Royal Astronomical Society Service Award

Friday 13th January 2023

We are delighted to announce that Charlie Barclay (CR 1997-2022) has been awarded the Royal Astronomical Society Service Award for his significant contributions to astronomy education over a long and distinguished career. In particular, for his outstanding work developing and maintaining the Astronomy GCSE.

The Royal Astronomical Society announced its 2023 Medals and Awards at its meeting today.

The citation reads:

Charles Barclay has made notable contributions to Astronomy over his 30-year career. Much of this time was spent at Marlborough College, where he has educated and inspired thousands of teenagers in the fields of Astronomy and Physics. The restored Cooke telescope has been instrumental in the observatory’s extensive outreach programme, with many thousands of visitors enjoying inspirational views.

Charles has been fundamental to the continuation of the Astronomy GCSE, a starting point for many in astronomy. Without Charles working with the Examination Board in developing the syllabus and examinations, it probably would no longer exist. He has also been closely involved over many years with the preparation of the British team for the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics, resulting in an excellent success record with multiple medals won.

Furthermore, the lack of Astronomy A level prompted Charles to search for a suitable educational vehicle for pupils interested in furthering their astronomy learning beyond GCSE. He has been instrumental in the development of the Extended Project Qualification, which is an excellent opportunity to study Astronomy in schools beyond GCSE.

For these reasons Charles Barclay is awarded the 2023 Service Award (A) of the RAS.

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