At the outset of the twentieth century, Sir Patrick Manson, GCMG, FRS, was the most eminent figure in the field of tropical medicine. Distinguished by his own research, and with a reputation as an outstanding teacher and administrator, he established the scientific basis of tropical medicine. In his own lifetime, he was hailed by Raphael Blanchard of Paris as the "Father of Tropical Medicine".
Sir Patrick was the first President of RSTMH and remained closely associated with the Society until the end of his life. In 1921 his friends and admirers from all parts of the world subscribed to a Portrait Fund as a mark of their esteem for him and his work.
After the portrait, which hangs in the Board Room of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, had been executed, it was decided to use the surplus of the fund to found a medal for outstanding contributions to tropical medicine and hygiene. RSTMH accepted responsibility for administering the award.
This bronze medal bears the likeness of Sir Patrick in profile on the obverse, and on the reverse a garland of oak leaves surrounds the words "Tropical Medicine. A.D. 1922", the year in which Sir Patrick died.
The Manson medal is awarded triennially. It is the Society's highest mark of distinction, and will be awarded to the living person whose contribution to any branch of tropical medicine or hygiene is considered by the Board of Trustees to merit the honour most.
It will next be awarded in 2016.