Awards & Recognition

A compilation of some of the worldwide recognition for the OAD

Edinburgh Medal awarded to Kevin Govender, Director of the OAD, and the International Astronomical Union

The 2016 Edinburgh Medal was jointly awarded to Kevin Govender from IAU Office of Astronomy for Development and the International Astronomical Union at the 2016 Edinburgh International Science Festival, to recognise their wide-reaching contribution to science. It was awarded for the creation and practical establishment of the Office of Astronomy for Development, which integrates the pursuit of scientific knowledge with social development for and with those most in need.

The Edinburgh Medal is a prestigious award given each year to men and women of science and technology whose professional achievements are judged to have made a significant contribution to the understanding and well-being of humanity. 

Past winners of the Edinburgh Medal include stalwarts such as Professor Abdus Salam, Professor Jane Goodall, Sir David Attenborough, and Professor Peter Higgs and CERN. 


Dr. Wanda Diaz-Merced, OAD post doctoral researcher, featured by BBC 100 Women as one of seven trail blazing Women in Science

Wanda Diaz-Merced from the OAD recognized as a trail-blazing woman in science. She joins a list of amazing scientists on the list – Marie Curie, astronauts Peggy Whitson and Soyeon Yi, Quarraisha Abdool Karim and others.

BBC’s 100 Women focuses on women in news, sharing their stories which are often overlooked.


Award from the South African Department of Science and Technology

Phil Charles, Patricia Whitelock, Khotso Mokhele, and Kevin Govender were awarded by the South African government for their contributions to South Africa being selected as the host of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development