This year’s winners of prestigious British Academy prizes and medals include linguists, literary critics, archaeologists and charitable pioneers whose accomplishments have left a lasting impact on the humanities and social sciences.
Professor Sir David Cannadine, historian and President of the British Academy, said:
“Whether through individual accomplishments or lifelong service, these medals and prizes are testament to these individuals’ ability to change the face of their discipline for good. The British Academy exists to champion excellence in the humanities and social sciences and to recognise these scholars’ humbling contributions to all areas of scholarship and society. In many cases individuals and scholars rewrite entire chapters of their fields of study, whether in a single piece of work or over the course of a lifetime of dedication to scholarship, and it is a great pleasure to recognise some of these individuals today. I extend my most heartfelt congratulations and warmest wishes to each of the winners.”
The full list of award winners is included below.
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 2019 is awarded to Dr Ben Goldacre, clinician, academic, campaigner and best-selling author.
The 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.
The British Academy Medals in 2019 is awarded to Professor Naomi Oreskes (Harvard University) for her books Merchants of Doubt (Bloomsbury Press) and The Collapse of Western Civilization (Columbia University Press), both co-authored with Dr Erik M. Conway, and for her commitment to documenting the role of corporations in distorting scientific findings for political ends.
The Kenyon Medal
The Kenyon medal was endowed by Sir Frederic Kenyon, elected a fellow in 1903 and serving in turn as the Academy's sixth President and second Secretary. It is awarded annually in recognition of work in the field of classical studies and archaeology.
The Kenyon Medal in 2019 is awarded to Professor Peter Parsons FBA (University of Oxford) for lifetime contribution to the study of Papyrology.
The Derek Allen Prize (Musicology)
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. 2019 is the turn of Musicology.
The Derek Allen Prize in 2019 is awarded posthumously to Alejandro Enrique Planchart (University of California at Santa Barbara) for his lifetime achievements as a composer, performer, conductor and extraordinary range and quality as a musicologist.
The Burkitt Medal (Hebrew Bible 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 (as in this year) and New Testament Studies.
The Burkitt Medal in 2019 is awarded to Professor John J. Collins (Yale Divinity School) for his contribution to Old Testament Studies and Second Temple Judaism.
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 2019 is awarded to Professor Michael Knibb FBA (King's College London) for his significant contribution to the field of the Ethiopic Bible.
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 2019 is awarded to Professor Deirdre Wilson FBA (University College London) for significant contribution to the field of pragmatics, and work in the origination of Relevance Theory.
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 2019 is awarded to Dr Marina MacKay (University of Oxford) for her book, Ian Watt: the Novel and Wartime Critic (Oxford University Press, 2019).
The Serena Medal (Italian History)
The Serena Medal is awarded annually for eminent services towards the furtherance of the study of Italian history, 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 2019 is awarded to Professor John Foot (University of Bristol) for his wide-ranging series of books on Italian history and culture.
The Landscape Archaeology Medal
The Landscape Archaeology Medal was established in 2007 following the decision of Professor John Coles to establish an Academy medal in this field. It is awarded annually for distinguished achievements in landscape archaeology.
The Landscape Archaeology Medal in 2019 is awarded to Professor Dominic Powlesland (Director, The Landscape Research Centre), a landscape archaeologist based in North Yorkshire, for his pioneering methodologies of large-scale excavation and setting up the Landscape Research Centre as an independent charitable trust.
The Sir Israel Gollancz Prize
This prize was established through a bequest from Mrs Frida Mond in 1924 and is associated with Sir Israel Gollancz, the first Secretary of the British Academy, 'in token of a highly valued old friendship and his effort to further these studies'. It is awarded annually for work connected with Anglo-Saxon, Early English Language and Literature, English Philology, or the History of the English Language.
The Sir Israel Gollancz Prize in 2019 is awarded to David Wallace (University of Pennsylvania) for his lifetime contribution into the study of Chaucer and Medieval English literature.
The Peter Townsend Prize
The Peter Townsend Prize, worth £2,000, is awarded biennially in partnership with Bristol University Press for outstanding work with policy relevance on a topic to which Professor Peter Townsend made a major contribution. It is awarded in commemoration of Professor Peter Townsend, one of the most distinguished global figures in contemporary social policy and sociology. This prize was established to honour his memory following his death in 2009. The prize was first awarded in 2011.
The Peter Townsend Prize in 2019 is awarded to Professor Steven King (University of Leicester) for his book, Writing the Lives of the English Poor 1750s-1830s (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019).
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 2019 is awarded to Andre Santos Campos (Nova University of Lisbon) for Representing the Future: The Interests of Future Persons in Representative Democracy.