A Buys Ballot medal for Edward Lorenz : a reflection on the history of the prestigious award and evolving attitudes toward predictability

W. Lablans, J. Oerlemans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Since 1893, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences has awarded, once every 10 years, a golden Buys Ballot Medal to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions to the development of meteorology. The award was instituted in 1888 in honor of C. H. D. Buys Ballot (1817–90), upon his retirement as professor of physics at the University of Utrecht. Today, Buys Ballot is remembered best by Buys Ballot’s law, which gives the relation between wind and pressure. He derived this law from observations and published it in 1857.1 Buys Ballot was a pioneer both in weather forecasting and in recognizing the need for international cooperation in meteorology. He founded the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) in 1854 and served as its chief director until his death, and was first president (1873–79) of the International Meteorological Committee, a predecessor of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1662-1666
Number of pages5
JournalBulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Cite this