Editors note: In 2020 the Awards have been renamed to put the emphasis on the person of the recipient, rather than on the founding fathers of social psychology.
It has been a tradition of EASP to honor members who made an outstanding contribution to the discipline of social psychology or the Association. On the occasion of our General Meetings these members receive one of several Medals of merit. In an indirect way these Medals do not only honor the awardees, they also honor the person after whom they were named.
The first Medal, the Henri Tajfel Medal, created as a tribute to one of our founding fathers and linked to the Henri Tajfel lecture at the General Meeting, recognizes the lifetime achievement contribution of one of our members. A few years later, as a tribute to another key figure in our history, the Jos Jaspars Medal was created, recognizing the outstanding contributions of young members. As a third category, the Kurt Lewin Medal is awarded to members in the midst of their career. The Jean-Paul Codol Medals, named after yet another distinguished member of our Association, are awarded to members who have made outstanding contributions to the Association. The most recently created medal is the Serge Moscovici Medal. Aside from honoring Serge for his pivotal role in the creation of the Association it honors present members for their innovative theoretical contribution to social psychology.
As a final point, although people’s feelings about awards differ, one cannot but observe that in the larger scientific community obtaining research funds depends not only on the quality of the research itself, but also on the recognition received for it. Awards are considered tokens of quality!
That is also why, over the years, the Association created additional award categories and why, with the exception of the Tajfel and the Moscovici Medals, there are multiple recipients.