The John Thackray Medal

Instituted in 2000 to commemorate the life and work of John Thackray, Past President of the Society, this medal is awarded for a significant achievement in the preceding three years in the history of those areas of interest to the Society, that is the biological and earth sciences in the broadest sense.

Recognition may be for a piece of work completed (e.g. the cataloguing of an archive collection), a publication (book or journal article), exhibition etc. Recipients may be individuals, teams or institutions.

SHNH Officers and Council are delighted to announce that the Thackray Medal  2012 has been awarded to John Ray’s Cambridge Catalogue (1660), translated and edited by Philip H. Oswald and Chris D. Preston.  London: Ray Society, 2011.  ISBN 978-0903874434.  

John Ray is the outstanding British natural historian of the 17th century. This 624-page book provides the first complete translation from the Latin of his first publication, A catalogue of plants growing around Cambridge (1660). [See SHNH Newsletter 101: 14.]

In speaking of the award, SHNH President Hugh Torrens said: "This joint work was applauded by the panel, both for the fine collaboration it showed between a translator, from Latin, and a botanical historian, and for the deep levels of erudition and scholarship their joint work had revealed. It was felt to be a major contribution to both the study of John Ray, and to his botanical world, by rendering into modern English both Ray's first book, and our first British County Flora".

John Thackray Medal 2014

All SHNH members in good standing are invited to make nominations for the 2014 award using the form attached. Nominations should be sent to the  Honorary Secretary, with an accompanying letter.

Nominations must indicate the item and the producer to be nominated and include the name and contact details of the person submitting the nomination. Please include a brief statement on the nature of the significant achievement involved and describe how the Prize Committee can obtain supporting evidence, such as publication details or photographs of exhibitions, etc.  The Committee may ask for the loan of such evidence to support the Committee in its discussions.

The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2014.

SHNH Rules: 15.2 John Thackray Medal

(a) Individuals, teams, project groups and/or organisations and institutions demonstrating significant achievement in the previous three years in the field of the history and/or bibliography of natural history may be awarded the John Thackray Medal.

(b) Significant achievement may be recognised by the completion of a major piece of work or research (e.g. the cataloguing of an archive collection); the making available of collections and/or information in new and novel ways; a publication; an exhibition, etc.

(c) The Council will call for nominations annually by issuing a nomination form that will indicate a closing date.

(d) All the nominations will be reviewed by a Committee appointed by the Council of the Society. The decision of Council as to the recipient of the award is final.

(e) The award of the John Thackray Medal should take place at a General Meeting of the Society. All awards of this medal shall be reported to the membership in a timely fashion.

(f) Once submitted a nomination will be reconsidered annually during its period of eligibility.

John Thackray Medal Winners

2012: John Ray’s Cambridge Catalogue (1660), translated and edited by Philip H. Oswald and Chris D. Preston.  London: Ray Society, 2011.  ISBN 978-0903874434.  

2010: The Biodiversity Heritage Library, represented by Tom Garnett.

2009: Charlie Jarvis for his publication Order out of chaos: Linnaean plant names and their types.

2008: The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online Project at the University of Cambridge.

2006: Peter Marren for his book The New Naturalists (2nd Edition). London: Collins. 2005). ISBN: 0007197160.

2005: David E. Allen and Gabrielle Hatfield for their book Medicinal plants in folk tradition: an ethnobotany of Britain and Ireland. (Cambridge: Timber Press. 2004).

2004: The American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, USA) for the exhibition: “Stuffing Birds, Pressing Plants, Shaping Knowledge: Natural History in North America, 1730-1860,” together with web site, catalogue, accompanying educational materials, and programme of school events.

2003: Dr Clemency Fisher for the exhibition “The Earl & the Pussycat” and editing its associated publication A Passion for Natural History

2002: Mr E. W. Groves, Mr D. T. Moore and the late Professor T. G. Vallance for Nature’s Investigator. The diary of Robert Brown in Australia, 1801–1805.

2001: Professor A. Geus and Dr K. Schulze-Hagen for the exhibition on Joseph Wolf and the accompanying catalogue.

2000: The Natural History Museum, London, and Dr Tony Rice for the exhibition Voyages of Discovery and the accompanying book.

The Society for the History of Natural History (Registered Charity No.2103555 in England and Wales)