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Geological Society award for NSC founder

Ian Thomas

National Stone Centre founder Ian Thomas receives Society’s Distinguished Service Award for 2022

THE founding director of Derbyshire’s National Stone Centre (NSC) has been recognized by the world’s oldest national geological society for his outstanding contribution to promoting the profession and science of geology.

Founded in 1807, the Geological Society of London, more commonly referred to as the Geological Society, is one of the world’s premier professional geological organizations. The Society announced that Ian Thomas, the now retired founder and director of the National Stone Centre, has been selected as the 26th recipient of its Distinguished Service Award.


Mr Thomas (pictured) commented: ‘Naturally, I am personally absolutely delighted to learn of the Society’s decision to honour me, but in a broader sense, I see it as an endorsement of all we have achieved and are planning to do at the National Stone Centre, by enhancing geological interests nationally.

‘It comes after the national award acknowledging our work in industrial history and sits harmoniously with our Institute of Quarrying (IQ) engagement – together enabling us to deliver nationally ‘The Story of Stone’ – its origins, operations, and offers to us all.’

A single award is made annually, recognizing the member who has demonstrably made an outstanding contribution to advancing the profession and science of geology. Established in 1998, this award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to geoscience and the geoscience community by virtue of their professional, administrative, organizational, or promotional activities.

Ian Thomas initiated the concept of the National Stone Centre in 1980 and was a founding member. The NSC aims to tell ‘The Story of Stone’, its origins, operation, how it supports us all. The NSC is a registered charity based at Wirksworth, Derbyshire, from which it runs a Discovery Centre for visitors, courses, and a wide range of services. It has just merged with the Institute of Quarrying, the international professional body with more than 5,000 members. IQ is in the process of relocating its headquarters to the same Wirksworth site.

Ruth Allington, IQ and NSC Trustee, and President-designate of the Geological Society, said: ‘It’s wonderful that Ian has been recognized for his lifelong dedication to the science of geology by his peers through this award. His passion for the subject is inspiring and without it we wouldn’t have the facilities at the National Stone Centre there to spark that passion in the next generation.’

The official announcement was carried in the Society’s journal Geoscientist. The Award will be presented at a virtual ceremony on 8 June at the Geological Society’s headquarters at Burlington House, The Strand, London.


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