The RSA uses cookies on this website. By using this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more read our cookie policy and privacy policy. More Info

Past winners of the Albert Medal

Established in 1864 to commemorate Prince Albert, President of the RSA between 1843-61, the Medal was originally awarded on the basis of 'distinguished merit in promoting Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.'

Previous recipients range from world-renowned scientists to artists to social campaigners: they include Alexander Graham Bell in 1902 for the invention of the telephone; Marie Curie in 1910 for the discovery of radium; Stephen Hawking in 1999 for improving public awareness of physics; and Tim Berners-Lee in 2002 for the creation of the World Wide Web.

The Medal has evolved over the years and is now recognised as a way of rewarding innovation in the fields of creativity, commerce and social improvement.

Previous winners have included Michael Faraday, Marie Curie, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Professor Stephen Hawking, Baroness Mary Warnock and Sir Tim Berners-Lee. See the full list of winners here. 

In 2021, we are delighted to announce that the Albert Medal will be awarded to Professor Sarah Gilbert, Oxford Vaccine Project Lead. 

Winners from the past ten years have been:

2019 - Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE

Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE is the founder of parkrun, a global participation movement with the aim of making the world a ‘healthier and happier place’ through its multimillion-strong network of volunteers and runners. 

2018 - Neil Jameson 

Neil Jameson founded Citizens UK, which has trained and supported over 5,000 civic leaders in what it calls ‘the art of politics in action.’ This has led to one of the most significant developments in politics and public life since the creation of the Welfare State – thousands of citizens organising together, permanently, for the Common Good.

2017 - Robin Murray 

Robin Murray won the award posthumously for pioneering work in social innovation. As an industrial and environmental economist, Robin was active and influential across several fields, from cooperatives to energy system innovation.

2016 - Peter Tatchell

Peter Tatchell has campaigned tirelessly on human rights and social equality. He began his LGBT advocacy and activism half a century ago, combining both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary action to secure changes in public attitudes, the law and the way institutions treat LGBT people.

2015 - James Timpson OBE

James Timpson OBE took his family business to new heights with a recruitment and staff development approach achieving both commercial and social goals. He operates an 'upside down' management structure, with a high level of autonomy given to front line teams. Working closely with prisons across the UK, he also offers opportunities to ex-offenders wanting to change their lives for the better.

2014 – Jos de Blok 

Jos de Blok founded Buurtzorg in Holland in 2006 - a movement of nurses who decided to take full responsibility for their patients in small self-organized teams.  As of 2014, there were 8500 nurses working this way throughout Holland - without hierarchy, solving problems for patients, working together, exchanging ideas, creating new solutions, and learning how to deal with new problems.

2013 - Selwyn Image CBE

Selwyn Image CBE has tackled homelessness and social exclusion through social enterprise. He set up Emmaus UK, the UK branch of a charity that gives homeless people a place to live and work.

2011 - Albina Ruiz

Albina Ruiz has spent her life working in environmental management. Her organisation, Ciudad Saludable, has grown out of its humble origins in Lima, Peru to become what is now an international force for improving waste management and sanitation.

Full list of Albert Medal winners

2019 - Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE 

2018 - Neil Jameson 

2017 - Robin Murray (posthumous)

2016 - Peter Tatchell

2015 - James Timpson OBE

2014 - Jos de Blok

2013 - Selwyn Image CBE

2011 - Albina Ruiz

2010 - Jeremy Deller

2009 - Zarine Kharas

2008 - Dr Simon Duffy

2005 - Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland

2004 - Karan Bilimoria CBE

2003 - Tim Smit CBE

2002 - Tim Berners-Lee OBE

2001 - Mary Robinson

2000 - The Princess Royal

1999 - Professor Stephen Hawking 

1998 - The Baroness Warnock DBE

1997 - Sir Simon Rattle CBE

1996 - Sir Claus Moser KCB CBE FBA

1995 - Sir Adrian Cadbury 

1994 - Sir Ernest Hall OBE

1993 - Paul Hamlyn CBE

1992 - The Lord Young of Dartington 

1991 - The Baroness Seear PC

1990 - Dr Jonathan Miller 

1989 - The Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover 

1988 - Sir Shridath Ramphal CMG QC

1987 - Dr Francis Crick FRS

1986 - Sir Alastair Pilkington 

1985 - The Prince of Wales 

1984 - Sir Hugh Casson KCVO RIBA RDI

1983 - Sir Arnold Alexander Hall 

1982 - Akio Morita 

1981 - Yehudi Menuhin KBE

1980 - The Baroness Jackson of Lodsworth

1979 - Sir Robert Mayer CH

1978 - Sir John Charnley 

1977 - The Lord Robens of Woldingham PC

1976 - The Lord Olivier (the actor Laurence Olivier)

1975 - Sir Nikolaus Pevsner CBE

1974 - Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother 

1973 - Sir John Betjeman CBE

1972 - Sir George Edwards OM CBE FRS

1971 - Sir William Glock CBE

1970 - Peter Scott CBE

1969 - Sir Allen Lane 

1968 - Sir Barnes Wallis 

1967 - Sir Edward Lewis 

1966 - Christopher Cockerell CBE

1965 - Sir Leon Bagrit

1964 - Dame Ninette de Valois DBE

1963 - The Duke of Edinburgh 

1962 - Sir Sydney Gordon Russell CBE MC RDI FSIA

1961 - Professor Walter Gropius 

1960 - Sir Frederick Handley Page CBE

1959 - Vincent Massey CH

1958 - The Queen (Elizabeth II)

1957 - Sir Christopher Hinton Kt KBE FRS

1956 - Sir Henry Hallett Dale OM GBE MD FRS

1955 - Dr Ralph Vaughan Williams OM

1954 - Sir Ambrose Heal 

1953 - Dr Edgar Adrian OM MD PRS

1952 - Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle KBE CB FRS

1951 - The King (George VI)

1950 - Sir Edward Victor Appleton GBE KCB MA DSc ScD LLD FRS

1949 - Sir Giles Gilbert Scott OM

1948 - Sir William Reid Dick KCVO RA

1947 - Sir Robert Robinson MA DSc LLD FRS

1946 - Sir Alexander Fleming FRS and Sir Howard Florey FRS

1945 - Rt Hon Winston Churchill CH FRS MP

1944 - Sir Henry Tizard KCB DCL FRS

1943 - Sir John Russell OBE DSc FRS

1942 - Field Marshal Rt Hon Jan Smuts OM CH FRS

1941 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt 

1940 - John Alexander Milne CBE

1939 - Sir Thomas Henry Holland KCSI KCIE DSc LLD FRS

1938 - Queen Mary 

1937 - William Nuffield OBE

1936 - The Earl of Derby Bt KG GCB GCVO PC

1935 - Sir Robert Hadfield Bt Kt DSc FRS

1934 - Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins LLD DSc PRS 

1933 - Sir William Llewellyn GCVO PRA

1932 - Frank Brangwyn RA

1931 - The Duke of Connaught and Strathearn 

1930 - Professor Henry Edward Armstrong LLD DSc FRS 

1929 - Sir James Alfred Ewing KCB LLD FRS

1928 - Sir Ernest Rutherford OM LLD DSc FRS

1927 - Sir Aston Webb Kt GCVO CB PRA PRIBA FSA LLD

1926 - Professor Paul Sabatier 

1925 - Lieut-Colonel Sir David Prain CMG CIE ME LLD FRS

1924 - The Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII)

1923 - Major-General Sir David Bruce Kt KCB DSc LLD FRCP FRS and Colonel Sir Ronald Ross KCB KCMG DSc LLD MD FRS FRCS

1922 - Sir Dugald Clerk KBE DSc LLD FRS

1921 - Professor John Ambrose Fleming FRS

1920 - Professor Albert Abraham Michelson 

1919 - Sir Oliver Lodge DSc LLD FRS 

1918 - Sir Richard Glazebrook CB ScD FRS

1917 - Orville Wright 

1916 - Professor Élie Metchnikoff 

1915 - Professor Sir J. J. Thomson OM DSc LLD FRS

1914 - Chevalier Guglielmo Marconi LLD DSc

1913 - The King (George V)

1912 - The Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal GCMG GCVO LLD DCL FRS

1911 - The Hon Sir Charles Algernon Parsons KCB LLD DSc FRS

1910 - Marie Curie 

1909 - Sir Andrew Noble Bt KCB DSc DCL FRS

1908 - Sir James Dewar MA DSc LLD FRS

1907 - The Earl of Cromer GCB OM GCMG KCSI CIE PC FRS

1906 - Sir Joseph Swan MA DSc FRS

1905 - The Lord Rayleigh OM DCL ScD FRS

1904 - Walter Crane 

1903 - Sir Charles Augustus Hartley Kt KCMG

1902 - Professor Alexander Graham Bell 

1901 - The King (Edward VII)

1900 - Henry Wilde FRS

1899 - Sir William Crookes FRS

1898 - Professor Robert Bunsen MD

1897 - George James Symons FRS

1896 - Professor David Edward Hughes FRS

1895 - Sir Isaac Lowthian Bell Bt FRS

1894 - Sir Joseph Lister Bt FRS

1893 - Sir John Bennet Lawes Bt FRS and Sir Henry Gilbert PhD FRS

1892 - Thomas Alva Edison '

1891 - Sir Frederick Abel Kt KCB DCL DSc FRS

1890 - William Henry Perkin FRS

1889 - John Percy LLD FRS

1888 - Professor Hermann von Helmholtz 

1887 - The Queen (Queen Victoria)

1886 - Samuel Lister (later The Lord Masham)

1885 - Henry Doulton 

1884 - Captain James Buchanan Eads 

1883 - Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker KCSI CB MD DCL LLD FRS

1882 - Louis Pasteur Member of the Institute of France For Memb RS

1881 - August Wilhelm von Hofmann MD LLD FRS

1880 - James Prescott Joule LLD DCL FRS

1879 - William Thomson (later The Lord Kelvin) OM LLD DCL FRS

1878 - William Armstrong (later The Lord Armstrong) CB DCL FRS

1877 - Jean-Baptiste Dumas 

1876 - Sir George Biddell Airy KCB FRS

1875 - Michel Chevalier 

1874 - Carl Wilhelm Siemens DCL FRS

1873 - Michel Eugène Chevreul 

1872 - Henry Bessemer FRS

1871 - Henry Cole 

1870 - Ferdinand, Viscount de Lesseps 

1869 - Baron Justus von Liebig 

1868 - Joseph Whitworth LLD FRS

1867 - William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone FRS

1866 - Michael Faraday DCL FRS

1865 - Napoleon III

1864 - Sir Rowland Hill KCB FRS

The 2021 Albert Medal

We are delighted that Professor Sarah Gilbert, Oxford Vaccine Project Lead, will be awarded the 2021 Albert Medal, recognising the creativity and innovation of individuals and organisations working to resolve the challenges of our time

Make Change Happen

In a world that is complex and fast moving, change is inevitable, yet hard won.

The Albert Medal

The RSA Albert Medal is awarded annually to recognise the creativity and innovation of individuals and organisations working to resolve the challenges of our time