Congratulations to the Darwin-Wallace medalists


NCSE is pleased to congratulate, belatedly, the recipients of the Darwin-Wallace medals for 2008, who include one member and two Supporters of NCSE. In a press release dated May 27, 2008, the Council of the Linnean Society of London announced the award of thirteen medals for "major advances in evolutionary biology" since 1958 to Nick Barton, M. W. Chase, B. C. Clarke, Joseph Felsenstein (a member of NCSE), the late Stephen Jay Gould (a Supporter of NCSE), P. R. Grant, Rosemary Grant, J. L. B. Mallet, Lynn Margulis (a Supporter of NCSE), the late John Maynard Smith, Mohamed Noor, H. Allen Orr, and Linda Partridge. The awardees will receive their medals, which bear a profile of Darwin on the obverse and a full-face image of Wallace on the reverse, on the bicentennial of Darwin's birth, February 12, 2009.

The society first awarded the medals in 1908, to seven recipients (including Alfred Russel Wallace himself), and again in 1958, to twenty recipients (including Ernst Mayr, later a member of NCSE). "In recognition of the continuing importance of research on evolutionary biology," according to the press release, "the Society is pleased to announce that it will now award the medal annually from May 2009." The Linnean Society of London is the world's oldest active biological society. It was there, on July 1, 1858, that papers entitled "On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection" were presented on behalf of Darwin and Wallace, thus announcing the theory of evolution by natural selection to the general scientific community.