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Fellow of the Geological Society

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Fellow of the Geological Society

The Geological Society of London (also known as The Geological Society[1]) is a learned society based in the United Kingdom with the aim of :-
"Making geologists acquainted with each other, stimulating their zeal, inducing them to adopt one nomenclature, facilitating the communication of new facts and ascertaining what is known in their science and what remains to be discovered".[2]
It is the oldest national geological society in the world and the largest in Europe with over 9,000 Fellows entitled to the postnominal FGS (Fellow of the Geological Society), over 2,000 of whom are Chartered Geologists (CGeol). The Society is a Chartered Scientist to qualifying members.


The Society was founded on October 13, 1807 at the Freemasons' Tavern, Great Queen Street, Covent Garden.[2] It was partly the outcome of a previous club known as the Askesian Society and records show that there were 13 founder members:William Babington, James Parkinson, Humphry Davy, George Bellas Greenough, Arthur Aikin, William Allen, Jacques Louis, Comte de Bournon, Richard Knight, James Laird, James Franck, William Haseldine Pepys, Richard Phillips and William Phillips. It received its Royal Charter on April 23 1825 from George IV.

Since 1874, the Society has been based at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. This building houses the Society's library, which contains more than 300,000 volumes of books and journals.[3] It is a member of the UK Science Council.

In 1991 it merged with the Institution of Geologists, which had been formed in 1977 to represent the geological profession.[4]

The Society celebrated its bicentenary 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 that year.

Specialist and regional groups

The Society has 24 specialist groups and 15 regional groups which serve as an opportunity for those with specific interests to meet and discuss their subject or region. They are all free for members to join and some are open to non-members.[5]

The Regional Groups are:

  • Central Scotland
  • East Anglian
  • East Midlands
  • Home Counties North
  • Hong Kong
  • North West
  • Northern
  • Solent
  • South East
  • South West
  • Southern Wales
  • Thames Valley
  • West Midlands
  • Western
  • Yorkshire

The Specialist Groups are:

  • Borehole Research Group
  • British Geophysical Association
  • British Sedimentological Research Group
  • British Society for Geomorphology
  • Coal Geology Group
  • Engineering Group
  • Environment Group
  • Environmental and Industrial Geophysics Group
  • Forensic Geoscience Group
  • Gaia: Earth Systems Science Group
  • Geochemistry Group
  • Geological Curators Group
  • Geological Remote Sensing Group
  • Geoscience Information Group
  • History of Geology Group
  • Hydrogeological Group
  • Joint Association for Quaternary Research
  • Joint Association of Geoscientists for International Development
  • Marine Studies Group
  • Metamorphic Studies Group
  • Mineral Deposits Studies Group
  • Petroleum Group
  • Tectonic Studies Group
  • Volcanic and Magmatic Studies Group


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 Yorkshire Geological Society for the Yorkshire Geological Society and Scottish Journal of Geology for the Geological Societies of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Past presidents

Main article: President of the Geological Society of London

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 Dr Bryan Lovell, University of Cambridge.

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

  • The Wollaston Fund
  • The Murchison Fund
  • The Lyell Fund
  • The R. H. Worth Prize
  • The William Smith Fund
  • The Distinguished Service Award


  • 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

  • The Geological Society
  • : Online literature resource for researcher and student
  • The Geological Society awards
  • The Geological Society award recipients
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