Amartya Sen Receives Notre Dame Award
The Nobel Prize–winning economist and philosopher Amartya Sen received this year’s Notre Dame Award for International Human Development and Solidarity at a campus ceremony on April 17. A visionary and spirited advocate for the world’s poorest people, Sen has worked for 50 years to illuminate the true causes of poverty and suffering. He has transformed how development is defined and measured by focusing attention on positive freedoms and human capabilities rather than income alone.
Presented by the Kellogg Institute’s Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity, the Notre Dame Award recognizes substantial contributions to international human development through research, practice, public service, or philanthropy. Recipients are honored for standing in solidarity with those in deepest need, supporting them to become agents of their own change.
Heralded as “the conscience of economics,” Sen merges theoretical and empirical analysis on poverty and its complex causes with advocacy. His revolutionary work helped to shape the UN’s human development index (HDI), a widely used composite statistic for measuring well-being and quality of life.
The recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize for his innovations in welfare economics, Sen casts a wide research net. Delving into “the underside of economics,” he has tackled issues of food distribution, global health, violence and peace, education, and gender inequality. His influential books, including the landmark Development as Freedom (1999), are read in more than 30 languages around the world.
Sen is Lamont University Professor at Harvard University, where he also holds appointments in economics and philosophy, and has taught at major universities around the world. A citizen of India, he is a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary advisor to Oxfam International.
While at Notre Dame, Sen also delivered the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, CSC, Lecture in Ethics and Public Policy, the 18th annual lecture in a series established by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
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