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Award-winning journalists, prehistorians and world-leading economists honoured with prestigious British Academy prizes and medals

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The political journalists Zeinab Badawi and Dame Frances Cairncross are among those to be honoured by the British Academy for services to the humanities and social sciences, it was announced today.

The British Academy prizes and medals recognise individuals for their distinction in – and dedication to – the subjects.

Zeinab Badawi, Dame Frances Cairncross, William Dalrymple, Professor Andreas Gestrich and Dr John Hemming will each receive the prestigious President’s Medal, which recognises and rewards outstanding achievement in the humanities and social sciences in public life.

The Academy is honouring Ms Badawi in recognition of her international contributions to broadcast journalism, for holding power to account and for advocating for women’s education in the Sudan and other countries. Dame Frances receives her award for the pioneering way she has used economic and social science research in environmental, media, public policy and technology journalism.

For decades both have been excellent advocates for these important issues through their journalism, authorship and broadcast work.

Previous winners of the President’s Medal include the managing director of the Barbican Centre, Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, and Baroness Shami Chakrabarti CBE, the former head of human rights group Liberty.

The Academy will also present a posthumous British Academy Medal to the late Dr Miriam Griffin for her lifetime’s contribution to Roman history and ancient thought. Dr Sarah Lloyd-Fox will receive the Wiley Prize in Psychology in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the study of infants, while the Brian Barry Prize in Political Science will be awarded to Dr. Zeynep Pamuk for her essay, ‘Justifying Public Funding for Science’.

Meanwhile, the Rose Mary Crawshay prize will be awarded to Professor Emma J. Clery for her book Eighteen Hundred and Eleven: Poetry, Protest and Economic Crisis. Established in 1888 and awarded by the British Academy since 1916, this prize recognises historical or critical works relating to English literature by a woman. Professor Clery joins Dame Hermione Lee and Dame Marina Warner on the long list of past winners.

Professor Sir David Cannadine, historian and President of the British Academy, said:

“The British Academy exists to champion the humanities and social sciences in all areas of our national life, and so it is a great pleasure to present these awards to such an outstanding and inspiring group.

“Be they journalists or historians, economists or theologians, this year’s winners have excelled in their respective academic fields, while at the same time furthering public understanding of the humanities and social sciences. And at a time when institutions are distrusted and derided, when expertise is mocked and scorned, and when the humanities and social sciences are all too frequently dismissed in the corridors of power as trivial or recreational pursuits, such achievements ought to be celebrated.

“I extend my heartiest congratulations and warmest wishes to each of the winners.”

Of her award, Zeinab Badawi said: “I was delighted, moved and deeply grateful that a body as august as the British Academy should confer on me such an award. To receive a President’s Medal is truly a great honour. Thank you.”

Commenting on her award, Dame Frances Cairncross said: “I am honoured and delighted to join the impressive group of people who have received this medal in the past. I look forward greatly to the ceremony in September.”

The full list of award winners is included below.

British Academy prize and medal winners 2018

The President’s Medal

The President's Medal rewards outstanding service to the cause of the humanities and social sciences. It covers a broad range of activities, including insightful journalism contributing to public understanding, use of research in policymaking, and public leadership.

The President’s Medals in 2018 will be awarded to:

·        Zeinab Badawi for her contributions to international political journalism

·        Dame Frances Cairncross DBE, FRSE, FAcSS for her contributions to economic journalism

·        William Dalrymple FRSL, FRGS, FRAS, FRSE for his literary achievements and for co-founding Jaipur Literary Festival

·        Professor Andreas Gestrich for his contribution to the study of German and Continental European History

·        Dr John Hemming for his work in the field of the colonial history and ethnography of Brazil and Peru, and the promotion of the protection of endangered societies.

British Academy Medals 

The British Academy Medals are awarded for landmark academic achievement in any of the humanities and social science disciplines supported by the Academy.

British Academy Medals in 2018 will be awarded to:

·        Dr Miriam Griffin for lifetime achievement

·        Dr Timothy Bruce Mitford, FSA for East of Asia Minor: Rome’s Hidden Frontier, Vols I & II (Oxford University Press, 2018)

·        Professor Catherine Whistler for Venice and Drawing, 1500-1800: Theory, Practice and Collection (Yale University Press, 2016).

The Derek Allen Prize (Celtic Stidies)

This prize commemorates Derek Allen FBA (1910–1975), a former Secretary and Treasurer of the Academy. 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 fields in which Mr Allen had particular interest. Annual awards are made in turn in musicology, numismatics and Celtic studies. 2018 is the turn of Celtic Studies.

The Derek Allen Prize in 2018 will be awarded to Professor Máire Herbert, MRIA (University College Cork) for her outstanding contribution to the study of Celtic literature and history.

The Burkitt Medal (New Testament Studies)

The founder of this award, Professor Francis Burkitt, had bronze medals struck in 1923 for presentation by the Academy to scholars in recognition of special services to Biblical studies. After his death in 1935 the medals were given the name Burkitt Medals; they now alternately reward work on Hebrew Bible Studies and New Testament Studies (as in this year).

The Burkitt Medal in 2018 will be awarded to The Revd Professor Christopher Charles Rowland (Queen’s College, University of Oxford) for his wide-ranging contribution to New Testament studies.

The Edward Ullendorff Medal

The Edward Ullendorff Medal is awarded annually for scholarly distinction and achievements in the field of Semitic Languages and Ethiopian Studies. This award commemorates Professor Edward Ullendorff FBA (1920-2011). His widow, Mrs Dina Ullendorff, has generously supported the establishment of a medal in memory of her husband in view of his long association with the Academy, which he valued greatly.

The Edward Ullendorff Medal in 2018 will be awarded to Professor John Huehnergard (University Texas Austin) for his monograph publications and scholarly contributions to the study of Semitic languages.

The Neil & Saras Smith Medal

The Neil and Saras Smith Medal is awarded to a linguist of any nationality whose career has demonstrated the highest standards of achievement and scholarship. Professor Neil Smith FBA, who established the medal, is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at University College London.

The Neil and Saras Smith Medal in 2018 will be awarded to Barbara Hall Partee (University of Massachusetts Amherst) for her leading contributions to the study of semantics, syntax and pragmatics.

The Rose Mary Crawshay Prize

In April 1888 Mrs Rose Mary Crawshay established ‘The Byron, Shelley, Keats In Memoriam Yearly Prize Fund’. In 1914, some years after her death, the Charity Commissioners transferred the administration of the prize fund to the Academy. It is now awarded for a historical or critical work on any subject connected with English Literature by a woman of any nationality.

The Rose Mary Crawshay prize in 2018 will be awarded to Professor Emma J. Clery (University of Southampton) for her book Eighteen Hundred and Eleven: Poetry, Protest and Economic Crisis.

The Serena Medal (Italian Music)

The Serena Medal is awarded annually for eminent services towards the furtherance of the study of IItalian history, philosophy or music, literature, art, or economics. It was endowed by Mr Arthur Serena after Great Britain’s alliance with Italy in the First World War. The medal was first awarded in 1920.

The Serena Medal in 2018 will be awarded to Professor Roger Parker, FBA (King’s College London) for his significant contribution to the study of 19th-century Italian opera.

The Grahame Clark Medal

The Grahame Clark Medal was endowed in 1992 by Professor Sir Grahame Clark, a Fellow of the Academy from 1951 to his death in 1995, who wished by it that distinguished achievements involving recent contributions to the study of prehistoric archaeology should be acknowledged. This Medal was first awarded in 1993.

The Grahame Clark Medal in 2018 will be awarded to Dr Alison Sheridan (National Museums Scotland) for her outstanding research and wide-ranging contribution to the study of early prehistory.

The Wiley Prize in Economics

The Wiley Prize in Economics, worth £5,000, is awarded annually for achievement in research by an outstanding early-career economist. The award is sponsored by the publisher, Wiley.

The Wiley Prize in Economics in 2018 will be awarded to Dr Mirko Draca (University of Warwick and Theme Lead for “The Changing Nature of Work” within the Economic Data Science programme at The Alan Turing Institute) for his promising early-career work in economics, especially for his work on the effect of Chinese imports.

The Brian Barry Prize in Political Science

The British Academy, in partnership with Cambridge University Press and the British Journal of Political Science, awards this prize in honour of Brian Barry FBA, a founding editor of the journal. The prize is awarded annually for excellence in political science, as displayed in an unpublished essay.

The Brian Barry Prize in Political Science in 2018 is awarded to Dr. Zeynep Pamuk (St John’s College, University of Oxford) for her essay, ‘Justifying Public Funding for Science’.

The Wiley Prize in Psychology

This annual prize, in partnership with the publisher, Wiley, provides an award of £5,000 in recognition of excellence in research in psychology. It alternately rewards lifetime achievement by an outstanding international scholar (as in this year) and promising early career work by a UK-based psychologist.

The Wiley Prize in Psychology in 2018 is awarded to Dr Sarah Lloyd-Fox (Birkbeck, University of London and University of Cambridge) for her outstanding empirical and methodological contributions to the study of infants.

The Leverhulme Medal & Prize (Social Sciences)

The Medal and Prize, in partnership with The Leverhulme Trust, is awarded triennially for a significant contribution to knowledge and understanding in a field within the humanities and social sciences. The Prize is a sum of £5,000.

The Leverhulme Medal and Prize in 2018 will be awarded to Professor David W. Harvey FBA (Graduate Center of the City University of New York) for demonstrating the importance of the social sciences in understanding the modern complexities of capitalism, urbanism and questions of social justice. 

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