For over 100 years, the Fellowship of the British Academy has brought together the country’s greatest thinkers from across the humanities and social sciences. In this new podcast, current Fellows of the British Academy shine a light on the Fellows of previous generations whose work still shapes how we see the world today. Listen to leading historians, economists, psychologists and political scientists introducing you to the academics that inspired them, revealing their remarkable lives and the enduring influence of their ideas.
Great Thinkers: Richard Fardon FBA on Mary Douglas FBA
'Purity and Danger', a book exploring the concepts of pollution and taboo in societies around the world, made its author Mary Douglas one of Britain’s most celebrated anthropologists. In this episode, Fellows of the British Academy Richard Fardon and Henrietta Moore discuss the book’s lasting impact and Douglas’s equally fascinating later work.
Great Thinkers: John Curtice FBA on David Butler FBA
For three decades, David Butler FBA was the BBC’s go-to psephologist, covering every election from 1950 to 1979. Today, that role is filled by his former pupil, John Curtice FBA. In this episode, the two colleagues discuss how Butler came to make his career studying and analysing elections.
Great Thinkers: Jose Harris FBA on Beatrice Webb FBA
In 1931, the British Academy elected its first female fellow, Beatrice Webb. A sociologist, economist and social reformer, she was one of the four founders of the London School of Economics. In this episode, Professor Jose Harris FBA and Dr Ben Jackson take a closer look at Webb’s extraordinary life and legacy.
Great Thinkers: John Kay FBA on G.L.S. Shackle FBA
G.L.S. Shackle FBA spent his career advocating the importance of understanding uncertainty in economics, but his ideas fell out of fashion towards the end of the 20th century. In this episode, economist John Kay FBA and the former head of the Bank of England, Mervyn King FBA, explain why they’ve come around to Shackle’s way of thinking.
Great Thinkers: Dawn Adès FBA on John Golding FBA
John Golding FBA’s extensive career included writing the definitive book on Cubism and staging landmark exhibitions of Matisse and Picasso, as well as several solo shows of his own work. In this episode, Professor Dawn Adès FBA meets with two of Golding’s former pupils and colleagues, Professor Christopher Green FBA and Professor Elizabeth Cowling. They discuss his paintings, some of which now hang in the British Academy, look back over his life and assess his enduring impact on modern art.
Vernon Bogdanor FBA on A.V. Dicey FBA
What would A.V. Dicey FBA, the leading advocate of the ‘rule of law’ who died in 1922, think about Britain’s current constitutional tangles? In this episode, Vernon Bogdanor FBA and Conor Gearty FBA try to answer that question, with a look back at the jurist’s life and work.