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(Boston, Mass.) — Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen joins Boston University as the first scholar to hold the visiting professorship in the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. During the 2001/2002 academic year, Sen will deliver “The Future of Identity” lecture series exploring the many questions arising from the ways in which people define themselves in terms of group membership. “Professor Sen is the outstanding authority on the nature of economic development,” says Jon Westling, president of Boston University. “As the first Frederick S. Pardee Visiting Professor, he will direct our attention to the issues of growth, freedom, and happiness that will shape human society in the century ahead of us and beyond.”
The Pardee Center at BU, established last year, will bring together leading world thinkers from a broad spectrum of disciplines to take a rigorous and thoughtful look at forces that will shape the global community in the next 35 to 200 years. Scholars will study the specific impact these forces will have on people’s lives.
Sen won the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics for his contributions in welfare economics. His key contributions are in social choice, welfare distributions and poverty. In one particular application of his work, he created an improved theoretical foundation for understanding the economic mechanisms leading to famines.
“Sen is a broad-based thinker with an enormous wealth of information to share” says David Fromkin, Frederick S. Pardee Professor and director of the Center. “He will address the very large topics the Center was formed to explore.”
Frederick S. Pardee, an alumnus and real estate entrepreneur, funded the center with a $5 million gift that includes both the endowed professorship held by Fromkin and the visiting professorship to be filled by Dr. Sen. Sen will be the first of many scholars from diverse fields who will deliver a series of lectures to be published in monograph form.
“Dr. Sen’s incredible research and policy-oriented career directed toward alleviating poverty, and his pioneering work in creating the Human Development Index, make him eminently qualified to serve as the Center’s first distinguished visiting professor,” says Pardee. “It is genuinely thrilling to learn he has agreed, through his lecture series, to help build the Center’s research program.”
Born in Santiniketan, India, in 1933, Sen received his doctorate from the University of Cambridge. An Indian citizen, Sen has been a professor in India, the U.K. and the U.S. He is the Lamont University Professor Emeritus at Harvard. In 1998, he became Master of Trinity College at Cambridge.
Sen has served as president of the Econometric Society, the Indian Economic Association, the American Economic Association and the International Economic Association. He is also Honorary President of OXFAM.
One of the world’s premier research universities, Boston University is committed to excellence in teaching as well as to direct involvement in the artistic, economic, social, intellectual, and educational life of the community and of society worldwide. It is the fourth-largest independent institution of higher learning in the United States, with an enrollment of nearly 30,000 students and more than 3,000 faculty in its 16 schools and colleges.