The Edgeworth David Medal

The Edgeworth David Medal is awarded for the most meritorious contributions to knowledge and society in Australia or its territories, conducted mainly in New South Wales by an individual who is from 5–15 years post-PhD or equivalent on 1 January of the year of the award.

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 2022

Tim DohertyThe Edgeworth David Medal for 2022 has been awarded to Dr Tim S Doherty, an ARC DECRA Fellow in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. Dr Doherty has made extraordinary contributions in the fields of predator-prey dynamics, movement ecology and fire ecology, emerging as a pre-eminent scientist of his generation in developing these fields and in exploring how each is influenced by human modification of the environment. Dr Doherty’s transformative insights have been achieved by combining field experiments with novel theoretical frameworks and global syntheses. Key contributions include revealing that invasive predators have contributed to more than 50% of bird, mammal, and reptile extinctions globally, and conducting vital applied field research on fire and invasive species that informs conservation policy and management.

The Edgeworth David Medal 2021

Lining Arnold JuThe Edgeworth David Medal for 2021 has been awarded to Dr Lining Arnold Ju, an ARC DECRA Fellow in the Faulty of Engineering at the University of Sydney. Dr Ju employs innovative and cutting-edge research in mechanical engineering and biomechanics to open new avenues for the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of blood clotting diseases. In just 8 years since his PhD award and under 35 years of age, he has been an ARC DECRA Fellow and a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow and has won awards such as the;MIT TR35 Innovator, the Australian Museum Eureka Prize and NSW Young Tall Poppy. His academic standing is on a steep upward trajectory nationally and internationally. He is now spearheading his own Cardiovascular Biomechanics Lab for organ-on-chip blood clot assessment and the development of future cardiovascular point-of-care tests and telehealth microdevices.

The Edgeworth David Medal 2020

Associate Professor Brett HallamThe Edgeworth David Medal for 2020 has been awarded to Associate Professor Brett Hallam of the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering at UNSW (Sydney). In less than six years from completion of his PhD, Scientia Fellow Brett Hallam has established himself as a national and international leader in the highly competitive field of crystalline silicon photovoltaics, particularly in the areas of light induced degradation, hydrogen passivation and defect engineering. Although he has made a major impact on photovoltaics globally, this is in addition to his profile and leadership in crystalline silicon photovoltaics in Australia. Professor Hallam’s research addresses one of the key challenges in sustainability, that is, access to clean electricity. His work on hydrogen passivation to avoid light induced degradation of solar cells means that the cost of photovoltaics can be reduced greatly, increasing the competitiveness of this form of electricity compared with that generated by fossil fuels.

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.

List of Past Recipients of the Edgeworth David Medal

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.B. 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
2020 Associate Professor Brett Hallam Photovoltaic Engineering
2021 Dr Lining Arnold Ju Mechanical Engineering / Biomechanics
2022 Dr Tim S Doherty Ecology / Predator-Prey Dynamics


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 was 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 were announced at the 1318th Ordinary General Meeting of the Society to be held on 29 November 2023 and are listed on the Recent Winners page of the website.

Nominations for the 2024 Awards opened on 1 July and will close on 30 September 2024.

In 2024, nominations are sought for the:


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