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Amartya Chair at LSE

  • Published at 11:57 am April 26th, 2019
web_amrtya sen.jpg
File Photo of Amartya Sen Reutes

Amartya Sen won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and the Bharat Ratna in 1999

The London School of Economics (LSE) is set to name a chair after renowned Indian economist and philosopher Amartya Sen.

Sen, whose term as vice-chancellor of Nalanda University was not renewed, is currently professor of Economics and Philosophy professor at Harvard University and a Thomas W Lamont University professor. 

He won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and the Bharat Ratna in 1999 for his work in welfare economics, and was professor of economics at LSE from 1971-82.

LSE will soon start interviewing candidates for the new “Amartya Sen Chair in Inequality Studies,” and the holder of the chair will also serve as the director of the International Inequalities Institute (III) at LSE, reports the Telegraph.

Women and members of ethnic minorities are encouraged to apply for the chair.

The creation of the chair was announced by LSE Director Minouche Shafik last month, during one of LSE’s bi-annual Amartya Sen lectures. Sen was present as a discussant, while his former student Prof Sir Tim Besley delivered the formal address.

“In naming this chair after Amartya Sen, we recognise one of the world’s great thinkers on social equality,” Shafik said.

“He has changed the field of economics in so many ways: our understanding of famines, social justice, economic theory, social choice, welfare economics, inequality and on and on and on,” she added.

Shafik herself was a PhD student at Oxford University during Sen’s last year as a lecturer there.

“I attended every single one of his lectures in Oxford before he left because I thought that was my last chance to hear from the great man — never imagining I would be here this evening,” she said. 

Meanwhile, in response to a question, Sen referenced the Indian general election and said: “Let me take the opportunity, since I am at the LSE, to discuss the works of one of the great products of the LSE, namely Ambedkar, who was a great student here and who was one of the architects of the Indian Constitution.

“And he also reflected on many subjects including democracy and effectiveness of the state… and one of the things he discusses, shortly after the constitution is made, is to say that we have to recognise the peculiarity and indeed the wonder of the fact that India has now accepted political equality at a level of everyone having the same vote, and yet tolerating enormous economic inequality and ask the question: how is this possible that in one sphere we have turned so much more egalitarian than in others?” he added.

According to LSE, a £64 million 20-year gift by Atlantic Philanthropies had made the creation of the chair and running of III possible.

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