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The COPLEY MEDAL is a scientific award given by the Royal Society
Royal Society
, London, for "outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science." It alternates between the physical and the biological sciences. Given every year, the medal is the oldest Royal Society medal still awarded, and probably the oldest surviving scientific award in the world, having first been given in 1731 to Stephen Gray , for "his new Electrical Experiments: – as an encouragement to him for the readiness he has always shown in obliging the Society with his discoveries and improvements in this part of Natural Knowledge". The Copley Medal
Copley Medal
awarded to Mendeleev in 1905.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Medal Recipients * 3 References * 4 External links

HISTORY

The medal was created following a donation of £ 100 to be used for carrying out experiments by Sir Godfrey Copley , for which the interest on the amount was used for several years. The conditions for the medal have been changed several times; in 1736, it was suggested that "a medal or other honorary prize should be bestowed on the person whose experiment should be best approved", and this remained the rule until 1831, when the conditions were changed so that the medal would be awarded to the researcher that the Royal Society
Royal Society
Council decided most deserved it. A second donation of £1666 13s . 4d . was made by Sir Joseph William Copley in 1881, and the interest from that amount is used to pay for the medal. The medal in its current format is made of silver gilt and awarded with a £5000 prize.

Since its inception, it has been awarded to many notable scientists, including 52 winners of the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
: 17 in Physics , 21 in Physiology or Medicine , and 14 in Chemistry . John Theophilus Desaguliers has won the medal the most often, winning in 1734, 1736 and 1741. In 1976, Dorothy Hodgkin
Dorothy Hodgkin
became the first and, as of 2015, the only female recipient.

MEDAL RECIPIENTS

YEAR IMAGE NAME RATIONALE NOTES

1731 _ Gray, StephenStephen Gray "For his new Electrical Experiments: – as an encouragement to him for the readiness he has always shown in obliging the Society with his discoveries and improvements in this part of Natural Knowledge"

1732

Gray, StephenStephen Gray "For the Experiments he made for the year 1732"

1733

No Award_ — —

1734 _ Desaguliers, John Theophilus John Theophilus Desaguliers "In consideration of his several Experiments performed before the Society"

1735

No Award_ — —

1736 _ Desaguliers, John Theophilus John Theophilus Desaguliers "For his experiments made during the year"

1737

Belchier, John John Belchier "For his Experiment to show the property of a Diet of Madder Root in dyeing the Bones of living animals of a red colour"

1738

Valoue, James James Valoue "For his invention of an Engine for driving the Piles to make a Foundation for the Bridge to be erected at Westminster, the Model whereof had been shown to the Society" —

1739

Hales, Stephen Stephen Hales "For his Experiments towards the Discovery of Medicines for dissolving the Stone; and Preservatives for keeping Meat in long voyages at Sea"

1740

Stuart, AlexanderAlexander Stuart "For his Lectures on Muscular Motion. As a further addition for his services to the Society in the care and pains he has taken therein"

1741

Desaguliers, John Theophilus John Theophilus Desaguliers "For his Experiments towards the discovery of the properties of Electricity. As an addition to his allowance (as Curator) for the present year."

1742

Middleton, ChristopherChristopher Middleton "For the communication of his Observations in the attempt of discovering a North-West passage to the East Indies through Hudsons Bay"

1743

Trembley, Abraham Abraham Trembley "For his Experiments on the Polypus" —

1744

Baker, HenryHenry Baker "For his curious Experiments relating to the Crystallization or Configuration of the minute particles of Saline Bodies dissolved in a menstruum"

1745

Watson, WilliamWilliam Watson "On account of the surprising discoveries in the phenomena of Electricity, exhibited in his late Experiments"

1746

Robins, Benjamin Benjamin Robins "On account of his curious Experiments for showing the resistance of the Air, and his rules for establishing his doctrine thereon for the motion of Projectiles"

1747

Knight, Gowin Gowin Knight "On account of several very curious Experiments exhibited by him, both with Natural and Artificial Magnets"

1748

Bradley, James James Bradley "On account of his very curious and wonderful discoveries in the apparent motion of the Fixed Stars, and the causes of such apparent motion"

1749

Harrison, John John Harrison "On account of those very curious Instruments, invented and made by him, for the exact mensuration of Time"

1750

Edwards, GeorgeGeorge Edwards "On account of a very curious Book lately published by him, and intiyled, A Natural History of Birds, as well as into the Mephitic qualities of this Spirit. (Brownrigg)"

"For his Experiments and Observations on the agreement between the specific gravities of the several Metals, and their colours when united to glass, as well as those of their other preparations. (Delaval)"

"For his Paper communicated this present year, containing his Experiments relating to Fixed Air. (Cavendish)"

1767 _ Ellis, JohnJohn Ellis "For his Papers of the year 1767, On the animal nature of the Genus of Zoophytes called Corallina, and the Actinia Sociata, or Clustered Animal Flower, lately found on the sea coasts of the new-ceded Islands"

1768

Woulfe, Peter Peter Woulfe "For his Experiments on the Distillation of Acids, Volatile Alkalies, and other substances"

1769

Hewson, WilliamWilliam Hewson "For his Two Papers, entitled, An Account of the Lymphatic System in Amphibious Animals, – and An Account of the Lymphatic System in Fish" —

1770

Hamilton, WilliamWilliam Hamilton "For his Paper, entitled, An Account of a Journey to Mount Etna"

1771

Raper, Matthew Matthew Raper "For his paper entitled, An Enquiry into the value of ancient Greek and Roman Money" —

1772

Priestley, Joseph Joseph Priestley "On account of the many curious and useful Experiments contained in his observations"

1773

Walsh, JohnJohn Walsh "For his Paper on the Torpedo"

1774

No Award_ — —

1775 _ Maskelyne, Nevil Nevil Maskelyne "In consideration of his curious and laborious Observations on the Attraction of Mountains, made in Scotland, – on Schehallien"

1776

Cook, James James Cook "For his Paper, giving an account of the method he had taken to preserve the health of the crew of H.M. Ship the Resolution, during her late voyage round the world. Whose communication to the Society was of such importance to the public"

1777

Mudge, John John Mudge "On account of his valuable Paper containing directions for making the best Composition for the metals of Reflecting Telescopes; together with a description of the process for grinding, polishing, and giving the best speculum the true parabolic form" —

1778

Hutton, Charles Charles Hutton "For his paper, entitled, The force of Fired Gunpowder, and the initial velocity of Cannon Balls, determined by Experiments"

1779

No Award_ — —

1780

Vince, Samuel Samuel Vince "For his paper, entitled, An investigation of the Principles of Progressive and Rotatory Motion, printed in the Philosophical Transactions"

1781

Herschel, William William Herschel "For the Communication of his Discovery of a new and singular Star; a discovery which does him particular honour, as, in all probability, this star has been for many years, perhaps ages, within the bounds of astronomic vision, and yet till now, eluded the most diligent researches of other observers"

1782

Kirwan, Richard Richard Kirwan "As a reward for the merit of his labours in the science of Chemistry. For his chemical analyses of Salts"

1783

Goodricke, John John Goodricke and Thomas Hutchins "For his discovery of the Period of the Variation of Light in the Star Algol. (Goodricke)"

"For his Experiments to ascertain the point of Mercurial Congelation. (Hutchins)"

1784 _ Waring, Edward Edward Waring
Edward Waring
"For his Mathematical Communications to the Society. For his Paper On the Summation of Series, whose general term is a determinate function of z the distance from the first term of the series"

1785

Roy, William William Roy "For his Measurement of a Base on Hounslow Heath"

1786

No Award_ — —

1787 _ Hunter, JohnJohn Hunter "For his three Papers, – On the Ovaria, On the identity of the dog, wolf, and jackall species, and On the anatomy of Whales, printed in the Philosophical Transactions for 1787"

1788

Blagden, Charles Charles Blagden "For his two Papers on Congelation, printed in the last (78th) volume of the Philosophical transactions"

1789

Morgan, WilliamWilliam Morgan "For his two Papers on the values of Reversions and Survivorships, printed in the two last volumes of the Philosophical Transactions"

1790

No Award_ — —

1791

Rennell, James James Rennell and

Jean-André Deluc "For his Paper on the Rate of Travelling as performed by Camels, printed in the last (81st) volume of the Philosophical Transactions. (Rennell)"

"For his Improvements in Hygrometry. (De Luc)"

1792 _ Thompson, Benjamin Benjamin Thompson "For his various Papers on the Properties and Communication of Heat"

1793

No Award_ — —

1794 _ Volta, Alessandro Alessandro Volta
Alessandro Volta
"For his several Communications explanatory of certain Experiments published by Professor Galvani"

1795

Ramsden, Jesse Jesse Ramsden "For his various inventions and improvements in the construction of the Instruments for the Trigonometrical measurements carried on by the late Major General Roy, and by Lieut. Col. Williams and his associates"

1796

Atwood, George George Atwood "For his Paper on the construction and analysis of geometrical propositions determining the positions assumed by homogeneal bodies which float freely, and at rest; and also determining the Stability of Ships and other floating bodies"

1797

No Award_ — —

1798

Shuckburgh-Evelyn, George George Shuckburgh-Evelyn and

Charles Hatchett "For his various Communications printed in the Philosophical Transactions. (Evelyn)"

"For his Chemical Communications printed in the Philosophical Transactions. (Hatchett)"

1799 _ Hellins, John John Hellins "For his improved Solution of a problem in Physical Astronomy, and his other Mathematical Papers"

1800

Howard, Edward Charles Edward Charles Howard "For his Paper on a New Fulminating Mercury"

1801

Cooper, Astley Astley Cooper "For his Papers – on the effects which take place from the destruction of the Membrana Tympani of the Ear; with an account of an operation for the removal of a particular species of Deafness"

1802

Wollaston, William Hyde William Hyde Wollaston "For his various Papers printed in the Philosophical Transactions"

1803

Chenevix, RichardRichard Chenevix "For his various Chemical Papers printed in the Philosophical Transactions"

1804

Tennant, Smithson Smithson Tennant "For his various Chemical Discoveries communicated to the Society, and printed in several volumes of the Philosophical Transactions"

1805

Davy, Humphry Humphry Davy "For his various Communications published in the Philosophical Transactions"

1806

Knight, Thomas Andrew Thomas Andrew Knight "For his various Papers on Vegetation, printed in the Philosophical Transactions"

1807

Home, Everard Everard Home "For his various Papers on Anatomy and Physiology, printed in the Philosophical Transactions" —

1808

Henry, WilliamWilliam Henry "For his various papers communicated to the society, and printed in the Philosophical Transactions" —

1809

Troughton, Edward Edward Troughton "For the Account of his Method of dividing Astronomical Instruments, printed in the last volume of the Philosophical Transactions"

1810

No Award_ — —

1811 _ Brodie, Benjamin CollinsBenjamin Collins Brodie "For his Papers printed in the Philosophical Transactions. On the influence of the Brain on the action of the Heart, and the generation of Animal Heat; and on the different modes in which death is brought on by certain Vegetable Poisons"

1812

No Award_ — —

1813 _ Brande, William Thomas William Thomas Brande "For his Communications concerning the Alcohol contained in Fermented Liquors and other Papers, printed in the Philosophical Transactions" —

1814

Ivory, JamesJames Ivory "For his various Mathematical Contributions printed in the Philosophical Transactions"

1815

Brewster, David David Brewster "For his Paper on the Polarization of Light by Reflection from Transparent Bodies"

1816

No Award_ — —

1817 _ Kater, Henry Henry Kater "For his Experiments on the Pendulum"

1818

Seppings, Robert Robert Seppings "For his Papers on the construction of Ships of War, printed in the Philosophical Transactions" —

1819

No Award_ — —

1820

Orsted, Hans Christian ! Hans Christian Ørsted "For his Electro-magnetic Discoveries"

1821

Sabine, Edward Edward Sabine and

John Herschel "For his various Communications to the Royal Society relating to his researches made in the late Expedition to the Arctic Regions. (Sabine)"

"For his Papers printed in the Philosophical Transactions. (Herschel)"

1822

Buckland, William William Buckland "For his Paper on the Fossil Teeth and Bones discovered in a Cave at Kirkdale"

1823

Pond, John John Pond "For his various Communications to the Royal Society" —

1824

Brinkley, JohnJohn Brinkley "For his various Communications to the Royal Society"

1825

Arago, François François Arago and Peter Barlow "For the Discovery of the Magnetic Properties of substances not containing Iron. For the Discovery of the power of various bodies, principally metallic, to receive magnetic impressions, in the same, though in a more evanescent manner than malleable Iron, and in an infinitely less intense degree. (Arago)"

"For his various Communications on the subject of Magnetism. (Barlow)"

1826

South, James James South "For his observations of Double Stars, and his Paper on the Discordances between the Suns observed and computed Right Ascensions, published in the Transactions of the Society. For his Paper of Observations of the Apparent Distances and Positions of Four Hundred and Fifty-eight Double and Triple Stars, published in the present volume (1826, Part 1.) of the Transactions"

1827

Prout, William William Prout and

Henry Foster "For his Paper entitled, On the ultimate Composition of simple alimentary substances, with some preliminary remarks on the analysis of organized bodies in general. (Prout)"

"For his magnetic and other observations made during the Arctic expedition to Port Bowen. (Foster)"

1828 _ No Award_ — —

1829 _ No Award_ — —

1830 _ No Award_ — —

1831

Airy, George Biddell George Biddell Airy
George Biddell Airy
"For his Papers, On the principle of the construction of the Achromatic Eye-pieces of Telescopes, – On the Spherical Aberration of the Eye-pieces of Telescopes, and for other Papers on Optical Subjects in the Transactions of the Cambridge Philosophical Society"

1832

Faraday, Michael Michael Faraday and Siméon Denis Poisson "For his discovery of Magneto-Electricity as detailed in his Experimental Researches in Electricity, published in the Philosophical Transactions for the present year. (Faraday)"

"For his work entitled, Nouvelle Theorie de lAction Capillaire. (Poisson)"

1833 _ No Award_ — —

1834

Plana, Giovanni Antonio Amedeo Giovanni Antonio Amedeo Plana "For his work entitled, Theorie du Mouvement de la Lune"

1835

Harris, William Snow William Snow Harris "For his experimental investigations of the force of electricity of high intensity contained in the Philosophical Transactions of 1834"

1836

Berzelius, Jöns Jacob Jöns Jacob Berzelius and Francis Kiernan "For his systematic application of the doctrine of definite proportions to the analysis of mineral bodies, as contained in his Nouveau Systeme de Mineralogie, and in other of his works. (Berzelius)"

"For his discoveries relating to the structure of the liver, as detailed in his paper communicated to the Royal Society, and published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1833. (Kiernan)" —

1837

Becquerel, Antoine César Antoine César Becquerel and

John Frederic Daniell "For his various memoirs on the subject of electricity, published in the Memoires deacademie Royale des Sciences de lInstitut de France, and particularly for those on the production of crystals of metallic sulphurets and of sulphur, by the long-continued action of electricity of very low tension, and published in the tenth volume of those Memoires. (Becquerel)"

"For his two papers on voltaic combinations published in the Philosophical Transactions for 1836. (Daniell)"

1838

Gauss, Carl Friedrich Carl Friedrich Gauss
Carl Friedrich Gauss

and Michael Faraday "For his inventions and mathematical researches in magnetism. (Gauss)"

"For his researches in specific electrical induction. (Faraday)"

1839

Brown, RobertRobert Brown "For his discoveries during a series of years, on the subject of vegetable impregnation"

1840

von Liebig, Justus Justus von Liebig and

Jacques Charles François Sturm "For his discoveries in organic chemistry, and particularly for his development of the composition and theory of organic radicals. (Liebig)"

"For his "Memoire sur la Resolution des Equations Numeriques," published in the Memoires des Savans Etrangers for 1835. (Sturm)"

1841

Ohm, Georg Georg Ohm "For his researches into the laws of electric currents contained in various memoirs published in Schweiggers Journal, Poggendorffs Annalen and in a separate work entitled Die galvanische Kette mathematisch bearbeitet"

1842

MacCullagh, James James MacCullagh "For his researches connected with the wave theory of light, contained in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy"

1843

Dumas, Jean-Baptiste Jean-Baptiste Dumas "For his late valuable researches in organic chemistry, particularly those contained in a series of memoirs on chemical types and the doctrine of substitution, and also for his elaborate investigations of the atomic weights of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and other elements" —

1844

Matteucci, Carlo Carlo Matteucci "For his various researches in animal electricity"

1845

Schwann, Theodor Theodor Schwann "For his physiological researches on the development of animal the Council considering such prediction confirmed as it was by the immediate discovery of the Planet to be one of the proudest triumphs of modern analysis applied to the Newtonian Theory of Gravitation"

1847

Herschel, John John Herschel "For his work entitled Results of Astronomical Observations made during the years 1834, 1835, 1836, 1837 and 1838, at the Cape of Good Hope; being a completion of a telescopic survey of the whole surface of the visible heavens, commenced in 1825"

1848

Adams, John Couch John Couch Adams "For his investigations relative to the disturbances of Uranus, and for his application of the inverse problem of perturbations thereto"

1849

Murchison, Roderick