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THE DARWIN-WALLACE MEDAL
The number of different medals in existence is huge. A subset of these are high-profile medals of achievement, such as the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize medals. Most of such medals are awarded annually. But how many of these are awarded only every fifty years? The following description is taken from the web site of the Linnean Society of London. -Editor
The Linnean Society of London is the world’s oldest active biological society. Founded in 1788, the Society takes its name from the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778) whose botanical, zoological and library collections have been in its keeping since 1829.
The Darwin-Wallace Medal was awarded in 1908 and again in 1958 to commemorate the 50th and 100th anniversaries of the reading of the joint paper by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace "On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection", which was read on 1st July 1858, and published by the Linnean Society.
The Medal has a profile of Darwin on the obverse and a full-face image of Wallace on the reverse, with the marginal inscription “LINN. SOC. LOND. 1858 – 1908” on both sides. It will be awarded again in 2008 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the reading of the Darwin-Wallace papers.
For more information on the medal, see: The Darwin-Wallace Medal (http://www.linnean.org/index.php?id=344)
Well, the 2008 medal awardees have been decided, but the world won't have to wait so long for the next award ceremony - the Society has opted to begin awarding the medal annually. So, have any of our readers seen one of these rare medals? -Editor
The Council of the Linnean Society of London has awarded 13 Darwin-Wallace Medals 2008 for “major advances in evolutionary biology since 1958” when it was last presented. The award is given every 50 years and commemorates the 150th reading of the joint Darwin - Wallace paper. The President of the Society, Professor David F Cutler, will award medals on Thursday 12th February 2009, the 200th birthday of Charles Robert Darwin, to: Professor Nick Barton FRS, Professor M W Chase FRS, FLS, Professor B C Clarke FRS, FLS, Professor Joseph Felsenstein, the late Professor Stephen Jay Gould, Professor P R Grant FRS, FLS, Dr Rosemary Grant FRS, Professor J L B Mallet FLS, Professor Lynn Margulis FLS, the late Professor John Maynard-Smith FRS, FLS, Professor Mohamed Noor, Professor H Allen Orr and Professor Linda Partridge FRS.
In recognition of the continuing importance of research on evolutionary biology, the Society has also announced that it will now award the medal annually from May 2009.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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