Eminent Scientists celebrated by the Learned Society of Wales

The Learned Society of Wales is pleased to announce the award of this year’s Frances Hoggan and Menelaus Medals to the eminent Scientists Professor Dame Jean Thomas and Professor Hagan Bayley .

Professor Dame Jean Thomas FLSW FMedSci FRS is the inaugural Frances Hoggan medallist. The medal, funded by Welsh Government, recognises outstanding contributions to research in any area of STEMM research, by a woman, resident in Wales, of Welsh birth or who otherwise can demonstrate a particular connection with Wales. Dame Jean  FLSW FMedSci FRS is Professor Emerita of Macromolecular Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Master of St Catharine’s College Cambridge and President of the Royal Society of Biology, and a Fellow of the Learned Society, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society.

Dame Jean commented

I am delighted and honoured to receive this first Frances Hoggan Medal.  Frances Hoggan was a remarkable pioneer – only the second woman to receive a Doctor of Medicine Degree from a European University in 1870, and an active social campaigner and reformer, with a particular interest in the education of girls in Wales. The creation of this medal will not only keep alive her memory but hopefully also inspire others, particularly girls in Wales, to enter STEMM subjects and grasp the opportunities these offer.

Professor Hagan Bayley FLSW FRS  is the fourth recipient of the Society’s Menelaus Medal.

The Medal, sponsored by the South Wales Institute of Engineers Educational Trust (SWIEET2007), is awarded for “excellence in any field of engineering and technology to an academic, to an industrial researcher, or to an industrial practitioner who is resident in Wales, or who is of Welsh birth but is resident elsewhere, or who otherwise has a particular connection with Wales”.

Professor Bayley  is Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the Learned Society and the Royal Society. He has a world-wide reputation as the originator and leading figure in the area of developing nanopores which are capable of detecting a single molecule of any chosen variety. Professor Bayley has moved his research into the area of the use of 3D-printers using droplets which resemble biological cells. In the future this could lead to the synthesis of biological organs. In 2014, he founded OxSyBio to build synthetic tissues for regenerative medicine.

Professor Bayley said

I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded the Menelaus Medal of the Learned Society of Wales. William Menelaus was a practical person, but were he alive today I think he would appreciate the business opportunities that so often arise from fundamental research as they have done for me.

 Both Medals were presented during a ceremony at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on 18 May 2016 at the Society’s AGM dinner.