Medals and Awards

Since 1890, when we awarded our first Gold Medal to the explorer HM Stanley, the RSGS’s prestigious Medals and Awards have allowed us to recognise outstanding contributions made by individuals (or occasionally by organisations) in a wide range of geographical fields.

Medal presentation events have given RSGS audiences the opportunity to meet and to hear stories from some of the greatest names of their day – people who have excelled in a vast array of geographical activities from exploration to education.

Since 1888, the RSGS has also regularly awarded Honorary Fellowships in recognition of services to the Society and to the wider discipline of geography, and all new Medallists now bear the letters FRSGS after their names.

To propose someone for an RSGS Medal or Award, please complete this RSGS Medals & Awards Nomination Form and return it to the Chief Executive.

Scottish Geographical Medalmedal-scottishgeographicalmedal: the highest accolade, for conspicuous merit and a performance of world-wide repute.  This was awarded first in 1890 as the Gold Medal, and from 1933 as the Scottish Geographical Medal.  Its recipients include Henry Morton Stanley, Colonel Sir Francis Younghusband, Sir Vivian Ernest Fuchs, and Sir David Attenborough.

RSGS - Coppock MedalCoppock Research Medal: the highest research-specific award, for an outstanding contribution to geographical knowledge through research and publication.  This was awarded first in 1931 as the Research Medal, from 1989 as the Centenary Medal, and from 2009 as the Coppock Research Medal, named in honour of Professor J Terence Coppock CBE.  Its recipients include Professor Alan G Ogilvie OBE, Professor J Wreford Watson, and Professor Bill Ruddiman.

RSGS - Livingstone MedalLivingstone Medal: for outstanding service of a humanitarian nature with a clear geographical dimension.  This was awarded first in 1901.  Its recipients include Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Captain Roald Amundsen, Sir Edmund Hillary, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Palin.


RSGS - Mungo MedalMungo Park Medal: for an outstanding contribution to geographical knowledge through exploration or adventure in potentially hazardous physical or social environments.  This was awarded first in 1930.  Its recipients include Miss Isobel Wylie Hutchison, Thor Heyerdahl, Kate Adie, Ray Mears, and Lindsey Hilsum.


RSGS - Shackleton MedalShackleton Medal: for leadership and citizenship in a geographical field, in particular in the fields and current themes of most concern to RSGS.  This was awarded first in 2009.  Its recipients include the Scottish Parliament Transport, Infrastructure & Climate Change Committee, and Craig Sams & Jo Fairley.


RSGS - Geddes Enviroment MedalGeddes Environment Medal: for an outstanding practical, research or communications contribution to conservation and protection of the natural environment and the development of sustainability.  This was awarded first in 2009.  Its recipients include Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Professor Christopher Smout, and Dick Balharry.

RSGS - Tivy Medal Tivy Education Medal: for exemplary, outstanding and inspirational teaching, educational policy or work in formal and informal educational arenas.  This was awarded first in 2008.  Its recipients include Anita Ganeri, and the Scottish Association of Geography Teachers.


RSGS Bartholomew GlobeBartholomew Globe: for excellence in the assembly, delivery or application of geographical information through cartography, GIS and related techniques.  This was awarded first in 2000.  Its recipients include Margaret Wilkes, and Christopher J Fleet.


medal-presidentsawardPresident’s Award: to recognise achievement and celebrate the impact of geographers’ work on wider society.  This was awarded first in 1989.  Its recipients include Dr Peter Furley, and Dr Joanne Sharp.


RSGS - Newbigin PrizeNewbigin Prize: for the most notable contribution to the Scottish Geographical Journal, or any other RSGS publication, during the previous year.  This was awarded first in 1938.  Its recipients include Arthur Geddes, and Dr Sven Lukas & Dr Douglas Benn.


W S Bruce MedalRSGS - WS Bruce Medal: for some notable contribution to Zoology, Botany, Geology, Meteorology, Oceanography or Geography, where new knowledge has been gained through a personal visit to polar regions.  This was awarded first in 1923, and is jointly awarded with the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Physical Society.  Its recipients include James Wordie, and Dr Martin Holdgate.

Bronze Medal: for outstanding public service in which Geography has played an important part, either by exploration, by administration, or in other directions where its principles have been applied to the benefit of the human race.  This was awarded first in 1897 and last in 1904.  Its recipients include Lieutenant F H Johansen, and Professor R N Rudmose-Brown.

Honorary Fellowship: in recognition of services to the Society and to the wider discipline of geography.  This was awarded first in 1888.  Its recipients include Joseph Thomson, Captain Angus Buchanan, and HRH The Princess Royal.