Notable past fellows include Charles Dickens, Benjamin Franklin, Stephen Hawking, Karl Marx, Adam Smith, Nelson Mandela, David Attenborough, William Hogarth, John Diefenbaker, and Tim Berners-Lee. Today, the RSA has fellows elected from 80 countries worldwide.
The RSA awards three medals – the Albert Medal, the Benjamin Franklin Medal, and the Bicentenary Medal. Medal winners have included Nelson Mandela, Sir Frank Whittle, and Professor Stephen Hawking. The RSA members are innovative contributors to human knowledge, as shown by the Oxford English Dictionary, which records the first use of the term “sustainability” in an environmental sense of the word in the RSA Journal in 1980.