The prize is awarded annually to a scientist or engineer whose expertise in communicating scientific ideas in lay terms is exemplary.
The award is named after Michael Faraday FRS who contributed to the fields of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include those of electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis. He was famed for engaging the public with science, including the Royal Institution Christmas lectures.
The medal is of silver gilt and is accompanied by a gift of £2,500. The winner is called upon to deliver a lecture at the Society. The first award was made in 1986.