The IMS sponsors several Special Invited Lectures, which are given by distinguished scientists at regular IMS meetings. Recipients are chosen by the Committee on Special Lectures; names of recipients are usually announced at the IMS Annual Meeting, at least one year in advance of their lecture.

Special Lectures are distinct from ordinary invited papers, which are chosen by the Program Committees for each meeting, and they are usually longer in length. Special lectures are of two types: Medallion Lectures and Named Lectures.

Eight Medallion Lecturers are selected from the fields of Statistics and Probability each year.

There are four Named Lectures: Wald, Blackwell, Le Cam, Neyman, and Rietz . The Wald Lectures are given annually. The other lectures are given on a rotating basis. More on Medallion and Named Lectures can be found in the IMS handbook.

In addition to these IMS lectures there are also two jointly sponsored lectures by the Bernoulli Society and the IMS: Doob and Schramm. Information on those special lectures can be found here:


General Session Guidelines for IMS Special Invited Lectures

A. Medallion
Each recipient presents a single lecture of between 45 and 90 minutes in duration, with additional time for questions. It is advisable to schedule two Medallion Lectures in the same session, but no session should have more than two Medallion Lectures, and no session should have both Medallion and non-Medallion lectures.The IMS Program Chair appoints a chairperson for each Medallion session, who may give a brief introduction to each lecture. (To select a Session Chair we recommend asking the speaker(s)for a short list of people familiar with their work.) Typically, Medallion Lectures do not have discussants.Before the meeting, the IMS Executive Director will send the Session Chair an engraved medallion and a copy of these instructions:

At the meeting the chair introduces the speaker; some chairs may want to give a short (less than 5 minutes) summary of the speakers achievements. At the end of the introduction, the chair presents the medallion with these or similar words:

“Each year, IMS nominates eight Medallion Lectures, in fields across the IMS’s subject range. The award of a Medallion signals the honor inherent in being selected to give one of these lectures. IMS awards the Medallion to ………. and invites you to present a Medallion Lecture entitled ………”

The chair then presents the medallion to the Lecturer. Afterwards, the lecturer presents his/her paper in the usual way. There is no need for the lecturer to make any acceptance remarks.

B. Blackwell, Le Cam, Neyman and Rietz Lectures
Each recipient presents a 50-60 minute lecture as part of a stand-alone session devoted to their talk. The lecture is preceded by a brief introduction (5 – 15 minutes), and may be followed by one or more discussants, at the discretion of the Session Chair.
C. Wald Lectures
Wald Lecturers present 2-4 lectures of 50-60 minutes duration, each of which is in a stand-alone session devoted to their talk. Each lecture may be overseen by a different Session Chair. The initial Wald lecture is preceded by a formal introduction (5 – 15 minutes). Each session should allow time for questions. Lectures may be followed by one or more discussants, at the discretion of the Session Chair.