National Geographic Society Awards Hubbard Medal to E.O. Wilson

Image of people on a stage at a National Geographic gala.
Explorers whose careers reach from the 1960s to today took the stage for a toast to the National Geographic Society at the 125th Anniversary Gala. (Photograph by Rebecca Hale/©National Geographic)
National Geographic Society Hubbard metal.

The Hubbard Medal—the National Geographic Society’s highest honor—is awarded for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research. Over the past century, recipients have included Sir Ernest Shackleton (1910), Charles Lindbergh (1927), John Glenn (1962), and Jane Goodall (1995). It is named for Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the first National Geographic Society president.

On Thursday, at the National Geographic Society’s 125 Anniversary Gala celebration at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., National Geographic Society CEO and Chairman John Fahey presented the Hubbard Medal to the 2013 recipients:

• scientist and author E.O. Wilson

• oceanographer Sylvia Earle (who serves on the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation’s Board of Advisors)

• explorer and filmmaker James Cameron

In making the announcement, Fahey stated:

“Exploration for our founders in 1888 was driven by a desire for knowledge and adventure. Today we have the same goals, but our explorers—and those who support them—are driven by a deeper purpose. In this new age of exploration, they want to help navigate the increasingly complex relationship between humanity’s needs and the natural world that sustains us.”

The award ceremony was widely covered by the Washington and national press and media outlets, including:

Washingtonian magazine

Bloomberg News

Explorers Journal: Stories from the Field (National Geographic Society)

Copyright National Geographic, with footage courtesy of Windfall Films, National Geographic Television, and the Gorongosa Restoration Project
Image of E.O. Wilson and paleontologist Louise Leakey.
E.O. Wilson (right) and paleontologist Louise Leakey at the National Geographic Society 125th Anniversary Gala (© National Geographic. Photograph by Mike Busada.)

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