The Richard Webster Medal
Richard Webster (DSc)
Richard Webster was born in1933 in Derby (England). The start of his career as the founder of pedometrics began with a degree in chemistry from the University of Sheffield (1954), followed by studies in soil science and statistics at London University and Rothamsted Experimental Station. From 1957 to 1961 he led the soil survey in Northern Rhodesia, and while there he introduced air-photo interpretation based on physiographic understanding to accelerate survey. He continued with this theme to find means of spatial prediction of soil properties for his doctorate at Oxford University (1966). During the 22 years (from 1968) at Rothamsted Experimental Station he continued to develop statistical pedology. Of major importance, he adapted the theory of regionalized variables to soil survey for optimal spatial prediction of soil properties from sparse sample data. It was this work, in particular, that led to the development of what we now know as Pedometrics. During this period Richard supervised several PhD students two of whom went on to work in Pedometrics, namely Alex McBratney and Margaret Oliver. Richard continued his role in educating pedometricians (Andreas Papritz) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. He has continued to apply statistical theory to practical problems in soil pollution, precision agriculture, and spatial filtering since his retirement.
Guidelines for the award of the Richard Webster Medal
Requirements and eligibility for the award of the Richard Webster Medal
(1) Soil scientists eligible for the award will have shown:
(a) a distinction in the application of mathematics or statistics in soil science through their published works,
(b) innovative research in the field of pedometrics,
(c) leadership qualities in pedometrics research, for example, by leading a strong research team,
(d) contributions to various aspects of education in pedometrics (e.g. supervision of doctoral students, teaching of pedometrics courses in higher education, the development of courses for broader professional needs), and
(e) service to pedometrics (e.g. by serving on a committee of the Pedometrics Commission or promoting pedometrics to the IUSS).
2) A nominee should be a member of the IUSS at the time of the nomination and have been involved in activities associated with pedometrics, in particular.
3) The nominee must be living at the time of the selection; retired pedometricians still active in pedometrics research will be eligible for the award. The nominee should be willing to receive the medal at the time and place designated by the IUSS World Congress, and be a keynote speaker at the next conference of the Pedometrics Commission (held biannually) following the presentation of the medal.
4) The award of the Richard Webster Medal shall not be presented to any one individual more than once.
1) Nominations for the Richard Webster Medal should be made by a colleague or colleagues who know the person’s work well. The nomination should include a resumé and a short statement (a maximum of 750 words) summarizing the relevant qualifications of the nominee with respect to the conditions outlined in the section, requirements and eligibility, above.
2) The proposer(s) should submit the following on behalf of their nominee two months before the next IUSS conference:
(a) their published work for the four-year period between consecutive IUSS meetings,
(b) a suitable curriculum vitae that gives:
i. all previous publications,
ii. positions held,
iii. research undertaken,
iv. education of others,
v. teaching courses developed,
vi. and leadership and management of research projects .
Inclusion of any of the above must show clear relevance to pedometrics
2) The newly appointed chairman (following the award of the Medal) will recommend two new committee members to the committee of the Pedometrics Commission. The aim should be to balance the representation of the main continents of the World in the choice of suitable committee members.
3) The Pedometrics Committee on Awards and Prizes will publicize a request for nominations for the Richard Webster Medal in the Pedometrics Newsletter, on the Pedometrics Commission website, and in other appropriate places a year before the next IUSS World Congress.
4) Each member of the Pedometrics Committee on Awards and Prizes will evaluate all submissions by all nominees. The evaluation will be on a scale from 0 to 10 for the criteria outlined above (section 2 of the nominations procedure). The winner of the medal shall be the nominee who receives the most points. In the event of a tie, the chairman of the Committee shall cast the deciding vote.