British academy

Latest News of Fellows

The British Academy's Foreign Secretary, Professor Dame Helen Wallace, has been appointed as a member of the British Library's governing board for a four-year term. She is one of six new board members named today by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. 
30 Mar 2015
The Economic and Social Research Council has announced five projects to strengthen its portfolio of high-quality research on important issues facing society.Among the projects announced are The Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy (CPP), led by Professor Sir Richard Blundell, and the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) led by Professor John Van Reenen.
27 Mar 2015
Rt Hon Lord Woolf, former Lord Chief Justice who led the inquiry into Britain's biggest prison riot, is calling for a new inquiry into the state of UK jails.Lord Woolf says conditions in prisons are now as bad as they were in 1990, when a dramatic siege at Strangeways went on for 25 days.Two people died and hundreds were injured in a protest against a prison regime that included "slopping out".Lord Woolf said Britain was again "heading for a crisis within prisons".
23 Mar 2015
The Academy warmly congratulates Professor Sir Geoffrey Lloyd, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Philosophy and Science at the University of Cambridge, on the award of the prestigious Prix International from the Fondation Fyssen. The theme of this year's prize was "cognition et variation culturelle" and Sir Geoffrey was awarded the prize, worth 60,000 euros, at a ceremony in Paris on 20 March.   Further information on the prize can be found online.  
20 Mar 2015
Dame Marina Warner, professor of English and creative writing at Birkbeck, University of London,  has been named as the 11th winner of the Holberg Prize, established by the Norwegian parliament in 2003 for scholars who have "made outstanding contributions to research, either within [the arts and humanities, social sciences, law and theology] or through interdisciplinary work".
12 Mar 2015
Professor Andrew Hurrell has been given the Susan Strange Awardby the International Studies Association at its annual meeting in New Orleans in February. This award recognizes 'a person whose singular intellect, assertiveness, and insight most challenge conventional wisdom and intellectual and organizational complacency in the international studies community'. Previous recent winners have included Kathryn Sikkink, Robert Keohane, Peter Katzenstein and Richard Falk.
5 Mar 2015
British Academy Vice President Professor Vicki Bruce has been shortlisted for the award for inspiring leader, one of The Guardians annual university awards. The judging panel selected Professor Bruce for her work in the field of human face perception and face recognition, which has influenced the way witnesses are interviewed, and the way that recognition of faces from CCTV images is dealt with by courts. They also cited her leadership roles in Stirling, Edinburgh and Newcastle, her position as Vice-President for Public Engagement at the British Academy, and her tireless work to help drive change to ensure ...
27 Feb 2015
The University of Manchester could not have chosen a worse time to consider closing Middle Eastern language courses, writes Professor Hugh Williamson in Times Higher Education magazine. As Islamic State (Isis) plumbed even greater depths of depravity with the burning alive of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, he writes, the crucial importance of doing all we can to understand the Middle East became ever clearer.You can read the full article Isis shows 'Oriental studies' are essential here.
20 Feb 2015
Sir David Butler and Professor Vernon Bogdanor have predicted the Tories will do much better than expected in next May's general election but they still forecast another hung parliament.Psephologist Sir David Butler, politics professor Vernon Bogdanor, along with political consultant Sir Bob Worcester, offer their views on the BBC News website.Professor Bogdanor has also just had his paper - The Crisis of the Constitution - published by The Constitution Society.
13 Feb 2015
In honour of her highly respected and extensive scholarly work on political studies and policy in Europe, Dame Helen Wallace will be the second scholar to be awarded the 2015 All European Academies Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values; a prize initiated by ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities.The prize will be awarded to Professor Wallace at a ceremony on the premises of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon on 23 April 2015 at the ALLEA General ...
9 Feb 2015
Professor Nicholas Vincent has authenticated a newly discovered copy of the Magna Carta, belonging to the town of Sandwich, which had lain forgotten in Kent County Council archives in Maidstone.
9 Feb 2015
Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, was among 28 religious leaders who wrote to England Schools Minister Nick Gibb arguing for the study of humanism to be included in a proposed new GCSE in religious studies.
9 Feb 2015
Sir Nigel Thrift has been interviewed by Times Higher Education magazine. The newly knighted vice-chancellor of the University of Warwick talks about the criticism vice-chancellors have received for their rising salary levels, changes in higher education and the best and worst things about his job.
16 Jan 2015
Melvyn Bragg is the presenter of a major Radio 4 series marking the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, one of the best known of all historical documents. Nicholas Vincent, Professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia, contributes.
7 Jan 2015
Sir David Cannadine is the author of George V: The Unexpected King, part of a new series of books about Britain's kings and queens. Published by Penguin Press, the Penguin Monarchs series will be released in groups of five over the next four years.Sir David is Chair of the National Portrait Gallery, Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University and General Editor of the Penguin History of Europe and Penguin History of Britain.
7 Jan 2015
Professors Sir Barrington Windsor Cunliffe, Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, Richard Bradley and Colin Haselgrove have written an open letter to Rt Hon. Eric Pickles MP (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) Rt Hon. Sajid Javid MP (Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport). In the letter they express their on-going concerns over Shropshire County Councils proposal for a housing development site for 117 houses, less than 300m from the scheduled ancient monument, Old Oswestry Hillfort. You can read the letter in full here. The story was also covered by The Times. ...
31 Dec 2014
Lord King has guest edited an episode of BBC Radio 4's Today Programme broadcast on 29 December 2014. During the programme he recalls the dramatic events of the financial crisis and interviews Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve when Lehman Brothers went down in September 2008. The episode is available on BBC iPlayer.
29 Dec 2014
In a series of one-to-one conversations broadcast on Radio 4, Baron Hennessy of Nympsfield asks senior public figures how the United Kingdom's constitution will be changed by further devolution. In the third of five episodes Baron Hennessy was joined by former President of the British Academy Baroness O'Neill of Bengarve.You can listen to The Kingdom to Come here.
18 Dec 2014
In the Guardian newspaper, British Academy President Lord Stern writes about the five pages of text, dubbed the Lima Call for Climate Action, that outline a way forward on hotly contested issues, including the process for countries to set out their pledges to cut annual emissions of greenhouse gases after 2020. He says: "Governments took a step back from chaos in the climate change discussions in Lima and found a way forward on Sunday, albeit with some fudges and compromises, giving themselves just 12 months to finalise a crucial international agreement to avoid ...
15 Dec 2014
Professor Michael Fulford  has been shortlisted as Archaeologist of the Year, by Current Archaeology magazine. Professor Fulford is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading. Current Archaeology is a magazine devoted to British archaeology, focusing on excavations from all periods. The awards recognise the outstanding contributions to the understanding of the past made by the people, projects, and publications featured in the pages of Current Archaeology over the previous 12 months.
8 Dec 2014
Archaeologist Professor Charles Higham, University of Otago, has been awarded the Mason Durie Medal by the Royal Society of New Zealand. The medal is awarded annually to a pre-eminent NZ-based social scientist whose work has had international impact. Professor Higham's award recognises his research on understanding the series of social changes in Southeast Asia over three millennia that ultimately led to the rise of the Angkor state in modern-day Thailand.
8 Dec 2014
A new lower blood alcohol limit for drivers, of 50mg in every 100ml of blood, is being introduced in Scotland today, in time for Christmas.  The lower limit - in line with most of Europe and also under consideration in Northern Ireland - was recommended in a government report by Sir Peter North in 2010. It has not been introduced in England and Wales, where the limit remains 80mg.
5 Dec 2014
Baroness Kennedy, a member of Parliament's Joint Human Rights Committee, has criticised government plans to direct universities to introduce measures to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism as threatening academic freedom, with universities "being turned into an arm of the state, a policeman".
4 Dec 2014
At this year's Political Studies Association awards dinner, former British Academy President Professor Onora O'Neill was awarded the Isaiah Berlin Prize for a Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies and current Vice-President Professor Iain McLean was awarded a Special Recognition Award for his contributions to political studies. Other winners included Theresa May (Politician of the Year) and Michael Crick (Journalist of the Year).
1 Dec 2014
Professor Sir David Cannadine celebrated the 10th anniversary of Oxford Dictionary of National Biography by taking part in a panel discussion consisting of the dictionary's three most recent editors. Professor Cannadine, who started editing the dictionary this year, was joined by his predecessors in the role, Professor Sir Brian Harrison (1999-2004) and Professor Lawrence Goldman (2004-14). The event took place in conversation with Professor Dame Hermione Lee, President of Wolfson College, Oxford at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London on Tuesday 25 November.
27 Nov 2014
Professor Paul Kennedy has been awarded the Hattendorf Prize for Distinguished Original Research in Maritime History. The Hattendorf Prize honors distinguished academic research and writing in the field of maritime history, and is the most prestigious award that a scholar can receive in the field from the U.S. Naval War College. The international award includes a $10,000 cash prize. The award citation praised Professor Kennedy's achievements as an "assiduous historical researcher as well as the author of path-breaking studies on Britains naval history and the role of navies in the ...
24 Nov 2014
Professor Mary Beard has received an honorary degree from the University of London. Professor Beard collected the degree during the Universitys Foundation Day celebrations on 19 November.In September Professor Beard was awarded an honorary doctorate by St Andrews University
21 Nov 2014
Professor Archie Brown has given a number of lectures in the United States in November. He spoke at a conference on the Reagan Era at the Virginia Military Institute on 'Gorbachev, Perestroika and the End of the Cold War', and gave talks on his recent book, The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age at Georgetown University and at Southern Methodist University, Dallas. He addressed the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations on 'Problems of Consensus-Building in a Multinational State: the UK, Spain, Ukraine' and spoke ...
21 Nov 2014
In his lecture, 'Do we measure up to Beatrice? A British archaeologist abroad', Professor Graeme Barker, formerly Disney Professor of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge, marked the Council for British Archaeology's 70th year by sharing a lifetime of research across the Mediterranean, Middle East and South East Asia. Reflecting on the role of Britain's archaeologists in world archaeology, the lecture and AGM took place on 10 November 2014 at the British Academy in London.
11 Nov 2014
Writing in The Times, Professor Vernon Bogdanor says the governments answer is incoherent to the question of whether Scottish MPs should continue to vote on English domestic matters.
10 Nov 2014
Speaking in The Times, Lord O'Donnell said that employers consistently failed to realise what motivated their workforce. Saying "thank you", giving staff time off and allowing them more control over their work can make them much happier than a pay rise. Lord O'Donnell will head a new centre for wellbeing, to open in the spring, which is part of a move to put happiness at the heart of government policy-making.
6 Nov 2014
MI5 amassed hundreds of records on Professors Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill, who were once members of the Communist party, secret files have revealed. Another Fellow under scrutiny was Professor A.J.P. Taylor. The files, released at the National Archives, reveal the extent to which MI5 secretly kept tabs on the personal and professional activities of communists and suspected communists, a task it began before the cold war.
29 Oct 2014
Professor Christopher Prendergast has written a new book Adventures in Grammarland, in collaboration with academic Paul Georgiou. Published by Panarc International, Adventures in Grammarland takes 'you on a journey into the very heart of the English language'. Professor Prendergast is a published author based in Cambridge and Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.
27 Oct 2014
Professor David Luscombe spoke at a conference in Oxford. He gave an assessment of the impact of the seminal study by Sir Richard Southern FBA, Saint Anselm and His Biographer, 50 years on from its publication.
27 Oct 2014
Professor Margaret Boden appeared on BBC Radio 4's The Life Scientific programme. You can listen again via the BBC's iPlayer here. Professor Boden is Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of Sussex and a world authority in the field of artificial intelligence.
21 Oct 2014
Professor Paul J Boyle and Professor Peter Buckley have become Fellows of Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Boyle is Vice Chancellor, University of Leicester and has led the Economic and Social Research Council for the past four years. He is also an internationally renowned expert in population and health geography. Professor Peter Buckley is Professor of International Business, Centre for International Business University of Leeds. He is a leading authority on international business.
21 Oct 2014
The future of the historic Hurd Library one of the jewels of Hartlebury Castle, former home of the Bishops of Worcester - has been preserved in public hands thanks to a £5m grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. Former British Academy President Sir Adam Roberts and other Academy Fellows lent strong support to the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust in their efforts to purchase the castle from the Church Commissioners and keep its important library intact.
13 Oct 2014
Professor Elinor Shaffer's most recent contribution to the reception of English literature in Europe has been published by Bloomsbury Academic and is entitled The Literary And Cultural Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe.
8 Oct 2014
Uta Frith DBE, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at UCL, and barrister and broadcaster Baroness Helena Kennedy QC have joined the judging panel for the 2014 Wellcome Book Prize. Other judges include Mark Haddon and Razia Iqbal.The panel will be chaired by Bill Bryson.The Wellcome Book Prize celebrates books with a medical theme - both fiction and nonfiction - published in the UK.
2 Oct 2014
Professor John Dunn's Henry L Stimson Lectures have been published Yale University Press under the title 'Breaking Democracy's Spell'. Professor Dunn is emeritus professor of political theory at King's College, Cambridge, and one of the founders of the "Cambridge School" of political thought.
2 Oct 2014
Professor Sir David Cannadine has joined the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as its new editor. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the national record of 60,000 people who have shaped British history and culture from the country's 'earliest times to the year 2010'. David Cannadine is Dodge Professor of History at Princeton University. He is a specialist in the political, social, and cultural history of modern Britain and its empire, and the study of history over time. Between 1992 and 2004 research for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ...
1 Oct 2014
Professor Vernon Bogdanor examines in today's Guardian some of the thorny issues raised by Prime Minister David Camerons proposal of 'English votes for English Laws'. He argues that "a constitutional settlement, if it is to be lasting, needs the support of all parties, and endorsement by the people as a whole after measured debate."The full article is available on the Guardian website.  
25 Sep 2014
As the UN begins its first Climate Summit, British Academy President Lord Stern outlines the problem which is far too big for a single country to solve alone, asking what can we do next and how can we use this crisis to spur better lives for all? The TED talk is called The state of the climate - and what we might do about it.
24 Sep 2014
The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate has published a new report 'Better Growth, Better Climate'. The report's conclusion is that countries at all levels of income now have the opportunity to build lasting economic growth at the same time as reducing the immense risks of climate change. The Commission was set up to examine whether it is possible to achieve lasting economic growth while also tackling the risks of climate change. It is chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón and vice-chaired by British Academy President Lord Stern.In other news, Lord ...
17 Sep 2014
Hermione Lee has been awarded a James Tait Black Prize for her biography of Penelope Fitzgerald. The James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are Britains oldest literary awards. Two prizes of £10,000 are awarded annually by the University of Edinburgh for the best work of fiction and the best biography published in the previous year.The prize winners were announced by broadcaster Sally Magnusson at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 27 August.Further information about the James Tait Black Prizes and Hermione Lees Penelope Fitzgerald: A life is available on the BBC news website.
28 Aug 2014
Professor Mary Beard is profiled in the latest edition of The New Yorker magazine (1 September 2014). The article describes how Professor Beard takes on her sexist detractors, brings a proletarian focus to the world of the ancients and acts as a role model for women of all ages who want an intellectually satisfying life.
27 Aug 2014
Six Fellows have been elected this year as Members of the Academia Europaea. The Academia Europaea is an European Academy of Humanities, Letters and Sciences, composed of individual members. Members are drawn from across the whole European continent and around the world. Current membership stands at around 2,800, including fifty-two Nobel Laureates. The six Fellows elected are:Professor Stephen Bann, Professor Sir Richard Blundell, Professor Vincent Crawford, Professor Eleanor Dickey, Professor Shalom Lappin, Professor Sir Richard Sorabji.
18 Aug 2014
Writing in the Financial Times, British Academy President Lord Stern says the British tax system could be more equitable and less of a drag on economic activity, if recommendations he made while head of the Government Economic Services weren't 'buried in the chancellor's drawer.' He says 'What was lacking then was the political commitment to do what makes sense. It is still lacking now despite the difference it could make to the public finances and the country's prosperity.'
7 Aug 2014
Professor Derek Parfitt has won a Rolf Schock Prize in the Logic and Philosophy category "for his ground-breaking contributions concerning personal identity, regard for future generations and analysis of the structure of moral theories." The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Music and Royal Swe­dish Academy of Fine Arts, award the Rolf Schock Prizes 2014, amounting to a total of SEK 2.4 million, in the fields of logic and philosophy, mathematics, visual arts and music.
31 Jul 2014
Professors Nicholas Bloom and John Van Reenen have won the 2014 EIB Prize for Excellence in Economic and Social Research in acknowledgement of their academic excellence, work published and impact on public policy of their research on this years prize topic "Innovation, Market Structure and Competitiveness".
29 Jul 2014

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