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Honorary Fellows

Honorary Fellowship has been an important part of the membership of the Geological Society since it was founded. At the second meeting of the Society in 1807 it was decided to appoint no less than 42 ‘honorary members’, despite the fact that there were only 13 members of the Society at the time. The view was that honorary members of scholarly distinction brought prestige to the Society and also acted as links to scientific progress in their own areas.

With time the Society wished to extend its connections and ‘foreign members’ began to be appointed, with the same background aims of bringing prestige to the Society and extending its network to gain news of geological progress and happenings on a global scale.

Today the invited ‘honorary’ and ‘foreign’ members are Honorary Fellows and continue in a modern context to fill the roles originally envisaged; most are from other countries with currently four from the UK. Honorary Fellows are recognised for their achievements and potential, not only in science but as ambassadors for geological science and its promotion to the wider public

View the list of Honorary Fellows

Newly Elected Honorary Fellows

Dr Gabi Schneider

syfdgDr Schneider graduated in 1980 with a Master of Science in Economic Geology from the University of Frankfurt, where she also obtained her PhD in 1984. She joined the Geological Survey of Namibia in 1985 as a Senior Geologist and was appointed Director in 1996.

Her professional experience covers economic and exploration geology, mineralogy and geochemistry as well as management and administration. She is an honorary life member of the Geological Society of Namibia, and is a registered Scientist with the South Africa Council for Natural Scientists.

Dr Schneider is the President of the Organisation of African Geological Surveys (2013-2016) and the Vice Chairperson of the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia; a Director of the Minerals Development Fund of Namibia; the Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Namibian Institute for Mining and Technology; a member of the Sustainable Development Council of Namibia; a member of the Benguela Current Commission; a member of the Commission for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Namibia, chairing its Technical Subcommittee; and a member of the Scientific Committee of the National Heritage Council. She is a founding member of the Small Miners Association of Namibia.

Dr Schneider is a member of the Natural Science Programme Committee of the Namibian National Committee for UNESCO, and a Senior Advisor for UNESCO's Geopark Programme. She is a member of the Local Organising Committee of the 35th IGC, and also serves on the scientific programme committee. She is chairing the Geology Advisory Board of the University of Namibia, and has been an external examiner of the University of St. Andrews, the University of Frankfurt, the University of the Witwatersrand and University of South Africa.

(elected 17 June 2015)

Professor Maureen E. Raymo

Maureen Raymo

Maureen Raymo was the first female recipient of the Wollaston Medal, the Society’s most senior medal.  She is an outstandingly creative scientist who has been setting the agenda in the study of the history of the ocean, and the Earth as a whole. She is a world class palaeoceanographer and one of the foremost and influential figures in the last 30 years during time which she has had a profound impact on Earth system science.

Prof Raymo’s reputation is based on three themes:

1. development of the controversial uplift weathering hypothesis to explain Cenozoic cooling/onset of Antarctic glaciation, 2. seminal stratigraphic research based on the deep sea oxygen isotope record, including production of the LR04 benthic stack, internationally regarded as the fundamental global stratigraphic template for the last 5 million years, and 3. groundbreaking work on Plio-Pleistocene sea levels integrating geological observations with glacio-isostatic adjustment model predictions.

(elected at the Ordinary General Meeting on 8 April 2015)

Prof John Walsh

John Walsh

John Walsh founded the Fault Analysis Group with Prof Juan Watterson at the Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences in the University of Liverpool, in 1985.  He became Director in 1996 and oversaw the re-location of the Group to University College Dublin in 2000.  It has published more than 120 articles in leading international journals and special publications, and is one of the most cited structural geology research groups in the world.

The Group is recognised as a leading international team in the study of the geometry, growth and hydraulic properties of faults and in applying its research outputs to solve practical problems encountered in hydrocarbon and mineral exploration and production activities. They have strategic research links with many key industrial companies and Prof Walsh has been Distinguished Lecturer for EAGE (2004) and AAPG (2007).

Prof Walsh takes a prominent role in Irish geosciences. He is a member of the Geosciences Committee of the Royal Irish Academy, a past Board Member of the Institute of Geologists of Ireland (which is linked to GSL) and is Director of the newly formed Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG). He actively collaborates with and supports the work of the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland.

(elected at the Ordinary General Meeting on 8 April 2015)

How to nominate

If you wish to nominate someone for Honorary Fellowship, please complete the nomination form below and return to Nominations must be proposed and seconded by Fellows of the Geological Society.

The nomination will be placed before the Awards Committee, chaired by the President, which will decide whether the nomination meets the criteria agreed by Council in January 2009 that “Honorary Fellowship should be conferred on individuals from any country in the world including the UK, who have rendered signal service to science, and geoscience in particular, or who have the potential to render such service from their positions in the wider world; and who by association with the Society send out a clear message about the Society’s strategic aims and objectives.”

Once agreed the nominee will be notified that they are being put forward for election prior to advertisement in Geoscientist and election, barring objections, at an Ordinary General Meeting.

Guidance notes:

  • Fellows making a nomination must satisfy themselves that the person nominated is suitable in all respects for the privilege.
  • The expression ‘signal service’ has caused confusion; longevity and good service are not sufficient for a successful nomination.
  • The candidate should have given, and be able to continue to give, exemplary and outstanding service to the geosciences, and in making a nomination Fellows should consider:

    • will the geosciences community within the recipient’s country recognise the Honorary Fellow’s name and understand, without explanation, why they have received the honour?
    • will association with the recipient bring benefit to the Society, either in the UK or overseas?
    • will the recipient understand the honour being bestowed?

  • The nomination must contain a cogent statement explaining why the candidate deserves Honorary Fellowship of the Society. It should also list five recent publications or examples of work done to promote the geosciences, for example to legislators, policy makers, opinion formers or lay audiences, through public lectures, writing, television or radio programmes.
  • In order to avoid embarrassment Fellows should make no undertakings to persons they intend to propose for Honorary Fellowship.