British Academy launches medal for landmark research

14 Nov 2013

Academics from around the world were celebrated at the British Academy's annual medals and prizes awards ceremony on 14 November 2013.

Presenting the awards, President of the Academy, Lord Stern of Brentford said: "British Academy medals and prizes have been awarded annually for over 100 years and are a vital means of celebrating academic achievement. This year we launch the newly designed British Academy Medal for academic research that has transformed understanding in a field of the humanities and social sciences. This is the first medal in the Academy's history which can be awarded to any individual or group across the humanities and social sciences, rather than for specific subjects." The new British Academy Medal was designed by young art student Ruth Leslie from Glasgow School of Art and specially created by medal artist Natasha Ratcliffe for the Academy.

  The inaugural winners of the new British Academy Medal are:

  • David Abulafia FBA, Professor of Mediterranean History, University of Cambridge, for his publication The Great Sea (2011). 

  • Dr Noel Malcolm FBA , Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College Oxford, for his publicationThomas Hobbes: Leviathan (2012).

  • Timothy Shallice FBA, Professor of Neuropsychology, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL and Dr Richard Cooper, Reader in Cognitive Science, Birkbeck, University of London for their publication The Organisation of Mind (2011).

The full list of award winners is included below. 

The President's Medal 
Awarded for the first time in 2010, the British Academy President's Medal rewards signal service to the cause of the humanities and social sciences. It complements awards given by the Academy for academic achievement, by identifying and rewarding outstanding leadership or contributions other than purely academic.

The 2013 winners are:

  • Shami Chakrabarti CBE, Director of Liberty

  • Baroness Jean Coussins, House of Lords

  • Sir Peter Stothard, Editor of the Times Literary Supplement

  • Lord Williams of Oystermouth FBA (Dr Rowan Williams) Master, Magdalene College, Cambridge


Burkitt Medal for Biblical Studies 
Professor Francis Burkitt (1864–1935), elected a Fellow of the Academy in 1905, decided in 1923 to strike a number of bronze medals for presentation by the Academy to scholars in recognition of special service to Biblical Studies. After his death in 1935 the awards became known as Burkitt Medals.

The Burkitt Medal for 2013 is awarded to Professor Ronald Ernest Clements DD, Kings College London.


Derek Allen Prize (Musicology)

This prize commemorates Derek Allen (1910–1975), elected a Fellow in 1963, who served from 1969 to 1973 as Secretary of the Academy and from then until his death as Treasurer. It was founded in 1976 by his widow, Mrs Winifred Allen, and her sons to provide an award for outstanding published work by a scholar of any nationality in one of three academic fields in which Mr Allen had particular interest. Annual awards are made in turn in musicology, numismatics and Celtic studies.

The 2013 Derek Allen Prize for Musicology is awarded to Professor Arnold Whittall, King's College London.


Edward Ullendorff Medal 
Professor Edward Ullendorff was a Fellow of the British Academy from 1965 until his death in 2011. His widow Mrs Dina Ullendorff has established a Medal in memory of her husband and in view of his long association with the Academy, which he valued greatly. The Edward Ullendorff Medal will be awarded for scholarly distinction and achievement in the fields of Semitic Languages or Ethiopian Studies.

The Edward Ullendorff Medal in 2013 is awarded to Professor Getatchew Haile FBA, Regents Professor Emeritus of Medieval Studies, and Curator at the Ethiopian Study Center at College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, Minnesota.


John Coles Medal for Landscape Archaeology
The John Coles Medal for Landscape Archaeology was endowed by Professor John Coles, a Fellow of the Academy, for distinguished achievements by any scholar based in Britain and Ireland in landscape archaeology in any part of the world and in any period. The medal was first awarded in 2007.

The John Coles Medal for 2013 is awarded to Mr Christopher Taylor FBA.


Kenyon Medal for Classical Studies and Archaeology 
The founder of this Award, Sir Frederic Kenyon (1863-1952), was elected a Fellow in 1903 and served in turn as the Academy's sixth President and second Secretary. At his death he bequeathed the Academy a sum to provide a medal to be awarded to the author or work relating to classical literature or archaeology.

The Kenyon Medal for 2013 is awarded to Professor Alan Cameron FBA


Peter Townsend Policy Press Prize
Professor Peter Townsend FBA was one of the most distinguished global figures in contemporary social policy and sociology. As an international researcher and public intellectual, he made an immeasurable contribution to analysis and policy-making in the areas of poverty and inequality, health inequalities, disability and older people. This prize supported by The Policy Press, was established to honour his memory following his death in 2009.

The Peter Townsend Policy Press Prize for 2013 is awarded to Professor Tracy Shildrick, Professor Robert MacDonald, Professor Colin Webster, Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite forPoverty and insecurity: life in low-pay, no-pay Britain (The Policy Press, Bristol, 2012).


Serena Medal 
The Serena Medal was endowed by Mr Arthur Serena after Great Britain's alliance with Italy in the First World War, to be awarded annually ‘for eminent services towards the furtherance of the study of Italian history, literature, art or economics'. The first award was made in 1920.

The Serena Medal for 2013 is awarded to Professor Pier Vincenzo Mengaldo, University of Padua.


Sir Israel Gollancz Prize 
This biennial prize in English studies was established by Mrs Frida Mond in 1924. It was the benefactor's intention to associate the prize with Sir Israel Gollancz, the first secretary of the Academy, ‘in token of a highly valued old friendship'.

The Sir Israel Gollancz Memorial Prize for 2013 is awarded to Professor Leslie Lockett , Ohio State University.


Wiley Prize in Economics 
The new Wiley Prize in Economics rewards achievement in research by an outstanding early career economist. Research may be in any field of economics or economic history. The prize is sponsored by publisher Wiley-Blackwell and is worth £5,000.  

The 2013 first Wiley Prize in Economics is awarded to Professor Philipp Kircher, University of Edinburgh.


Wiley Prize in Psychology 
This annual prize, made in partnership with Wiley-Blackwell, provides an award of £5,000 in recognition of excellence in research in psychology. It alternately rewards lifetime achievement by an outstanding international scholar and promising early career work (within five years of doctorate) by a UK-based psychologist.

The 2013 fifth Wiley Prize in Psychology, the third to an outstanding international scholar, is awarded toProfessor Anne Treisman FBA FRS.


The new British Academy Medal 
The British Academy Medal has been established for the first time this year to recognise and award landmark academic research which has transformed understanding in the humanities and social sciences. Up to three awards may be made each year.

The 2013 winners are:  

  • David Abulafia FBA, Professor of Mediterranean History, University of Cambridge. 

  • Dr Noel Malcolm FBA , Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College Oxford.

  • Timothy Shallice FBA, Professor of Neuropsychology, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, UCL and Dr

  • Richard Cooper, Reader in Cognitive Science, Birkbeck, University of London.

To find our more about the British Academy's medals and prizes please visit the website .


Editor's notes:

  1. For further information, images and interviews please contact the Press Office on [email protected] or 020 7969 5263.

  2. The British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. Established by Royal Charter in 1902. Its purpose is to inspire, recognise and support excellence and high achievement in the humanities and social sciences, throughout the UK and internationally, and to champion their role and value. For more information, please visit

  3. Follow the British Academy on Twitter @britac_news

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