Nicholas Stern, the British Academy's President, has received one of the highest awards in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Five other Fellows of the British Academy were also honoured. Jonathan Gershuny, Alexandra Walsham and John Moore were awarded a CBE, Emily Jackson an OBE, while Christine Chinkin was awarded a CMG.
The Companion of Honour, one of the most prestigious honours awarded to a civilian, was given to Lord Stern for services to economics, international relations and tackling climate change. He joins just three other academic economists – Lionel Robbins (1968), Friedrich Hayek (1984) and Amartya Sen (2000) – to receive the award since it was founded in 1917. As President of the British Academy, Lord Stern has been at the forefront of raising the profile of the Academy and of putting the disciplines of Humanities and Social Sciences centre stage – highlighting their essential contribution to understanding the world today.
Throughout his career, he has been sought out by governments in the UK and overseas to advise on a range of policies. Professor Stern led the writing and research for the Commission for Africa which helped to generate the decision at the G8 summit in Gleneagles in July 2005 to double aid for Africa. His major review of the Economics of Climate Change, published in 2006, has been seminal in shaping international understanding on how to manage the threat posed by climate change. Since then, Lord Stern has actively helped efforts to tackle climate change around the world, and played an important role in bringing about the Paris Agreement in 2015.
From 1994-99 he was the Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. From 2000-2003 he was the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank and was later the second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury and Head of the Government Economic Service. He is the IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science(LSE). This year, he was asked to join a 16-member international group of top economists and leaders tasked with reviewing issues relating to global financial governance. The Review is chaired by Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Lord Stern is the only Briton in the group.
Lord Stern said: "I am delighted and deeply honoured."
Alun Evans, Chief Executive of The British Academy, said: "This is a fitting tribute to one of Britain’s most outstanding and committed academics. Nick Stern is one of our finest public servants who has dedicated his life to the values that underpin academic inquiry – reason and evidence. In his presidency of the British Academy, he has shown how the humanities and social sciences are vital to our understanding of how we have lived, how we live now and how we might live in the future."
Sir Paul Nurse FRS, Director of the Francis Crick Institute and former President of the Royal Society, commented: "Nick has shown how science, in the broadest sense, can be applied to help understand and tackle the world’s challenges. He played a leading role in the Council for Science and Technology on which we served together and has informed and influenced nations around the world."