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British Academy honours six Oxford academics

Six Oxford academics are to be honoured by the British Academy for services to the humanities and social sciences.

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

Dr John Hemming of Magdalen College will receive the prestigious President’s Medal 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. The President’s Medal recognises and rewards outstanding achievement in the humanities and social sciences in public life.

The Academy will also present a posthumous British Academy Medal to the late Dr Miriam Griffin of Somerville College for her lifetime’s contribution to Roman history and ancient thought.

Dr Zeynep Pamuk of St John’s College will receive the Brian Barry Prize in Political Science for her essay, ‘Justifying Public Funding for 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 The prize is awarded annually for excellence in political science, as displayed in an unpublished essay.

Dr Timothy Bruce Mitford FSA of the Corpus Christi College Centre for the Study of Greek and Roman Antiquity will receive the British Academy Medal for 'East of Asia Minor: Rome’s Hidden Frontier, Vols I & II' (Oxford University Press, 2018). Professor Catherine Whistler of St John’s College, who is Keeper of Western Art at the Ashmolean Museum, will receive the British Academy Medal for 'Venice and Drawing, 1500-1800: Theory, Practice and Collection' (Yale University Press, 2016). The British Academy Medals are awarded for landmark academic achievement in any of the humanities and social science disciplines supported by the Academy.

The Reverend Professor Christopher Charles Rowland of The Queen’s College will receive the Burkitt Medal for his wide-ranging contribution to 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 (as in this year) and New Testament Studies.

Professor Sir David Cannadine, historian and President of the British Academy, will host the ceremony. He 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.’

The prizes will be awarded at a ceremony at the British Academy in central London on Tuesday 25 September.