Sen Will Return to Harvard In 2004
Sen, who is currently master of Trinity College in Cambridge, England, has been Lamont University Professor emeritus since he left Harvard in 1998. The professorship itself has been vacant since his departure.
“I am greatly looking forward to returning to Harvard and resuming normal teaching and research,” Sen said in a press release.
Sen taught at Harvard from 1987 to 1998. Since departing for Trinity, he has returned to Harvard frequently, delivering the Commencement address in 2000 and speaking at the Inaugural Lecture Series for the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study.
He also debated University President Lawrence H. Summers this spring as part of a colloquium on international affairs, entitled “Globalization after September 11: Has Anything Changed?”
“Amartya Sen is an incredibly prolific and insightful scholar whose research has forever transformed the way social scientists, philosophers and others think about a wide range of economic and moral issues,” said University President Lawrence H. Summers in a press release yesterday.
“As a member of the Economics Department, I am particularly pleased to be able to welcome back such a distinguished colleague.”
A citizen of India, Sen received the 1998 Nobel Prize in economics for his work in welfare economics. He has been awarded more than 60 honorary degrees, including the Bharat Ratna—the highest honor awarded by the president of India.
“In every project in which I’ve ever worked with him, he has brought cutting analytic insight, a fresh perspective and a remarkable ability to combine normative theory, innovative economic analysis and an understanding of practical economics and politics,” said Jane J. Mansbridge, Adams professor of political leadership at the Kennedy School of Government.
The title of University Professor is Harvard’s highest academic honor, certifying the recipient to teach in any of Harvard’s schools. The University professorships were instituted by former University President James B. Conant ’14 in 1935 to support “professors with roving commissions whose teaching and creative work shall not be hampered by departmental considerations.” Thomas W. Lamont, Class of 1892, endowed the Lamont chair for “a scholar pre-eminent in the field of political economy.”
Sen said he plans to teach primarily in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the economics and philosophy departments.
“[Professor Sen] works at the intersection of philosophy, economics, and political theory,” said Professor of Government Michael J. Sandel. “His presence will enliven the study of ethics, economics and politics at Harvard. I’m delighted at the news that he is returning.”
“He is one of the great thinkers and doers of our generation,” Mansbridge said.