The Scientific Exploration Society is a UK-based charity (No 267410) founded in 1969 by Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE and his colleagues. As a non-profit making organisation, SES exists to bring together like-minded explorers and scientists and to encourage pioneering exploration and worldwide scientific expeditions focusing on scientific, conservation, education and community aid projects, particularly in under-resourced environments.

SES seeks to inspire and support - through the SES Explorer Awards - the next generation of ground breaking 'Pioneers with Purpose'. It also seeks to recognise high quality, innovative and pioneering scientific exploration through championing a number of expeditions annually that match the aims and objectives of the SES.


'Pioneers with Purpose' continues through the SES Explorer Awards.

By supporting the next generation of explorers who are working at the frontline of exploration, and benefiting local communities in the process, SES seeks rising stars who could become major players in the next generation. These explorers should be willing to take on risks in a sensible way and share the values of leadership, integrity, curiosity and sheer grit found in true exploration pioneers like SES Founder Colonel John Blashford-Snell.

Over the next decade, SES aims to create the equivalent of the ‘Oscars of Exploration’; an opportunity to showcase the finest feats of contemporary explorers alongside a new generation who can be inspired by them. SES believes the values expressed through the best kind of leadership, exposing integrity, understanding risk, pursuing scientific excellence and endeavour, are all values that the world urgently needs today to navigate the different choices facing humanity.


Photo shows Andrew Mitchell hosting a Q&A with the SES Explorer Award recipients. Photograph courtesy of Mark Nox Photography.

From left to right: John Mitchell, SES Rivers Foundation Explorer 2015, Giulia Grimaldi, SES Neville Shulman Film Award winner 2015, Aida Cuni Sanchez, SES Neville Shulman Award winner 2016, Stephen Spencer, SES Rivers Foundation Explorer 2016, James Borrell, SES Cadogan Tate Explorer 2015.

Take a look at the 'Pioneers with Purpose' who have received SES EXPLORER AWARDS.

'Pioneers with Purpose' is supported by some of the GREAT NAMES of CONTEMPORARY EXPLORATION  HAB Quotes.pdf (257 KB)


Please click here to download the  SES Disclaimer.pdf (187 KB).


Join us for our flagship event of the year, a celebration of Exploration and Leadership, as the 'Pioneers with Purpose' are awarded their SES Explorer Awards. Guest of Honour SES Honorary Vice-President Neil Laughton will be at this event, which is held at the Royal College of Surgeons (London) on Thursday 11 May 2017. CLICK HERE for FULL DETAILS.

SES Awards Invitation Final


Pen Hadow - do join us at 6.30pm on Wednesday 29 March at the Park Tower Hotel (Knightsbridge) to hear one of the leading explorers of our time talk about his passion to protect Arctic Waters. MORE DETAILS

Ploughmans Lunch with John Blashford-Snell - followed by a talk on the "History of the SES - the best bits" at 12.45pm on Sunday 23 April 2017. MORE DETAILS

Please see EVENTS for more news and events.


Andrew Whitworth - Sira Currassow
Congratulations to Dr Andrew Whitworth, Award Winner of SES Cadogan Tate Explorer 2016, on the recent publication of scientific papers on his tracking and research of the Critically Endangered Sira Curassow.

Congratulations to SES Honorary Advisory Board member Levison Wood on completing 'Walk The Americas'. Try and catch Levison on his UK theatre tour (running through February and March): www.levisonwood.com/speaking

Levison Wood

If you would like to help us continue the Society's work, please DONATE

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