Oxford scientists honoured with eight Royal Society Awards

Each year, the Royal Society recognises exceptional research achievements through a series of prestigious medals and prizes named after great scientists of the past. Eight of the 2021-22 awards, announced today, honour Oxford University researchers for their outstanding contributions to science and medicine.


The Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine Team receive the Copley Medal, thought to be the world’s oldest scientific prize, for their extraordinary achievement in rapidly developing a COVID-19 vaccine suitable for global distribution.

Professor Andrew Zisserman FRS receives the Bakerian Medal for his research on computational theory and commercial systems for geometrically analysing images, and for being a pioneer in using machine learning for vision, especially image recognition.

Professor Richard Moxon FMedSci FRS receives the Buchanan Medal, for helping pioneer the field of molecular microbiology, discovering ‘contingency loci’ in bacteria (repetitive DNA regions that can enable rapid adaptive evolution), and making key contributions to the development of meningitis vaccines.

Professor Saiful Islam receives the Hughes Medal for outstanding contributions to the deeper understanding of atomistic processes in new materials for use in energy applications, especially those related to lithium batteries and perovskite solar cells.

Professor Charlotte Williams OBE FRS receives the Leverhulme Medal for her pioneering work developing and understanding high performance carbon dioxide utilization catalysts and chemistry of next-generation plastic materials.

Professor Raymond Pierrehumbert FRS receives the Rumford Medal for his wide ranging contributions to atmospheric physics, employing fundamental principles of physics to elucidate phenomena across the spectrum of planetary atmospheres.

Professor David Rodney (Roger) Heath-Brown receives the Sylvester Medal for his many important contributions to the study of prime numbers and solutions to equations in integers.

Professor Iain McCulloch FRS receives the Royal Society Armourers and Brasiers Company Prize for making fundamental contributions to the application of materials chemistry to organic electronic applications, with an applied, results-oriented focus, demonstrating translational impact and commercial potential.

Professor Dame Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford said, 

‘We are absolutely delighted by this recognition of the depth, range, impact and talent of our extraordinary scientists.’

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