Amartya Sen among the scholars for US National Humanities Medal

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Official Portrait of Amartya Sen at the Nobel Prize

Indian economist Amartya Sen is among nine scholars to receive the US National Humanities Medal tomorrow. No other Indians have received the medal in the sixteen years since it was introduced.

A White House citation noted "his insights into the causes of poverty, famine, and injustice" and claimed "by applying philosophical thinking to questions of policy, he has changed how standards of living are measured and increased our understanding of how to fight hunger."

A 1998 Nobel Prize for Economics laureate, Sen is currently Harvard University's professor of Economics and Philosophy. Other new awardees include John Ashbery, Robert Darnton, Teofilo Ruiz, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Charles Rosen, Andrew Delbanco, and Ramon Saldivar.

Scholars of Indian origin have won National Medals in Science and Engineering but not in Humanities. Introduced in 1996, the medal is awarded to "those individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities," says the White House.