Learned Society of Wales’ new medallists show strength of Welsh research culture
The Learned Society of Wales has named the latest six people to receive its medals, awarded to recognise outstanding research and scholarship.
The medals celebrate the achievements of the individuals honoured and the strength of Wales’ academic culture, from its universities to its schools.
This year’s recipients are:
- Professor Dianne Edwards, Distinguished Research Professor in Palaeobotany, Cardiff University
Professor Edwards’ specialises in the history of land plants on Earth, her research revealing insights into the evolutionary process by which plants colonised land. Her work on fossil records has led to the identification of some land plant species that existed over 400 million years ago. She is responsible for the naming of many species and genera. She receives the Frances Hoggan medal which honours outstanding research by women in STEMM.
- Professor EJ Renold, Professor, Childhood Studies, Cardiff University
Professor Renold, who has received the Hugh Owen medal for outstanding educational research in Wales, works on gender and sexuality education. This has supported children and young people to speak about their experiences, from sexual harassment in primary schools to LGBTQ+ youth equalities and rights. Professor Renold has played a central role in the development of Wales’ new statutory Relationships and Sexuality Education curriculum.
- Dr Drew Nelson, President, IQE Group
Dr Nelson has received the Menelaus medal, awarded to celebrate excellent in engineering and technology. He is co-founder and president of IQE, which has been at the forefront of South Wales’ emergence as a hub for semi-conductor technology and manufacturing. His vision has brought together government, academia and the private sector in developing the region as a ‘Cluster of Excellence’.
Three further academics have been awarded a Dillwyn medal, in recognition of early career research excellence.
- Dr Emrys Evans, a Royal Society University Research Fellow in Chemistry, at Swansea University, works in the field of organic semiconductors, studying a new class of materials with potential applications ranging from optoelectronics to quantum information science.
- The Dillwyn Medallist for Social Sciences, Education & Business for 2021 is Dr Annie Tubadji of Swansea University, with Dr Rhiannon Pugh of Lund University, Sweden, and Dr Thomas Leahy of Cardiff University highly commended by the Medal Committee.
Dr. Tubadji, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Swansea University, receives a Dillwyn medal for her work on cultural bias, inequality and discrimination. Most recently she has focussed on inequality, mental health and polarization during the COVID-19 crisis, work that has gained international coverage.
- The Dillwyn Medallist for Humanities & Creative Arts for 2021 is Dr Ben Guy, with Dr Sharon Thompson and Dr Joey Whitfield (both of Cardiff University) highly commended by the Medal Committee.
Dr. Guy is a Fellow of Robinson College and Teaching Associate at the University of Cambridge. His research explores the written culture of medieval Wales. He works on medieval Welsh genealogy and its relationship with Welsh culture and politics, as well as teaching the history of early medieval Britain and Ireland.