The Geddes prize is a University prize awarded by the Head of the Department
of Physics to the undergraduate student who submits the best photograph or
other description of some natural physical phenomenon personally observed during
the previous year. Since "a photograph is worth a thousand words",
the prize has gone to the best photograph in recent years. The submission deadline
is by the end of the teaching in May each year. Rules are outlined below.
A E M Geddes was on the staff of the Natural Philosophy Department (the old
name for Physics) from 1909 to 1955. His speciality was meteorology and his
excellent book of that name has numerous examples relevant to Aberdeen and is
illustrated by George Aubourne Clark's internationally acclaimed cloud photographs,
taken at King's College, Aberdeen. The Prize was inaugurated by his daughters.
Below are some example winning entries.
- 1997 Winner Paul Duncan 1st January
1997 sunset from Li harbour in Norway
- 1998 No entries
- 1999 Winner Alison J. Treharne Tide
on the river Spey
- 2000 Winner Kirstin Jacobson Dramatic
- 2001 Winner Darren White Portfolio
- 2002 Winner Darren White Portfolio
- 2003 Winner Gary Angus Complex distortion
through a wet window at the Glasgow Science Centre
- 2004 Winner Laura Nash Focus .
Runners-up: Mark Wood Death in the woods; Stuart
Robb Volcanic aftermath
- 2005 Winner Gillian Morgan Smoke on
a highland stream
- 2006 Winner Matthew Davidson - Reflection in sunglasses, at Cummingston. Runners-up:
Nikki Cassie - Sun, Sunday 7th May, Cruden
Bay; Stephanie Stevenson - Sky at Krakow,
Poland from Krakus Mound.
- 2007 Winner Aileen Forrest - Sunset
from my window in Aberdeen. Runner-up: Matthew Davidson - Mediano Anticline, Spain. Note that this year
the physics staff had a vote due to the large number of entries! Thanks to
all who entered.
- 2008 No prize awarded.
- 2009 Joint winners James Mcleman for an excellent description and
portfolio of pictures showing the conservation
of angular momentum and Jura Aponaviciute for a portfolio
of pictures. More information at each link. Again thanks for many entries
and special mention to Stephanie Stevenson and Carolyn Thomas.
- Since then the Geddes Prize seems to have been overlooked. Only two awards in the next decade are recorded by the Registry: Mara Badia in 2014 and Georgina Keane in 2017. Time to make more submissions!
We would remind all entrants not to look directly at the sun, either with
the naked eye or through the viewfinder of a camera. Screens on digital
cameras allow indirect observation!
- Pictures must be taken by yourself
in the year leading up to the submission deadline (i.e. from June the previous
- Please supply a description
of the photograph (i.e. what physical phenomenon we are looking at) and
any special details of how the photograph was taken
- The picture should not be altered
(e.g. photoshop) and therefore should carry, with the file, the original
- Written entries should be short,
no more than one page in length.