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Prestigious Patterson Award for Stefan Schouten
The Patterson Award in 2012 is bestowed on Prof. Stefan Schouten of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research. Schouten is recognized for his many contributions to organic geochemistry and specifically for his identification of archaeal membrane lipids in marine environments and their application as a novel sea-surface paleothermometer.

The Clair C. Patterson Award, for a recent innovative breakthrough in environmental geochemistry of fundamental significance, published in a peer-reviewed journal, will normally be made annually at the V. M. Goldschmidt Conference.

C.C. Patterson developed the uranium-lead dating method. Using lead and uranium isotopic data from the Canyon Diablo meteorite, he calculated an age for the Earth of 4.55 billion years. A figure far more accurate than those that existed at the time and one that has remained unchanged for over 50 years.