The Copley Medal
is awarded by the Royal Society for outstanding achievement in research. It was originally funded by a bequest from Sir Godfrey Copley in 1709, and then another from Sir Joseph William Copley in 1881. It is awarded annually, alternating between physical and biological sciences. Today, the medal is silver gilt, and comes with a cheque for £5,000. Most recently, the medal was awarded to Martin Evans (2009, embryonic stem cells), Roger Penrose (2008, mathematical physics), Robert May (2007, biological populations) and Stephen Hawking (2006, theoretical cosmology).