In September and October 2009, the British Academy held ceremonies to honour individual scholars for the excellence of their work in the humanities and social sciences.
The whole article can be downloaded as a PDF file.
Published in British Academy Review, Issue 14 (November 2009).
On 17 June 2009, a group of leading academics, economics journalists, politicians, civil servants, and other practitioners met at the British Academy for a round-table discussion of the current financial crisis. The question under discussion in this British Academy Forum had been framed by Her Majesty The Queen on a visit to the London School of Economics in November 2008, when she had asked: if these things were so large, how come everyone missed them? A purpose of the Forum was to provide the basis of an ‘unofficial command paper’ that attempted to answer this question. The discussion inevitably ranged more widely – touching on the social fall-out of the crisis, and including a plea for a greater emphasis on the teaching of economic history in universities. But it was with The Queen’s question in mind that the two convenors of the meeting, Professor Tim Besley FBA and Professor Peter Hennessy FBA, subsequently drafted a letter summarising the discussion: it was sent to Buckingham Palace on 22 July.
On 23 September 2009, the British Academy hosted a workshop to take a fresh look at the 1970s – a watershed in post-war British history. It was followed in the evening by a public panel discussion, chaired by Professor Laurie Taylor (presenter of Radio 4’s ‘Thinking Allowed’). Dr Lawrence Black and Dr Hugh Pemberton introduce the issues that need to be tackled when studying a decade that continues to resonate strongly in our recollections of the recent past.
2009 has been the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’. On 29-30 June, the British Academy, the Royal Society, and the American Philosophical Society held a joint conference in Cambridge to celebrate. One of the participants, Professor Peter Bowler FBA, here discusses the extent to which early accounts of evolution portrayed it as one big adventure story.