Awards and medals named after Wallace

By George Beccaloni

  1. The Darwin-Wallace Medal of the Linnean Society of London was designed by Frank Bowcher in 1906. It was awarded on 1st July of 1908 and again in 1958 to commemorate the 50th and 100th anniversaries of the reading of the Darwin and Wallace papers proposing natural selection. The Medal has a profile of Darwin on the obverse and a full-face image of Wallace on the reverse. The 1908 version of the medal has the marginal inscription "LINN: SOC: LOND: 1858 - 1908" on both sides, whilst the 1958 version has "LINN: SOC: LOND: 1858 - 1958" instead.  Wallace was the first recipient of this medal (the only gold example ever made) on the 50th anniversary and the speech he gave on accepting it can be read here. Unfortunately the medal was not awarded on the 150th anniversary of the reading of the papers on 1st July 2008, as the Linnean Society decided to break the tradition and instead award the medal on Darwin's birthday, 12th February 2009. From 2009 the Society will award the medal annually in May.
  2. The Wallace Medal of the A. R. Wallace Memorial Fund is awarded for outstanding contributions to Wallace scholarship or the public understanding of his life and work. There are silver and bronze versions. The first recipients of the medal were Sir David Attenborough and Bill Bailey on 7th November 2013 (the 100th anniversary of Wallace's death). They were awarded framed silver medals in recognition of their very important contributions to the public understanding of Wallace's life and work made during the anniversary year.
  3. In early 2005 the first "Alfred Russel Wallace Award" was given out by the International Biogeography Society (IBS) at its second biennial meeting; the award is given for individual lifetime achievement in the field of biogeography.
  4. The "Alfred Russel Wallace Award" is a biological honor society award given at Kansas Wesleyan University (where Wallace gave a lecture in 1887) in Salina, USA.
  5. The "A. R. Wallace Prize" is a Dept. of Biological Sciences award given at Monash University in Australia
  6. The "Wallace Prize" is awarded annually by the Board of Undergraduate Studies at the National University of Singapore to assist the recipient in the purchase of books. It was created in 1959 - see
  7. The "Alfred Russel Wallace Award in Resource Ecology" is given out for the year's best M.Sc. thesis at Wageningen University in The Netherlands
  8. The "Alfred Russel Wallace PhD Thesis Award" is given by the Royal Entomological Society, UK annually for postgraduate work leading to a Ph.D degree awarded in the UK, with no age limit. Heads of Departments are invited to nominate postgraduate students who have been awarded their PhD during the academic year and whose work they considered to be truly outstanding. The research involved should be a major contribution to the science of entomology. The assessment will be based on the candidate's thesis, plus a one-page submission from the candidate explaining in layman's language how his or her work has "moved entomological science forward".
  9. Alfred Russel Wallace Grants for Outstanding Field Ecologists are awarded by Operation Wallacea annually to UK and US undergraduates looking to join one of their field projects. For more information click HERE.
  10. The "Alfred Russel Wallace Travel and Education Scholarship" is awarded annually to a junior member of the Richard Hale Association to assist them to undertake travel which is of an educational or charitable nature. The Richard Hale Association is an international association of former pupils and staff of Richard Hale School, Hertford, Herts, England. Wallace attended this school which at that time was known as Hale's Grammar School.
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