The Grey Walter Medal


In 1975, the Grey Walter Medal was founded, to be presented from time to time in recognition of outstanding services to Clinical Neurophysiology and to the EEG Society (now BSCN). It was presented for the first time in 1975 to Dr W Grey Walter. It has since been awarded to:


1980 Professor GD Dawson
1984 Dr MAB Brazier
1989 Dr AM Halliday 
1997 Professor C Binnie
2004 Professor GFA Harding
2009 Professor H Bostock
2022 Professor Jonathan Cole 

Dr Grey Walter (1910-1977)
Pioneer in the technological development and clinical use of EEG in the study of epilepsy and location of cerebral tumours. Born in Kansas City, Missouri; all of his educational and professional career occurred in England. His early career in neuroscience began as a post-graduate research scientist in nerve physiology with Adrian and Matthews at Cambridge. Subsequently, he moved to the Maudsley Hospital London to work with Golla in the emerging field of electroencephalography, proving to be expert in construction of the new equipment needed to record EEG in neurological patients. In 1936, he published observations on slow wave activity used to localise cerebral tumours, and is credited with naming the slow activity ‘delta waves’. Grey Walter moved with Golla to the newly opened Burden Institute in Bristol in 1939, where he was involved in many new technological and clinical developments – including the introduction of electro-convulsive therapy into British psychiatric practice, construction of an automatic frequency analyser for EEG, and the discovery of the contingent negative potential. Aside from his work in clinical neurosciences, he was a pivotal and legendary figure in the evolution of cybernetics, robotics and the early days of artificial intelligence. Between 1948 and 1949, he produced two robot ‘tortoises’, named for their perspex shell, which were capable of displaying complex and unpredictable behaviours. Grey Walter was considered to be a brilliant and inspirational scientist by all those who knew and worked with him.