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This medal is awarded to the individual who has, in the view of the assessors, made the most distinguished contribution to the Physical and Mathematical Sciences, including physics, chemistry, mathematics, theoretical and applied mechanics, astronomy and other cognate areas. It is awarded to John Michael David Coey, Professor of Experimental Physics and Science Foundation Ireland Research Professor in the University of Dublin.

Since coming as a lecturer in 1978 to Trinity College, where he became Professor in 1987, Michael Coey has conducted internationally leading research on magnetism and magnetic materials. With three books, over 400 papers in refereed journals, and 25 patents to his credit, he is recognized as among the five leading figures in his field worldwide. His striking scientific achievements include fundamental work on amorphous magnetism producing the first direct experimental evidence for random freezing of magnetic spins; the discovery of new nitrogen-containing permanent magnets; and the development of novel permanent-magnet instrumentation. He is in constant demand as a speaker, examiner or assessor in institutes across Europe. He is also committed to promoting science to a wider audience, giving popular lectures in Dublin during the ‘cold fusion’ controversy. In the words of one of the assessors, he is ‘a good science citizen’.

Michael Coey’s standing in the international community is reflected in the many honours he has already received, including the award of an honorary doctorate by the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble, the Charles Chree Medal and Prize of the Instute of Physics, and especially by his election as a member of the Royal Society and as a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America.

Professor Coey has enjoyed an outstanding career of distinguished service to his field of research, to the general scientific community, and to the wider public.