Royal Gold Medals for outstanding achievement

Royal Gold Medals for outstanding achievement

The achievements of three individuals whose work has brought about public benefits on a global scale are to receive Royal recognition. HRH The Princess Royal will present Royal Medals to Professor Sir Alfred Cuschieri, Professor John Mallard and Professor Sir Alan Peacock at a Jubilee Dinner ceremony to be held in the Signet Library on October 3, 2002. The Medallists have been selected by The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE), Scotland’s National Academy, in recognition of intellectual endeavour which has had a profound influence on people’s lives, world-wide. Designed and produced in Scotland and encompassing all intellectual disciplines, three prestigious, eighteen carat gold medals are awarded through the RSE each year.

President of the RSE, Sir William Stewart said:

Her Majesty, our Patron, honours us greatly in naming these distinguished individuals as recipients of the prestigious Royal Medals for 2002. The presence of HRH The Princess Royal at a dinner to celebrate Her Majesty, our Patron’s Jubilee is also a huge honour. We are delighted that HRH The Princess Royal has agreed to present the Royal Medals at the Signet Library.

Through outstanding scholarship, in advances in medical imaging & diagnosis, in developments in keyhole surgery and in major contributions to public policy, the Medallists have had a profound influence on the lives of people in Scotland and far beyond. Scotland has a proud heritage of achievement, discovery and enterprise. The Royal Medals capture the spirit of the RSE’s Royal Charter of 1783, ‘to promote the advancement of learning and useful knowledge’. They reflect the way in which, as a progressive, Scottish Society, working as part of the UK, and within a global context, the Fellowship is helping to meet the challenges of the Twenty First Century.

The Medallists

Professor Sir Alfred Cuschieri FRSE, has made an outstanding contribution to the practice of medicine by pioneering developments in minimal access or ‘keyhole’ surgery. Sir Alfred’s surgical techniques have been adopted world-wide and have greatly reduced the time patients spend in hospital. He continues to develop and evaluate new technologies and techniques, including the in situ removal of liver tumours. Internationally respected and a leader in his field, Sir Alfred is the author of 29 text books, has published over 350 articles in peer review journals and has contributed numerous chapters to the works of others. Sir Alfred has trained many surgeons and is endeavouring to establish a Scottish Unit for Image Guided and Microtherapy for Tumours.

Professor John R Mallard OBE FRSE, is an outstanding pioneer in the field of medical imaging and diagnosis. Professor Mallard has developed two of the most important diagnostic technologies of the 20th century, namely Nuclear Medicine and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (NMRI). Whilst at Hammersmith hospital, John Mallard built the first radionuclide imaging device in the UK and was also involved in the first European brain tumour imaging trials. As Aberdeen University’s first Professor of Medical Physics his group were responsible for some of the major discoveries which led to this technique becoming clinically viable. Since the first clinically viable MRI was produced in 1980, Professor Mallard’s technique has benefited many thousands of people. Professor Mallard is the recipient of many honours and medals.

Professor Sir Alan Peacock DSC FBA FRSE, has made an outstanding contribution to Social Science and Public Policy. He has achieved international distinction on a range of fiscal issues where he has enhanced our understanding of key problems in both taxation and public expenditure. As Deputy Vice Chancellor of York University, Sir Alan established the world class economics department, before becoming Principal & Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, which he helped to set up and run. He has lectured widely and held senior academic posts in Scotland and England. From 1973-76 he was Chief Economic Adviser at the Department of Trade & Industry, has been a member of the Committee of Enquiry into Retirement Provision (1983-85), Chairman of the Committee on Financing the BBC (1985-86), Chairman of the Scottish Arts Council (1986-92) and Chairman of the Rowntree Inquiry on Takeovers (1989-91).

The Royal Medals

The distinguished designer and engraver Malcolm Appleby of Grandtully near Aberfeldy has designed and created the Royal Medals. Mr Appleby’s work has been exhibited in many of the world’s most prestigious museums and galleries. His commissions include engraving work on an orb for His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’ coronet, and pieces for The Royal Armouries, The Victoria & Albert Museum, and National Museums of Scotland. As the Royal Medals recognise outstanding achievement in all intellectual fields, it was decided to unify them by commissioning one design for all three medals.


jpgs of the President of the RSE, and the Medals are available from the Society.

This top accolade is open to all men and women who have achieved international excellence in any field of intellectual endeavour. Medallists should preferably have a Scottish connection, but do not need to reside in Scotland, or be RSE Fellows.

The Royal Medals were presented for the first time in July 2000, when Her Majesty The Queen awarded them, in person, at The Royal Society of Edinburgh to:-

Professor Sir Kenneth Murray, FRS, FRSE for his groundbreaking work in developing a vaccine for Hepatitis B, improving healthcare world-wide.

Professor Peter Higgs, FRS, FRSE for offering a key to the problem of the origin of Mass. The Higgs boson has been a crucial step towards a unified theory of the forces of Nature.

The Rt Hon The Lord Perry of Walton, OBE, FRS, FRSE for his outstanding career in science and education, and for his pioneering work in developing the Open University, which has been a model for similar institutions around the world.

In 2001 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh presented Royal Medals in The Palace of Holyroodhouse to:

Professor Sir James Black, OM, FRS, Hon FRSE, for his discovery & development of two blockbuster drugs: the renowned “b-blocker” drugs, notably propanolol, which changed cardiovascular therapeutics beyond recognition and cimetidine, which profoundly improved the therapy of the peptic ulcer with cimetidine.

Professor Tom Devine, FRSE, Hon MRIA, FBA for his distinguished and highly-acclaimed work on Irish and Scottish economic and social history which impacted upon the "peace process".

Professor Ian Scott, FRS, FRSE for his revolutionary work on the way in which vitamin B12, the essential life pigments chlorophyll and heme, and the important anti-tumour agent taxol, are produced.


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