LSE Professorship Named After Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen

A previous version of this article stated that Sen received the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1988. He was in fact awarded the Nobel Prize in 1998. This has been corrected.

LSE has announced a new academic position in honour of world-renowned economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen who was professor at the School from 1971-82.

During LSE’s biannual Amartya Sen Lecture, the School announced its creation of the ‘Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies’ position, named in honour of the esteemed Indian economist, philosopher and Nobel Laureate. The holder of the title will also serve as the Director of LSE International Inequalities Institute. The Institute is part of LSE’s initiative to study and challenge inequality, one of the most challenging and pressing issues of our time.

Director Minouche Shafik commented: “The International Inequalities Institute is a living embodiment of the School’s enduring commitment to working for the betterment of society through research, education and public engagement. In naming this chair after Amartya Sen, we recognise one of the world’s great thinkers on social equity. We look forward to appointing an outstanding person to lead the work of the Institute as it continues to deliver sustainable and meaningful benefits to people and global communities.”

On their recruitment page, LSE states that the ideal candidate will “offer a strong and inspiring vision for the Institute’s future as it seeks to escalate its impact on the global stage, providing wisdom, compassion, boldness and conviction to address the profound ethical questions raised by inequalities of all kinds.”

As well as being an honorary LSE Fellow, Sen is also the Thomas W Lamont University and a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. Sen is especially known for his work on welfare economics, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998.

Dhruv Narayanan, a first year BSc Economics student at LSE, shared his admiration of Sen with The Beaver: “To list the accolades of Amartya Sen – the 1998 Nobel Laureate in Economics and a Bharat Ratna honoree among others – would do little justice to the man my grandmother remembers from her time at the Delhi School of Economics. Sen was key to the development of social choice theory, which connects the importance of institutions to individual choice and social welfare. His work in development economics guided the creation of the UN’s Human Development Report. Yet above all, Sen continues to embody the spirit of economics as a powerful means to benefit societies, rich and poor.”

Christopher G. Oechsli, President and CEO of the Atlantic Philanthropies, said: “It is fitting that the Chair at the International Inequalities Institute is in Amartya Sen’s name. Sen’s theories of justice, equity and well-being – just like the work of the III and the Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity – transcend disciplines, build bridges to real-world policy and practice, and inspire generations to improve the human condition.”

Following an open recruitment process that will launch this month, the Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies is expected to take up post in January 2020.


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