The awards were presented by Brian Manley, president of the Institute. Speaking before the presentations, Manley stressed the importance of education to the UK and outlined his hopes for the Institute's 16- to 19-year old curriculum initiative. Manley also called for increased investment in science education and basic research in the physical sciences.

The guest speaker, Peter Williams, chairman of Oxford Instruments, also stressed the importance of education and the need for science to capture the hearts, minds and imaginations of the young. Williams also took issue with recent suggestions that the 21st century would be the century of biology, or the Internet, saying that every area of science, engineering and technology would play a central role in the next century.

The Institute of Physics Awards 1998
President's Medal: Lord Dainton

Premier awards
Glazebrook Medal & Prize: Cyril Hilsum
Guthrie Medal & Prize: Derek Charles Robinson
Paul Dirac Medal & Prize: David Deutsch

Principle awards
Max Born Medal & Prize: Gerhard Abstreiter
Harrie Massey Medal & Prize: Donald Blair Melrose
Holweck Medal & Prize: William Gelletly

Senior awards
Charles Vernon Boys Medal & Prize: Shaun Neil Fisher
Bragg Medal & Prize: Maurice George Ebison
Duddell Medal & Prize: Meirion Francis Lewis
Kelvin Medal & Prize: Lesley Scott Dent Glasser
Maxwell Medal & Prize: Andrew James Fisher
Paterson Medal & Prize: Neil Loxley
Rutherford Medal & Prize: Anthony Michael Hillas