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View recipients of the Thomson Medal.

Latest recipient

The 2023 Thomson Medal was awarded to Nicola Gaston for providing transformative leadership to research institutes and societies in New Zealand and as a driver of change for equity for women in science.

Previous recipients


David Hutchinson for the establishment and development of the Dodd-Walls Centre; advocating for early career researchers and developing outreach partnerships through the museum sector.


Gary Wilson for his leadership in developing New Zealand's international profile in Antarctic research.


John Caradus for his work improving the value of grasslands for New Zealand farmers.


Tim Haskell for leading, supervising, managing or supporting scientific endeavours including internationally renowned sea ice infrastructure, NMR development, large-scale telescope componentry and translation of science to policy.


Carolyn Burns for her outstanding leadership and service to environmental science and education at the highest level and with unparalleled commitment.


Charles Eason for his inspirational leadership in his research career, particularly in the areas of drug development and pest control, and also as the Chief Executive of the Cawthron Institute in Nelson, which has expanded its expertise in aquaculture breeding, seafood safety, nutraceuticals and coastal and freshwater ecology)


Bruce Campbell for outstanding leadership in agricultural and horticultural science in New Zealand spanning 35 years


Richard Blaikie for his significant contributions to science leadership in Centres of Research Excellence and other national collaborative activities devoted to investigator-led research


Rob Murdoch for his contribution to the development of environmental science in New Zealand as a science leader


Peter Lee for his outstanding contribution to commercialisation of scientific research, largely through his work as Chief Executive of the University of Auckland’s commercialising arm Auckland Uniservices Ltd, which is the largest company of its kind in Australasia and one that is recognised throughout the world for its innovative practices


Richard Furneaux for his outstanding and inspiring leadership of carbohydrate chemistry research and commercial application to biotechnology in New Zealand. He leads what is regarded as the largest carbohydrate chemistry team in the world


Neville Jordan for his outstanding contribution to leadership in the management of science leading to the development and application of science and technology to wealth generation through his management of MAS Technology Ltd, Endeavour Capital Ltd and his role as a director of numerous spin-out companies he has supported through the latter


Shaun Coffey for his outstanding leadership in the management of science, and development and application of science and technology to generate wealth for New Zealand


Richard Garland for his outstanding leadership in the development and application of science and technology to New Zealand business development


Andrew West for sustained and outstanding contributions to the development of science and technology, and its application to wealth generation in New Zealand


John Alexander Kernohan for his inspirational leadership in the development and management of science and technology in New Zealand for commercialisation


(Robert) John Hay for his outstanding leadership and contribution to international development of forensic science and public health


John Stephen Ayers, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the application of science and technology


No award


Robert Anderson for sustained and outstanding contributions to the organisation and administration of agricultural and horticultural sciences in New Zealand


James Howard Johnston for outstanding contributions in the fields of the organisation, administration or application of science and technology


Richard Michael Francis Stuart Sadleir for significant contributions to the organisation and administration of New Zealand ecological and conservation science and the application of research to conservation outcomes


Donald Rees Llewellyn, in recognition of his outstanding contributions in the field of the organisation, administration and application of science


Michael Armstrong Collins


Angus Tait for his work in bringing electronics to the marketplace


James Vincent Hodge for his major role in the development and activities of the Medical Research Council


Ian Lawrence Baumgart for his contribution, particularly as Commissioner for the Environment and for his role in establishing international environmental programmes


Colin J. Maiden for his outstanding career in mechanical and material engineering in North America and also the contribution Dr Maiden made in energy development in New Zealand


Alan William Mackney for his major contribution in the technical development of the forest industry