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The British Academy, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences, announced today that Gillian Tett, US Managing Editor of the Financial Times, will be a 2011 recipient of the President’s Medal, an honor that recognizes up to five individuals or organizations for their service to those fields.
The judges commended Tett for her role in predicting the credit crisis in 2006, and then for her authoritative coverage of the events that surrounded it from 2007-2009. A major contribution, they noted, was her deep explanations of financial instruments (such as collateralized debt obligation, credit default swaps and conduits) to “a supposedly informed public that generally had no knowledge of how they worked.” They also point to her use of social anthropology in financial journalism, a unique approach that has led to “a more holistic and prescient understanding of the global economy and financial markets.”
Tett is being honored alongside Sir Nicholas Kenyon (managing director, Barbican Centre) and Sharon Witherspoon MBE (deputy director, Nuffield Foundation), and past recipients include Dr. Sarah Tyacke (distinguished senior research fellow, School of Advanced Study, University of London and former head, National Archives), Michael Worton (vice provost and Fielden Professor of French Language and Literature, University College London) and Mr. Peter Riddell (assistant editor, politics, The Times).
More information about the British Academy is available at http://www.britac.ac.uk.