial Lecture

 The Clark Memorial Lecture is delivered by the most recent winner of The Clarke Medal.

The Medal and Lecture were founded in memory of the Reverend William Branwhite Clarke, one of the fathers of the Royal Society of New South Wales.  When the Philosophical Society of New South Wales was reorganized and converted into the Royal Society of New South Wales in 1866, the Rev. W.B. Clarke, because of his acknowledged eminence as a geologist and his scientific services to the Colony, was elected a joint Vice-President, a position which he held until his death on 16 June 1878.  This meant that he was effectively the organizer of the Society, as at that time the Governor was ex-officio President.  Some Governors did take a specific interest, attending meetings and taking part in discussions.

When funds permitted the Clarke Memorial Lectures in geology were commenced, but at first they were not given regularly.  The first Lecture was delivered on 24 September 1903 by Professor T.W. Edgeworth David, his address being most appropriately titled "The Life and Work of the Rev. W.B. Clarke".  In October 1906 a series of lectures was delivered by Professor E.W. Skeats of Melbourne University, one on "The Volcanoes of Victoria" and two on "The Origin of Dolomite".  There were five Lectures during 1907, and one each in 1918 and 1919.

In 1935 a Clarke Memorial Fund Permanent Advisory Committee was appointed by the Council of the Society, and, on its recommendations, Dr. W.G. Woolnough was asked to deliver a Clarke Memorial Lecture.  This lecture, titled "The Aeroplane in the Service of Geology", given on 20 March 1936 in Science House, Sydney, was the first for 19 years and the first to be published in the Journal and Proceedings of the Society, thereby establishing a custom followed today.

Clarke Memorial Lectures were delivered annually from 1936 to 1951, and since 1951 were delivered approximately every second year. Since 2018, with the Clarke Memorial Lecture now aligned with the awarding of the Clarke Medal, the Clarke Lecture has been delivered annually.

Year & Lecturer Year & Lecturer
1903     T.W.E. David
1906     E.W. Skeats (2 lectures)
1907     T.W.E. David (2 lectures)
1907     W.G. Woolnough
1907     E.F. Pittman
1907     W.S. Dun
1918     R.J.A. Berry
1919     T.W.E. David
1936     W.G. Woolnough
1937     H.C. Richards
1938     C.T. Madigan
1939     Sir John S. Flett
1940     E.J. Kenny
1941     C.A. Süssmilch
1942     E.C. Andrews
1943     H.G. Raggatt
1944     W.H. Bryan
1945     E.C. Hills
1946     L.A. Cotton
1947     H.S. Summers
1948     Sir Douglas Mawson
1949     W.R. Browne
1950     F.W. Whitehouse
1951     A.B. Edwards
1953     M.F. Glaessner
1955     R.O. Chalmers
1957     A.H. Voisey
1959     D.E. Thomas
1961     J.A. Dulhunty
1965     A.A. Öpik
1967     S.W. Carey
1969     A.E. Ringwood
1971     D.H. Hill
1973     K. Rankama
1975     K.S.W. Campbe1l
1977     J.F.G. Wilkinson
1979     G.H. Taylor
1981     R.W.R. Rutland
1983     R.H. Vernon
1985     R.L. Stanton
1987     J.J. Veevers
1989     E. Scheibner
1991     B. Webby
1993     B.W. Chappell
1995     R. Taylor
1997     R.W. Johnson (not published)
1999     R. Arculus
2001     G. Packham
2007     D.F. Branagan and R.M. MacLeod
2009     K. Lambeck
2011     J.F. Dewey
2015     W. Griffin
2018     E. Johnston
2019     D. Müller
2020    M. Leishman
2021    R. J. Aitken
2022    A. Baker



These prestigious awards for excellence in science, technology, philosophy, and the arts, awarded by Australia's oldest learned society, recognise outstanding achievements. The Society's portfolio of awards has been entirely revamped in 2023 to provide greater breadth, to recognise recent and evolving disciplines, and emerging as well as established research stars.  Information about the new structure and portfolio of awards is provided on the main awards page

Winners of the 2023 awards will be announced at the 1318th Ordinary General Meeting of the Society to be held on 29 November 2023 and will be publish on the website shortly thereafter.

Winners of awards in previous years, and information about the awards program prior to 2023, may be found on the Past Awards page of this website.

Nominations for the 2024 Awards will open on 1 July 2024, with information about the new awards and how to apply available from the Awards menu on this website.

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