Lancaster researchers to receive prestigious awards from the Royal Statistical Society

Professor Peter Diggle and Professor Jonathan Tawn
Professor Peter Diggle and Professor Jonathan Tawn

Two Lancaster University academics are to receive prestigious accolades from the Royal Statistical Society in recognition of their leading contributions to the discipline of statistics.

Peter Diggle, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in Lancaster University’s Faculty of Health and Medicine, is to receive the ‘Guy Medal’ in Gold.

Guy Medals are named after William Augustus Guy, a British medical statistician. There are Gold, Silver and Bronze Guy Medals. Bronze and Silver are awarded annually, and Guy Medals in Gold, which are in recognition of lifetime achievements, are awarded every two years.

Professor Diggle is to receive the Guy Medal in Gold for his many contributions to the discipline of statistics, and in particular the use of statistics in solving challenging problems in biomedical, health and environmental sciences.

He has contributed groundbreaking methodological work in spatial and longitudinal statistics, as well as sustained impactful applied work over a period covering nearly fifty years.

Professor Diggle was also President of the Royal Statistical Society from 2014 to 2016, as well as fulfilling other roles at the society, and he has mentored more than 50 doctoral and post-doctoral researchers.

Jonathan Tawn, Distinguished Professor in Lancaster University’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics, is to receive a Guy medal in Silver for his numerous pioneering contributions to the statistics of extremes, and their influence on science and society.

Professor Tawn has had a stellar publication career shaping his area of study through methodological innovation that is inspired by real-world applications.

He has also been committed to the training of young researchers, including through the directorship of the STOR-i Centre for Doctoral Training.

Professor Diggle and Professor Tawn will receive their awards, alongside recipients of other honours from the Royal Statistical Society, at a ceremony during the society’s annual conference in September.

Dr Andrew Garrett, President of the Royal Statistical Society, said: “Peter and Jonathan’s contribution to the field has been groundbreaking, for Peter his methodological work in spatial and longitudinal statistics and for Jonathan, his work on the statistics of extremes. Both have read several papers to the Society and acted as proactive supporters of others in the community. Congratulations to them both and what a fantastic achievement for Lancaster.”

Professor Malcolm Joyce, Lancaster University interim Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise, said: “I am delighted for Peter Diggle and Jonathan Tawn that their outstanding achievements over so many years have been recognised by the award of these prestigious Medals.

“They have both contributed immensely to their fields, as well as to society across many areas including within health and the environment, and have made outstanding contributions towards ensuring statistical research at Lancaster is among the very best in the country.

“They have also both supported many early career researchers, ensuring we have a highly talented new generation of statisticians entering the worlds of research and industry, and Professor Diggle has been an outstanding inspiration to successive generations of researchers at Lancaster.”

More information about the Royal Statistical Society’s Guy Medals is available by visiting

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