The Haidinger-Medal is the highest award given by the Geological Survey of Austria. On the 29th of April 1856, Wilhelm Ritter von Haidinger (5.2.1795-19.3.1871), the founder of the k. k. Geologischen Reichsanstalt, received this award for the first time from his friends as an act of gratitude and reverence. The design of the Medal was made by Eduard van der Nüll (1812-1868) who´s famous for the architecture of the Opera House of Vienna.

Even on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Geological Survey of Austria, Director Heinrich Küpper picked up the thought of this award again. Since 1856 no coinage of this Medal was realised. The Gremium of the 100th anniversary of the Geological Survey of Austria decided to give this award to scientists who done an extraordinary work in Applied Geology as a mark of recognition. As occasion for awarding a divisible by 10 or 25 year of the term of the Geological Survey of Austria has been proposed.

Under the title ““The Brown of the Earth”: The Recipients of the Haidinger Medals of the Geological Survey of Austria and the National Socialist Era“, the contemporary historian Gunnar Mertz examined the relevant years of birth of the later Recipients in the „Jahrbuch der Geologischen Bundesanstalt“, Volume 160 (2020) (biographies of 11 people ) for the National Socialist Era. This work and the publication “BergWetter 1938” shed light on the era of National Socialism and the time after it at the GBA and thus do justice to a critical approach to the regime from whose doctrine the GBA and its employees clearly distance themselves.