Order of Merit (OM)

View a list of Honours

The Order of Merit is a special honour awarded to individuals of great achievement in the fields of the arts, learning, literature and science. The Order is restricted to 24 members as well as additional foreign recipients. It is in the sole gift of the British Monarch.

Awarded by British Monarch


The following people are associated with this Honour:

Sir James Black
A Nobel prizewinning pharmacologist whose invention of beta blockers was hailed as one of the most important drug discoveries of the century.

Oliver Franks Baron Franks
The remarkable philosopher and diplomat who was instrumental in brokering the Marshall Plan after the Second World War and who, as British Ambassador to Washington 1948-1952 negotiated on Britain's behalf in the formation of NATO.

Joseph Lister Baron Lister
The surgeon who transformed operating practice with his system of antiseptic surgery.

Sir William Thomson Baron Kelvin of Largs
The University of Glasgow's most eminent physicist, honoured in many countries for his numerous inventions.

Sir Alexander Todd Baron Todd of Trumpington
A Nobel prizewinning chemist, honoured for his research on nucleotides and nucleotide co-enzymes.