Royal Society accolades for Manchester scientists

University of Manchester Nobel Laureates Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov have been awarded two of the Royal Society’s most significant honours.

Sir Andre is the recipient of the Copley Medal, believed to be the world’s oldest scientific prize. He receives the medal for numerous scientific contributions and, in particular, his work on graphene and other 2D materials.

The Copley medal was first awarded by the Royal Society in 1731, 170 years before the first Nobel Prize.

It is awarded for outstanding achievements in scientific research and has been awarded to such eminent scientists as Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and James Watson.

Professor Novoselov receives the Royal Society’s Leverhulme Medal, for revolutionary work on graphene, other two‐dimensional crystals and their heterostructures that has great potential for a number of applications, from electronics to energy. Both professors are Fellows of the Royal Society.

Geim and Novoselov were awarded the Nobel prize in 2010 for groundbreaking experiments with graphene – the two-dimensional, one-atom thick material they first isolated in 2004.

Graphene is the world’s thinnest, strongest and most conductive material. It has the potential to revolutionise a huge number of diverse applications; from smartphones and ultrafast broadband to drug delivery and computer chips.

Sir Andre said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this old and prestigious award. Not only I am humbled, I also feel younger.

“I especially appreciate that the medal recognizes my post-Nobel work on atomically-thin materials and their smart assemblies, the new research field richer and even more exciting than graphene itself.” 

Sir Kostya added: “It has always been part of the excitement of the work on graphene – most fundamental experiments in the physics of this material often lead to the creation of new devices and applications. The developments of the recent few years show that such transition goes even smoother and faster than one could have envisaged.”

As well as the Copley and Leverhulme Medals, the Royal Society has announced all of the recipients of its awards, medals and prize lecture. The scientists receive the awards in recognition of their achievements in a wide variety of fields of research.

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said: “I’m delighted that the Copley Medal has been awarded to Andre Geim this year. His work on graphene could truly revolutionise many technologies.

“Chancellor George Osborne highlighted graphene as one of the many exciting areas of science the UK should exploit during his speech on science as a UK economic driver given at the Royal Society. He has since backed that up with funding and I’m in no doubt that we’ll see exciting developments from Geim, his collaborator Novoselov and graphene in the next few years.”

Notes for editors

Images of Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov are available on request.

High-resolution images of graphene can be downloaded from http://www.condmat.physics.manchester.ac.uk/

The full list of Royal Society Awards Medals and Prize Lecture announced today is as follows:


Copley Medal. Professor Sir Andre Geim FRS for his numerous scientific contributions and, in particular, for initiating research on two‐dimensional atomic crystals and their artificial heterostructures.   

Royal Medals. Professor Rodney Baxter FRS for his remarkable exact solutions of fundamental models in statistical mechanics.   

Sir Walter Bodmer FRS for seminal contributions to population genetics, gene mapping and understanding of familial genetic disease.

Professor Peter Wells FRS for pioneering the application of the physical and engineering sciences to the development of ultrasonics as a diagnostic and surgical tool which has revolutionised clinical practice.


Davy Medal. Professor Graham Hutchings FRS for the discovery of catalysis by gold and for his seminal contributions to this new field of chemistry.

Gabor Medal. Professor Christofer Toumazou FREng FRS for his success in applying semiconductor technology to biomedical and life-science applications, most recently to DNA analysis.

Hughes Medal. Professor Henning Sirringhaus FRS for his pioneering development of inkjet printing processes for organic semiconductor devices, and dramatic improvement of their functioning and efficiency.

Leverhulme Medal. Professor Sir Konstantin Novoselov FRS for revolutionary work on graphene, other two‐dimensional crystals and their heterostructures that has great potential for a number of applications, from electronics to energy.

Buchanan Medal. Professor Douglas Higgs FRS for his seminal work on the regulation of the human alpha-globin gene cluster and the role of the ATRX protein in genetic disease.


Michael Faraday Prize and Lecture. Professor Frank Close OBE for his excellent work in science communication.

GlaxoSmithKline Prize. Dr Nicholas Lydon FRS for the development of the drug imatinib, a targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor that has transformed the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukaemia (CML) and is a paradigm for cancer drug discovery.

Rosalind Franklin Award. Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore for her scientific achievements and her proposal to promote women in STEM.

Kohn Award. Professor Peter Vukusic for his excellence in engaging with society in matters of science and its societal dimension.

Milner Award. Dr Serge Abiteboul in recognition of his world leading database research with significant scientific and industrial impact.

Royal Society Pfizer Award. Dr Abdoulaye Diabate for his important work on the identification of mosquito swarming cues, which opens up new possibilities for malaria vector control.


Bakerian Lecture. Professor Lynn Gladden CBE FREng FRS for her work in the development of magnetic resonance techniques to study multi-component adsorption, diffusion, flow and reaction processes.

Croonian Lecture. Professor Brigid Hogan FRS for pioneering contributions that have transformed understanding of cell specification, organogenesis and morphogenesis in mammalian development.               

Clifford Paterson Lecture. Professor Polina Bayvel FREng for her fundamental research in high bandwidth digital communications and nonlinear optics.   

Francis Crick Lecture. Dr Duncan Odom for his pioneering work in the field of comparative functional genomics, which has changed our understanding of the evolution of mammalian transcriptional regulation.

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