National Stone Centre founder Ian Thomas receives Distinguished Service Award from the Geological Society

Ian Thomas

Ian Thomas, the founder of the National Stone Centre in Derbyshire, is to receive this year's Distinguished Service Award from the Geological Society.

The founding director of the National Stone Centre (NSC) in Derbyshire is to receive this year's Distinguished Service Award from the Geological Society of London, the world’s oldest national geological society, for his outstanding contribution to promoting the profession and science of geology.

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

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

When the news went public Ian said: “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."

Ian's award follows previous recognition of the Stone Centre's work in industrial history and sits comfortably with the Centre's recent engagement with the Institute of Quarrying (IQ), which is in the process of moving on to the National Stone Centre's 40-acres site. IQ and National Stone Centre aim jointly to deliver ‘The Story of Stone’ – its origins, operations and its contribution to civilisation and society.

The Geological Society's Distinguished Service Award was introduced in 1998 and is presented annually in recognition of a member who has made an outstanding contribution to advancing the profession and science of geology.

Ian Thomas initiated the concept of the National Stone Centre in 1980. It is a registered charity based near Wirksworth, Derbyshire, from which it runs a Discovery Centre for visitors, various courses and a wide range of services. This year it merged with the Institute of Quarrying, the international professional body with more than 5,000 members (read more about that here). The Peak District Mining Museum also plans to move on to the site, which is being re-designed by local architects of Babenko Associates (read more about that here).

Ruth Allington, IQ and NSC Trustee and President-designate of the Geological Society, says: “It’s wonderful that Ian has been recognised 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.”

www.nationalstonecentre.org.uk