The director of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Professor Dame Jane Francis has been awarded the prestigious Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers (IBG) Patron’s Medal for contributions to earth and environmental sciences.
The Royal Medal, which has been approved by The Queen, is part of a series of awards which recognize extraordinary achievements in geographical research, fieldwork, teaching, policy, and public engagement. The awards have been presented since the 1830s and past recipients include Neil Armstrong and Sir David Attenborough. It is among the highest honor of its kind in the world.
Professor Dame Jane Francis is one of 23 awardees honored this year given by the Royal Geographical Society for outstanding contributions to geography. Among this year’s other recipients are expedition leader, Sir David Hempleman-Adams who has been awarded the Founder’s Medal for enabling science through expeditions, and artist Nicholas Jones who has been awarded the Cherry Kearton Medal for capturing magnificent polar landscapes.
Nigel Clifford, President of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), said: “Dame Jane is a most worthy recipient of the Society’s highest recognition, not only for her pioneering excellence in polar and palaeoclimatology research, but also through her outstanding administrative leadership of BAS, tireless promotion of all aspects of geographical sciences, and for initiating numerous efforts to support a more diverse polar science community. Her public engagement work has raised awareness of the polar regions to thousands, and as Director of BAS, she has projected the contributions of UK polar scientists into a wide spectrum of international arenas and negotiated major investments in British polar science infrastructure. A Royal Medal is entirely fitting to recognise such outstanding achievements”.
Professor Dame Jane Francis, said: “I am truly honored to receive this medal from such a prestigious institution as the Royal Geographical Society. There has never been a more important time to understand how our planet is responding to climate change, particularly in the polar regions, and I am proud to work with many scientists who are dedicated to this task.”