There is only one Geological Society, the one in London that was founded in 1807. Its highest award is the Wollaston Medal, which goes to "geologists who have had a significant influence by means of a substantial body of excellent research in either or both 'pure' and 'applied' aspects of the science." Willliam Hyde Wollaston (17661828) is also honored in the name of the pyroxene mineral wollastonite; he was also the discoverer of the precious metal palladium, the same metal that composes the medal.
The Wollaston Medal has been awarded since 1831, and its recipients are an honor roll of geology. Just in this young century, it has gone to people whose names I readily recognize: Rudolph Trümpy, Ted Irving, James Lovelock, Norm Sleep, Paul Hofmann, Steve Sparks, Christopher Hawkesworth and Kurt Lambeck, plus several more. The 2014 Medalist will be its first female recipient, Maureen Raymo. She richly deserves it. Her home institution, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York, summarizes her work and also notes that she's getting the European Geosciences Union's Milankovitch Medal this year. Well done!