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The Geological Society of London is a learned society based in the United Kingdommarker with the aim of "investigating the mineral structure of the Earth". It is the oldest national geological society in the world and the largest in Europe with over 9000 Fellows entitled to the postnominal FGS - over 2000 of whom are Chartered Geologists (CGeol). The Society is a Registered Charity, No 210161.


The Society was founded in 1807. It was partly the outcome of a previous club known as the Askesian Society, and among the more prominent founders were William Babington, Humphry Davy and George Bellas Greenough. It received its Royal Charter in 1825 from George IV.

Since 1874 the Society has been based at Burlington Housemarker, Piccadillymarker, Londonmarker. This building houses the Society's library, which contains more than 300,000 volumes of books and journals. It is a member of the UK Science Council.

The Society celebrated its bicentennial celebrations in 2007 with a number of programmes to raise the profile of the geosciences in Britain and abroad under the auspices of the well-known popular science writer and palaeontologist Professor Richard Fortey, the President over that year.


The society publishes two of its own journals, the (formerly Quarterly) Journal of the Geological Society and the Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology. It also publishes the magazine Geoscientist for Fellows, and has a share in Geology Today, published by Blackwell Science.

It also co-publishes journals and publishes on behalf of other organisations. These include Petroleum Geoscience with the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis with the Association of Applied Geochemists (AAG), Journal of Micropalaeontology for the Micropalaeontological Society, Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association for the GA, Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society for the YGS and Scottish Journal of Geology for the Geological Societies of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Past Presidents

The society counts many famous geologists amongst its past presidents. These include pioneers of geology Buckland, Sedgwick, Murchison, Lyell, De la Beche, T.H.Huxley, Prestwich, Geikie and Lapworth. Later well-known names include Alfred Harker, Arthur Trueman, H.H.Read and Frederick Shotton. The current president is the sedimentologist Lynne Frostick.

Scientific awards and funds

In 1831 it began issuing an annual scientific award for geology, known as the Wollaston Medal. This is still the Society's premier medal, which in 2006 was awarded to James Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis.

Medals awarded by the Society

Funds administered by the Society


  • Herries Davies, G.L. (2007) Whatever is Under the Earth: The Geological Society of London 1807 to 2007, London : Geological Society, ISBN 1-86239-214-5

See also


External links


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