RSE James Hutton medal

The RSE James Hutton Medal recognises exceptional achievements in the earth and environmental sciences by a senior career researcher. This award meets with the Society’s strategic objectives of recognising and rewarding excellence in, and increasing public understanding of, the earth and environmental sciences.  The awardees are required to have a Scottish connection but can be based anywhere in the world.

Senior-career definition: academics who are normally beyond 15 years from the award of their doctorate. This terminology takes no account of either an applicant’s age or current status in determining eligibility for this award. This does not include career breaks.


Nominations are currently closed.


ABOUT James Hutton

James Hutton (1726 – 1797) was a geologist, agriculturalist, naturalist, and physician. He is often seen as the founding figure of modern geology with his 1788 paper on the ‘Theory of the Earth’ (read before the RSE in 1785 by his friend Joseph Black) leading the way to new conceptions of the earth’s history. Hutton was a founder member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1783. A practising farmer, Hutton also wrote on meteorology and on agriculture. 


Launched in autumn 2022 as part of the revised RSE Medals Programme, the RSE James Hutton Medal is a new senior-career medal in the previously unrepresented sector of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

YearName(s)Institution Awarded
2024No award made
2023Professor Jenni BarclayUniversity of East AngliaFor her outstanding contributions to the emerging field of social volcanology and in engaging with communities in Ecuador, Colombia and the Caribbean to reduce risks. Her work has set new agendas and standards in understanding and mitigating volcanic risk, which has produced exemplars for working with affected communities around themes of risk and resilience.
2023Professor Lorna Dawson CBE, FRSEJames Hutton InstituteFor her exceptional achievements both academically and in public engagement within soil and environmental science. In the field of the science and application of soil forensics, Professor Dawson is a recognised international expert for her academic achievements, demonstrated by her work with police forces across the world and with the National Crime Agency.