Emeritus Professor Hugh Torrens has been awarded the inaugural V. V. Tikhomirov Award for the History of Geology. The Award is one of the new IUGS Scientific Awards of Excellence which have recently been established to reward outstanding original contributions or achievements that mark a major advance or contribution to the Earth Sciences. Each IUGS commission was invited to nominate a candidate within its specific field of interest/research. By secret ballot, involving numerous excellent candidates, the Board of the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO) decided to nominate Hugh to receive the inaugural award for the History of Geology. In Hugh’s absence, the Award was presented to his daughter Rebecca on August 6th 2012 during the 34th International Geological Congress in Brisbane, Australia.
The Award is named after the eminent Russian historian of geology, Professor Vladimir Vladimirovich Tikhomirov (1915-1994). Tikhomirov was an active field and economic geologist but during a distinguished wartime military career in the Russian Air Force, he was severely wounded and, when demobilized in 1945, became almost totally blind. In 1951, he became foundation head of the newly founded History of Geological Sciences Section within the USSR Academy of Sciences. As historian of geology, he is widely recognized for two works: A short essay on the history of geology published in 1959 and the 2-volume monograph Geology in Russia in the first half of the 19th century, published in the early 1960s. He also edited the journal Contributions to the history of geological sciences from 1953 to 1991. During the early 1960s, he worked energetically to establish INHIGEO and he became its Foundation President.