Gold Medal (RGS)

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The Gold Medal are the most prestigious of the awards presented by the Royal Geographical Society. The Gold Medal is not one award but consists of two separate awards; the Founder's Medal 1830 and the Patron's Medal 1838. The award is given for "the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery", and requires Royal approval before an award can be made. The awards originated as an annual gift of fifty guineas from King William IV, first made in 1831, "to constitute a premium for the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery". The Royal Geographical Society decided in 1839 to change this monetary award into two gold medals: Founder’s Medal and the Patron’s. The award has been given to notable geographers including David Livingstone (1855), Nain Singh Rawat (1877), Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen (1878) and Alfred Russel Wallace (1892) to more recent winners including Professor William Morris Davis (1919), Sir Halford John Mackinder (1945), Professor Richard Chorley (1987) and Professor David Harvey (1995).

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