Queen Mary University of London professors awarded prestigious medals by the Royal Society

The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of the world’s most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

It has awarded two of its three annual Royal Medals to Queen Mary staff – Sir Colin Humphreys, Professor of Materials Science and Professor Michael Green, Professor of Theoretical Physics.

Each year two medals are awarded for the most important contributions to the advancement of “Natural Knowledge” in the physical and biological sciences respectively. A third medal is awarded for distinguished contributions in the applied sciences.

Professor Humphreys was recognised for excelling in basic and applied science, university-industry collaboration, technology development and transfer, academic leadership, promotion of public understanding of science, and advising on science to public bodies.

Professor Green’s award was given for crucial and influential contributions to the development of string theory over a long period of time, including the remarkable discovery of anomaly cancellation.

Royal Medals are awarded on behalf of the Queen each year and have been issued annually since 1825. They are also accompanied by £10,000 prize money. The professors join numerous renown prior winners, including Francis Crick and Fred Sanger among many others.

Commenting on the news, Sir Colin Humphreys said: “I’m delighted, surprised and very honoured to be awarded the Royal Medal of the Royal Society. I am humbled at seeing previous recipients, such as Michael Faraday, Charles Darwin and Tim Berners-Lee. I have been fortunate in having wonderful colleagues, post-docs and students who have contributed hugely to my research in advanced materials. It is a pleasure to be a member of the vibrant School of Engineering and Materials Science at Queen Mary.”

Professor Michael Green said: “I feel honoured and somewhat overawed to be awarded a Royal Medal, particularly in view of the remarkable list of previous awardees. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Queen Mary, where I began my academic career. The Queen Mary physics department has always provided outstanding support, both for teaching and for research excellence. Its theoretical physics group continues to be one of the UK’s preeminent groups and it has been a privilege to have been reconnected with them over the past few years, following my retirement from Cambridge.”

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: “Through its medals and awards the Royal Society recognises those researchers and science communicators who have played a critical part in expanding our understanding of the world around us.

“From advancing vaccine development to catching the first glimpses of distant pulsars, these discoveries shape our societies, answer fundamental questions and open new avenues for exploration.

“On behalf of the Royal Society I congratulate each of our award winners and thank them for their work.”

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