From the Krumbein Medal Citation delivered by Ricardo A. Olea:

"He has done important work in statistical research that is crucial to the advancement of quantitative thinking in the earth sciences.... The International Association can be proud, honored, and grateful to include John Aitchison among its distinguished Krumbein medallists"

His methods are suited to apparently diverse fields and have therefore been used widely in for example medical statistics and household expenditure pattern analysis. However, it is in the Earth Sciences that his work has found the most prominent recognition, winning him the prestigious Krumbein Medal from the International Association for Mathematical Geology.