Royal Geographical Society
Overview
The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 learned society
Learned society
A learned society is an organization that exists to promote an academic discipline/profession, as well a group of disciplines. Membership may be open to all, may require possession of some qualification, or may be an honor conferred by election, as is the case with the oldest learned societies,...

 founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences. Today, it is a world centre for geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

: supporting research, education, expeditions and fieldwork, and promoting public engagement and informed understanding of the world's peoples, places and environments.
The Geographical Society of London was founded in 1830 under the name Geographical Society of London as an institution to promote the 'advancement of geographical science'.
Encyclopedia
The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 learned society
Learned society
A learned society is an organization that exists to promote an academic discipline/profession, as well a group of disciplines. Membership may be open to all, may require possession of some qualification, or may be an honor conferred by election, as is the case with the oldest learned societies,...

 founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences. Today, it is a world centre for geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

: supporting research, education, expeditions and fieldwork, and promoting public engagement and informed understanding of the world's peoples, places and environments.

History

The Geographical Society of London was founded in 1830 under the name Geographical Society of London as an institution to promote the 'advancement of geographical science'. It later absorbed the older African Association
African Association
The Association for Promoting the Discovery of the Interior Parts of Africa , founded in London on June 9, 1788, was a British club dedicated to the exploration of West Africa, with the mission of discovering the origin and course of the Niger River and the location of Timbuktu, the "lost city" of...

, which had been founded by Sir Joseph Banks
Joseph Banks
Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, GCB, PRS was an English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. He took part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage . Banks is credited with the introduction to the Western world of eucalyptus, acacia, mimosa and the genus named after him,...

 in 1788, as well as the Raleigh Club
Raleigh Club
The Raleigh Club was a dining club founded in 1827. It met at the 'Thatched House', a tavern in the St James area of London as an alternative to the Travellers Club....

 and the Palestine Association
Palestine Association
The Palestine Association was formed in 1805 to promote the study of the geography, natural history, antiquities and anthropology of Palestine and the surrounding areas. In 1834, the Palestine Association was integrated into the Royal Geographical Society....

. Like many learned societies
Learned society
A learned society is an organization that exists to promote an academic discipline/profession, as well a group of disciplines. Membership may be open to all, may require possession of some qualification, or may be an honor conferred by election, as is the case with the oldest learned societies,...

, it had started as a dining club
in London, where select members held informal dinner debates on current scientific issues and ideas.

Founding members of the Society included Sir John Barrow, Sir John Franklin
John Franklin
Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin KCH FRGS RN was a British Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer. Franklin also served as governor of Tasmania for several years. In his last expedition, he disappeared while attempting to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic...

 and Francis Beaufort
Francis Beaufort
Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, FRS, FRGS was an Irish hydrographer and officer in Britain's Royal Navy...

. Under the patronage of King William IV
William IV of the United Kingdom
William IV was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of Hanover from 26 June 1830 until his death...

 it later became known as The Royal Geographical Society and was granted its Royal Charter under Queen Victoria in 1859.

From 1830 - 1840 the RGS met in the rooms of the Horticultural Society
Royal Horticultural Society
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 in London, England as the Horticultural Society of London, and gained its present name in a Royal Charter granted in 1861 by Prince Albert...

 in Regent Street
Regent Street
Regent Street is one of the major shopping streets in London's West End, well known to tourists and Londoners alike, and famous for its Christmas illuminations...

, London and from 1854 -1870 at 15 Whitehall Place, London. In 1870, the Society finally found a home when it moved to 1 Saville Row, London – an address that quickly became associated with adventure and travel. The Society also used a lecture theatre in Burlington Gardens, London which was lent to it by the Civil Service Commission. However, the arrangements were thought to be rather cramped and squalid.

A new impetus was given to the Society’s affairs in 1911, with the election of Earl Curzon
George Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston, KG, GCSI, GCIE, PC , known as The Lord Curzon of Kedleston between 1898 and 1911 and as The Earl Curzon of Kedleston between 1911 and 1921, was a British Conservative statesman who was Viceroy of India and Foreign Secretary...

, the former Viceroy of India, as the Society’s President (1911–1914). The premises in Saville Row were sold and the present site, Lowther Lodge
Lowther Lodge
Lowther Lodge is a house in South Kensington, London, England, immediately south of Hyde Park. It was designed by Richard Norman Shaw and built between approximately 1872 and 1875. It is an important example of Victorian Queen Anne architecture, with gothic influences...

 in Kensington Gore, was purchased for £100,000 and opened for use in April 1913. In the same year the Society’s ban on women was lifted.

Lowther Lodge
Lowther Lodge
Lowther Lodge is a house in South Kensington, London, England, immediately south of Hyde Park. It was designed by Richard Norman Shaw and built between approximately 1872 and 1875. It is an important example of Victorian Queen Anne architecture, with gothic influences...

 was built in 1874 for the Hon William Lowther
William Lowther (diplomat)
William Lowther was a British diplomat and Conservative politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1868 to 1892....

 by Norman Shaw
Richard Norman Shaw
Richard Norman Shaw RA , was an influential Scottish architect from the 1870s to the 1900s, known for his country houses and for commercial buildings.-Life:...

, one of the most outstanding domestic architects of his day. Extensions to the east wing were added in 1929, and included the New Map Room and the 750 seat Lecture Theatre. The extension was formally opened by HRH the Duke of York (later King George VI) at the Centenary Celebrations on 21 October 1930.
The history of the Society was closely allied for many of its earlier years with ‘colonial’ exploration in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the polar regions, and central Asia especially. It has been a key associate and supporter of many notable explorers
Exploration
Exploration is the act of searching or traveling around a terrain for the purpose of discovery of resources or information. Exploration occurs in all non-sessile animal species, including humans...

 and expeditions, including those of Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

, Livingstone
David Livingstone
David Livingstone was a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa. His meeting with H. M. Stanley gave rise to the popular quotation, "Dr...

, Stanley
Henry Morton Stanley
Sir Henry Morton Stanley, GCB, born John Rowlands , was a Welsh journalist and explorer famous for his exploration of Africa and his search for David Livingstone. Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley allegedly uttered the now-famous greeting, "Dr...

, Scott
Robert Falcon Scott
Captain Robert Falcon Scott, CVO was a Royal Navy officer and explorer who led two expeditions to the Antarctic regions: the Discovery Expedition, 1901–04, and the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition, 1910–13...

, Shackleton, Hunt
John Hunt
John Hunt may refer to:*John Hunt , Quaker minister, originally from London, England, and one of the "Virginia Exiles"*John Hunt , Quaker minister and journalist from Moorestown, New Jersey...

 and Hillary
Edmund Hillary
Sir Edmund Percival Hillary, KG, ONZ, KBE , was a New Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist. On 29 May 1953 at the age of 33, he and Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest – see Timeline of climbing Mount Everest...

. From the middle of the 19th century until the end of World War I, expeditions sponsored by the Royal Geographical Society were frequently front page news, and the opinions of its President and Council would be avidly sought by journalists and editors.

The early history of the Society is inter-linked with the history of British Geography, exploration and
discovery. Information, maps, charts and knowledge gathered on expeditions was sent to the RGS, making up its now unique geographical collections. The Society published its first journal in 1831 and from 1855, accounts of meetings and other matters were published in the Society Proceedings. In 1893, this was replaced by The Geographical Journal
The Geographical Journal
The Geographical Journal is a journal of the Royal Geographical Society and has been published since 1831. Its original title was Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London. The journal publishes original research papers and review articles across geography, and has the highest...

which is still published today.

The Society was also pivotal in establishing Geography as a teaching and research discipline in British universities, and funded the first Geography positions in the Universities of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...

 and Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

.

With the advent of a more systematic study of geography, the Institute of British Geographers was formed in 1933, by some academic Society fellows, as a sister body to the Society. Its activities included
organising conferences, field trips, seminars and specialist research groups. Its journal, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers continues transactions and Papers and is a journal of the Royal Geographical Society. Transactions is considered to be at the frontier of leading international research in geography...

, is now one of the foremost international journals of geographical research, publishing 'landmark' research from across the discipline.

The RGS and IBG co-existed for 60 years until 1992 when a merger was discussed. In 1994, members were balloted and the merger agreed. In January 1995, the new Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) was formed.

Today the RGS-IBG is a voice and home for geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

, both nationally and internationally. It is the largest Geographical Society in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and one of the largest in the world. It operates on a regional scale, with eight branches in the UK and one in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

.

It supports and promotes many aspects of geography including geographical research, education and teaching, field training and small expeditions, the public understanding and popularisation of Geography, and the provision of geographical information. The Society also works together with other existing bodies serving the geographical community, in particular the Geographical Association
Geographical Association
The Geographical Association is a Sheffield, United Kingdom-based subject association with the core charitable objective of furthering the study, learning and teaching of geography. It is a lively community of practice with over a century of innovation behind it and an unrivalled understanding of...

 and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society
Royal Scottish Geographical Society
The Royal Scottish Geographical Society is a learned society founded in 1884 and based in Perth. The Society has a membership of 2500 and aims to advance the science of geography worldwide by supporting education, research, expeditions, through its journal , its newsletter and other publications...

.

In 2004, The Society’s historical Collections relating to scientific exploration and research, which are of national and international importance, were opened to the public for the first time. In the same year, a new category of membership was introduced to widen access for people with a general interest in geography. The new Foyle Reading Room and glass Pavilion exhibition space were also opened to the public in 2004 – unlocking the Society intellectually, visually and physically for the 21st century.

Council

The Society is governed by its Board of trustees called the Council, which is chaired by its President. The members of Council and the President are elected from its Fellow
Fellow
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, particularly by those in the upper social classes. It is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who are awarded...

ship. The council consists of 25 members, 22 of which are elected by Fellows
Fellows
Fellows or Fellowes is a surname and may refer to:People* Ailwyn Fellowes, 1st Baron Ailwyn , British businessman, farmer and politician* Carol Fellowes, 4th Baron Ailwyn , British peer...

  and serve for a three year term. In addition to the elected trustees, there are Honorary members (who include the Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent is a title which has been created various times in the peerages of Great Britain and the United Kingdom, most recently as a royal dukedom for the fourth son of George V.-Pre-history:...

 as Honorary President) who sit on the council.

Committees

The society has five specialist committees that it derives advice from
  • Education Committee
  • Research Committee
  • Expedition and Fieldwork Committee
  • Information Resources Committee
  • Finance Committee

Selected list of past Presidents

  • Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich
    Frederick John Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich
    Frederick John Robinson, 1st Earl of Ripon PC , styled The Honourable F. J. Robinson until 1827 and known as The Viscount Goderich between 1827 and 1833, the name by which he is best known to history, was a British statesman...

     The Earl of Ripon (1830–1833)
  • Sir Roderick Murchison
    Roderick Murchison
    Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, 1st Baronet KCB DCL FRS FRSE FLS PRGS PBA MRIA was a Scottish geologist who first described and investigated the Silurian system.-Early life and work:...

     (1851–1853)
  • Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson (1871–1873 and 1874–1876)
  • Sir Clements Robert Markham (1893–1905)
  • Sir George Taubman Goldie
    George Taubman Goldie
    Sir George Dashwood Taubman Goldie was a Manx administrator who played a major role in the founding of Nigeria...

     (1905–1908)
  • Major Leonard Darwin
    Leonard Darwin
    Major Leonard Darwin , a son of the English naturalist Charles Darwin, was variously a soldier, politician, economist, eugenicist and mentor of the statistician and evolutionary biologist Ronald Fisher.- Biography :...

     (1905–1911)
  • Colonel Sir Thomas Hungerford Holdich
    Thomas Holdich
    Colonel Sir Thomas Hungerford Holdich, KCMG, KCIE, CB was an English geographer and president of the Royal Geographical Society. He is best known as Superintendent of Frontier Surveys in British India and author of numerous books, including The Gates of India, The Countries of the King's Award and...

     (1919–1922)
  • Sir James Wordie
    James Wordie
    Sir James Mann Wordie, CBE was a Scottish polar explorer and geologist.Wordie was born at Partick, Glasgow, in the former county of Lanarkshire in Scotland. He studied at The Glasgow Academy and obtained a BSc in geology from University of Glasgow. He graduated from St John's College, Cambridge...

  • Raymond Priestley
    Raymond Priestley
    Sir Raymond Edward Priestley was a British geologist and early Antarctic explorer.-Biography:Raymond Priestley was born in Bredon's Norton,Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, in 1886, the second son and second of eight children of Joseph Edward Priestley, headmaster of Tewkesbury grammar school, and his...

     (1961–1963)
  • Sir Laurence Dudley Stamp
    Laurence Dudley Stamp
    Sir Dudley Stamp, CBE, DSc, D. Litt, LLD, Ekon D, DSc Nat , was professor of geography at Rangoon and London, and one of the internationally best known British geographers of the 20th century....

     (1963–1966)
  • Edward Shackleton, Baron Shackleton
    Edward Shackleton, Baron Shackleton
    Edward Arthur Alexander Shackleton, Baron Shackleton, KG AC OBE PC FRS , was a British geographer and Labour Party politician....

     (1971–1974)
  • Sir Crispin Tickell
    Crispin Tickell
    Sir Crispin Tickell, GCMG, KCVO, MA , DSc , FRSGS , FRIBA , FZS, FRI , FCIWEM is a British diplomat, environmentalist, and academic.-Background:...

     (1989–1993)
  • George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe
    George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe
    George Patrick John Rushworth Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe, KBE, DSO, MC, PC, FRS was a British politician and statesman, diplomat and businessman....

     (1993–1997)
  • John Palmer, 4th Earl of Selborne
    John Palmer, 4th Earl of Selborne
    John Roundell Palmer, 4th Earl of Selborne, GBE, FRS, FIBiol is a British peer and businessman. He is one of the hereditary peers elected to remain in the House of Lords after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999....

     (1997–2000)

Longer list at Presidents of the Royal Geographical Society.

Ordinary membership

Anyone with an interest in geography is eligible to apply to become a member of the RGS-IBG.

Young Geographer

People aged between 14 and 24 currently studying, a recent graduate of geography or a related subject.

Fellowship

Fellowship of the Society is conferred to anyone over 21 who has a deep involvement with geography (through research, publication, profession, etc.) or who has been an ordinary member of the society for five previous years. The applicant must be proposed and seconded by existing Fellows and elected by the Council. Fellows are granted the right to use the initials "F.R.G.S." after their names.

Postgraduate Fellow of the Society

Is open to anyone who is a postgraduate student in Geography or an allied subject at a United Kingdom university.

Chartered Geographer

Since 2002 the Society has been granted the power to award the status of Chartered Geographer. The status of Chartered Geographer can be obtained only by those who have a degree in geography or related subject and at least 6 years' geographical experience, or 15 years' geographical work experience for those without a degree. Being awarded the status of Chartered Geographer allows the use of the post-nominal letters C Geog and is evidence of a commitment to continuing professional development and the highest professional standards.

Chartered Geographer (Teacher) is a professional accreditation available to teachers who can demonstrate competence, experience and professionalism in the use of geographical knowledge or skills in and out of the classroom, and who are committed to maintaining their professional standards through ongoing continuing professional development (CPD).

Research groups

The Society's Research and Study Groups bring together active researchers and professional geographers in particular areas of geography. There are 27 active research groups, with each group organising their own seminars, conferences, workshops and other activities.
Research groups
Biogeography
Biogeography
Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species , organisms, and ecosystems in space and through geological time. Organisms and biological communities vary in a highly regular fashion along geographic gradients of latitude, elevation, isolation and habitat area...

 Research Group
British Geomorphic
Geomorphology
Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them...

 Research Group
Climate Change
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 Research Group
Contract Research and Teaching Forum
Developing Areas Research Group Economic geography
Economic geography
Economic geography is the study of the location, distribution and spatial organization of economic activities across the world. The subject matter investigated is strongly influenced by the researcher's methodological approach. Neoclassical location theorists, following in the tradition of Alfred...

 Research Group
Geographical Information Science Research Group Geography of Health
Health geography
Health geography is the application of geographical information, perspectives, and methods to the study of health, disease, and health care.- Overview :...

 Research Group
Geography of Lesiure and Tourism
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 Research Group
Higher Education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 Research Group
Historical Geography
Historical geography
Historical geography is the study of the human, physical, fictional, theoretical, and "real" geographies of the past. Historical geography studies a wide variety of issues and topics. A common theme is the study of the geographies of the past and how a place or region changes through time...

 Research Group
History and Philosophy of Geography
History of geography
The history of geography includes various histories of geography which have differed over time and between different cultural and political groups. In more recent developments, geography has become a distinct academic discipline. 'Geography' derives from the from Greek - geographia,, a literal...

 Research Group
Mountain
Mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 Research Group
Participatory Geographies Working Group
Planning
Planning
Planning in organizations and public policy is both the organizational process of creating and maintaining a plan; and the psychological process of thinking about the activities required to create a desired goal on some scale. As such, it is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior...

 and Environment
Natural environment
The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....

 Research Group
Political Geography
Political geography
Political geography is the field of human geography that is concerned with the study of both the spatially uneven outcomes of political processes and the ways in which political processes are themselves affected by spatial structures...

 Research Group
Population geography
Population geography
Population geography is a division of human geography. It is the study of the ways in which spatial variations in the distribution, composition, migration, and growth of populations are related to the nature of places. Population geography involves demography in a geographical perspective. It...

 Research Group
Postgraduate Forum
The Post-Socialist Geographies Research Group Quantitative
Quantitative research
In the social sciences, quantitative research refers to the systematic empirical investigation of social phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques. The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses pertaining to...

 Methods Research Group
Rural
Rural
Rural areas or the country or countryside are areas that are not urbanized, though when large areas are described, country towns and smaller cities will be included. They have a low population density, and typically much of the land is devoted to agriculture...

 Geography Research Group
Social
Social geography
Social geography is the branch of human geography that is most closely related to social theory in general and sociology in particular, dealing with the relation of social phenomena and its spatial components. Though the term itself has a tradition of more than 100 years, there is no consensus on...

 and Cultural Geography
Cultural geography
Cultural geography is a sub-field within human geography. Cultural geography is the study of cultural products and norms and their variations across and relations to spaces and places...

 Research Group
Space Sexualities and Queer Research Group Transport
Transport
Transport or transportation is the movement of people, cattle, animals and goods from one location to another. Modes of transport include air, rail, road, water, cable, pipeline, and space. The field can be divided into infrastructure, vehicles, and operations...

 Geography Research Group
Urban geography
Urban geography
Urban geography is the study of areas which have a high concentration of buildings and infrastructure. These are areas where the majority of economic activities are in the secondary sector and tertiary sectors...

 Research Group
Women and Geography Research Group

Awards and grants

The society also presents many awards to geographers that have contributed to the advancement of geography.

The most prestigious of these awards are the Gold Medals
Gold Medal (RGS)
The Gold Medal are the most prestigious of the awards presented by the Royal Geographical Society. The Gold Medal is not one award but consists of two separate awards; the Founder's Medal 1830 and the Patron's Medal 1838. The award is given for "the encouragement and promotion of geographical...

 (Founder's Medal 1830 and the Patron's Medal 1838). The award is given for "the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery", and are approved by Queen Elizabeth II. The awards originated as an annual gift of fifty guineas from King William IV, first made in 1831, "to constitute a premium for the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery". The Society decided in 1839 to change this monetary award into two gold medals: Founder’s Medal and the Patron’s. The award has been given to notable geographers including David Livingstone
David Livingstone
David Livingstone was a Scottish Congregationalist pioneer medical missionary with the London Missionary Society and an explorer in Africa. His meeting with H. M. Stanley gave rise to the popular quotation, "Dr...

 (1855), Nain Singh Rawat (1876), Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen
Ferdinand von Richthofen
Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen was a German traveller, geographer, and scientist.-Biography:He was born in Carlsruhe, Prussian Silesia, and was educated in Breslau and Berlin. He traveled or studied in the Alps of Tyrol and the Carpathians in Transylvania...

 (1878), Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace
Alfred Russel Wallace, OM, FRS was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist...

 (1892), and Frederick Courtney Selous (1893) to more recent winners including Professor William Morris Davis
William Morris Davis
William Morris Davis was an American geographer, geologist, geomorphologist, and meteorologist, often called the "father of American geography"....

 (1919), Sir Halford John Mackinder (1945), Professor L. Dudley Stamp
Laurence Dudley Stamp
Sir Dudley Stamp, CBE, DSc, D. Litt, LLD, Ekon D, DSc Nat , was professor of geography at Rangoon and London, and one of the internationally best known British geographers of the 20th century....

 (1949), Professor Richard Chorley
Richard Chorley
Richard John Chorley was a leading figure in the late 20th century for his work in quantitative geography, and played an instrumental role in bringing in the use of systems theory to geography.-Early Education:...

 (1987) and Professor David Harvey
David Harvey
David Harvey is the name of:*David Harvey *David Harvey , geographer and social theorist*David Harvey , American luthier...

 (1995). In 2004 Harish Kapadia
Harish Kapadia
Harish Kapadia is a distinguished Himalayan Mountaineer from India. He has been awarded the Patron's Medal of the Royal Geographic Society, UK and the Life Time Achievement Award for Adventure by the President of India and the King Albert Mountain Award presented by The King Albert I Memorial...

 was awarded the Patron's Medal for contributions to geographical discovery and mountaineering in the Himalayas, making him the second Indian to receive the award in its history. In 2005 the Founder's Medal was awarded to Professor Sir Nicholas Shackleton
Nicholas Shackleton
Sir Nicholas John Shackleton FRS was a British geologist and climatologist who specialised in the Quaternary Period...

 for his research in the field of Quaternary
Quaternary
The Quaternary Period is the most recent of the three periods of the Cenozoic Era in the geologic time scale of the ICS. It follows the Neogene Period, spanning 2.588 ± 0.005 million years ago to the present...

 Palaeoclimatology and the Patron's Medal was awarded to Professor Jean Malaurie for a lifelong study of the Arctic
Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...

 and its people. In 1902 they awarded khan Bahadur Sher Jang
Khan Bahadur Sher Jang
Khan Bahadur Sher Jang was born at Dhok Aziz near Chhab, a small village in Attock District, Pakistan. His father, Aziz Khan was a farmer. Khan Bahadur Sher Jang joined Coke's Rifles in 1887. He joined the Survey of India as a Soldier-Surveyor in 1895...

 a Sword of Honour (the Black Memorial) in recognition of his valuable services to geography

In total the society awards 17 medals and awards including Honorary Membership and Fellowships. Some of the other awards given by the Society include:
  • The Victoria Medal
    Victoria Medal (geography)
    The Victoria Medal is an award presented by the Royal Geographical Society. It is awarded "for conspicuous merit in research in geography" and has been given since 1902.-Past recipients:...

     (1902) for "conspicuous merit in research in Geography"
  • The Murchison Award
    Murchison Award
    The Murchison Award was first given by the Royal Geographical Society in 1882 for publications judged to have contributed most to geographical science in preceding recent years.-Recipients:* 1895 Eivind Astrup* 1898 Herbert Warrington Smyth...

     (1882) for the "publication judged to contribute most to geographical science in preceding recent years"
  • The Back Award (1882) for "applied or scientific geographical studies which make an outstanding contribution to the development of national or international public policy"
  • The Busk Medal for "conservation research or for fieldwork abroad in Geography or in a geographical aspect of an allied science"
  • The Cuthbert Peak Award (1883) for "those advancing geographical knowledge of human impact on the environment through the application of contemporary methods, including those of earth observation and mapping"
  • The Edward Heath
    Edward Heath
    Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

     Award (1984) for "for geographical research in either Europe or the developing world"


The society also offers 16 grants
Grant (money)
Grants are funds disbursed by one party , often a Government Department, Corporation, Foundation or Trust, to a recipient, often a nonprofit entity, educational institution, business or an individual. In order to receive a grant, some form of "Grant Writing" often referred to as either a proposal...

 for various purposes ranging from established researcher grants to expedition and fieldwork teams to photography
Photography
Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film...

 and media grants. The Ralph Brown and the Gilchrist Fieldwork grants are the largest grants awarded by the society each worth £15,000.

See also

  • Hakluyt Society
    Hakluyt Society
    Founded in 1846, the Hakluyt Society is a registered charity based in London, England, which seeks to advance knowledge and education by the publication of scholarly editions of primary records of voyages, travels and other geographical material...

  • History of science
    History of science
    The history of science is the study of the historical development of human understandings of the natural world and the domains of the social sciences....

  • List of British professional bodies

  • List of Royal Societies
  • Royal Institution
    Royal Institution
    The Royal Institution of Great Britain is an organization devoted to scientific education and research, based in London.-Overview:...

  • Royal Scottish Geographical Society
    Royal Scottish Geographical Society
    The Royal Scottish Geographical Society is a learned society founded in 1884 and based in Perth. The Society has a membership of 2500 and aims to advance the science of geography worldwide by supporting education, research, expeditions, through its journal , its newsletter and other publications...



Further reading

  • Mill, H.R. (1930) The record of the Royal Geographical Society, 1830-1930, London : Royal Geographical Society, 288 p.
  • Royal Geographical Society (2005) To the ends of the Earth : visions of a changing world : 175 years of exploration and photography, London : Bloomsbury, ISBN 0-7475-8138-X
  • Winser, S. (Ed.) (2004) Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers expedition handbook, New ed., London : Profile, ISBN 1-86197-044-7

External links

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