Howard Medal

The Howard Medal was established in memory of the prison reformer John Howard (1726-90). It is awarded every three years to a fellow of the Society for outstanding contributions to the development or application of social statistics.

The Howard Medal is usually awarded triennially and will next be awarded in 2024*.   

The nomination form contains the criteria for this award. We also recommend reading the Guidance Notes available at before completing the form. Nominations are open between 1 May to 31 October each year. 


2021 recipient: Brian Francis
Brian Francis has a distinguished record of impactful statistics research working at the interface of statistics and social science, particularly criminology. The quality and importance of his work can be seen by its impact on Home Office policy for retention of criminal records and DNA profiles; its use by the National Probation Agency to estimate recidivism rates; its influence on how the ONS report crime figures; and being used in an extensive campaign to reduce domestic violence during the football world cup. 


2018 recipient: Colin Aitken
Professor Aitken was awarded the Howard Medal in 2018 for being an outstanding example of how a statistician can integrate with those in a substantive area. He has specialised in statistical reasoning in the law and forensic science and has engaged extensively with practitioners in these areas, developing software for their use and publishing in that applied literature.
Nomination form and criteria
Howard Medal nomination form 

The Guy Medal in Silver, the Bradford Hill Medal and the Howard Medal are intended for achievements of similar standards, subject to the different descriptions and requirements of the awards. The Honours Committee has the freedom to consider nominees for one of these medals for either of the other two if they satisfy the necessary specific criteria.