Three academics from Swansea University have received one of this year’s annual medals from the Learned Society of Wales.
The medals are awarded each year to celebrate outstanding research coming from Wales.
The Learned Society of Wales announced the names of its 2023 medallists at a ceremony attended by Jeremy Miles MS, Minister for Education and Welsh Language, and Professor Dame Sue Ion, one of its Honorary Fellows and Chairman, UK Nuclear Innovation Research Advisory Board.
Hoggan Medal: Professor Siwan Davies
Professor Davies is a physical geographer and science broadcaster, as well as a multiple award-winner for her research. That research is wide-ranging and includes internationally recognised work on the analysis of microscopic volcanic ash particle, which can help to reconstruct past periods of climate change to provide clues about current change.
The Society's Frances Hoggan medal recognises and celebrates the contribution of outstanding women in the areas of science, medicine, engineering, technology or mathematics.
Professor Davies said: "I am delighted and honoured to be awarded the Frances Hoggan medal from the Learned Society of Wales for my research into past environmental change, which is so important for us all given the climate emergency. This award means a great deal to me as a Welsh academic, and I am proud to have been able to enjoy a wonderful academic career in Wales. I have been very lucky to have been inspired and supported by terrific mentors, collaborators, and team members from around the world, and I have enjoyed inspiring and supporting others in turn".
Hugh Owen Medal: Professor Tom Crick
Professor Crick is recognised internationally for leading Welsh reforms on STEM education. Other work on computer science education and digital skills policy contributed to him receiving an MBE in 2017 for “services to computer science and the promotion of computer science education”.
The Hugh Owen Medal is named in honour of Sir Hugh Owen (1804-1881) and celebrates outstanding educational research in Wales.
Professor Crick said: “I am honoured to be awarded this year’s Hugh Owen Medal by the Learned Society of Wales, reflecting the importance of the diversity of impactful work across educational research, policy and practice. This breadth of work is vital for Wales as we see the major education-system level reforms continue to emerge and take form.“
Dillwyn Medal (Social Sciences, Education and Business): Dr Leighton Evans
Leighton Evans is an Associate Professor of Media Theory at Swansea University. Leighton’s research concerns the mediation of everyday experience and life by digital media. He is the author of Locative Social Media (2015), The Re-emergence of Virtual Reality (2018) and the co-author of Location-based Social Media: Space, Time and Identity (2017), Intergenerational Locative Play: Augmenting Family (2021) and From Microverse to Metaverse: Modelling the Future Through Today’s Virtual Worlds (2022).
The Dillwyn Medals celebrate the contribution of early career researchers working in, or with a connection to, Wales.
Dr Evans said: “I am delighted and honoured to be receiving a medal from the Learned Society of Wales. Receiving this honour is not just a recognition of past efforts, but a profound encouragement for the future. I am deeply humbled and inspired to continue pushing the boundaries of knowledge for the betterment of Wales and the wider world.”