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Last modified: Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen to visit IU Bloomington Sept. 19-21

Sept. 6, 2006

Sen image

Amartya Sen

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Amartya Sen, the 1998 Nobel Laureate in economics, will visit Indiana University Bloomington on Sept. 19-21 and will deliver two public and free lectures sponsored by the William T. Patten Foundation.

Sen will speak about "Identity: Enrichment, Violence and Terror" on Sept. 20 in Rawles Hall 100, 831 East Third St.; and on the topic, "India: Bits and Pieces and Beyond," Sept. 21 in the Fine Arts Auditorium (room 015), 1201 E. Seventh St. Both lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m. In addition, Sen will meet with faculty and students. The IU Bloomington India Studies Program nominated Sen for the lecture.

Sen has helped give voice to the world's poor. His lifetime of research has revolved around the basic theme that even impoverished societies can improve the well-being of their poorest members. And even in the midst of an economic boom, societies which neglect the poor may allow millions to die of famine, such as happened in Bengal, India, in 1943. Annual income growth alone is not enough to achieve development, he believes, and societies must pay attention to social goals as well, investing in the health and well-being of girls as well as boys.

Currently Lamont University Professor and professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard University, Sen until recently was the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has served as president of the Econometric Society, the Indian Economic Association, the American Economic Association and the International Economic Association.

He is a former honorary president of Oxfam and is now its honorary advisor. An Indian citizen, Sen was born in Santiniketan, India, and studied at Presidency College in Calcutta and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He has been professor of economics at Delhi University and at the London School of Economics, the Drummond Professor of political economy at Oxford University, and a fellow of All Souls College at Oxford (where he is now a distinguished fellow).

His books have been translated into more than 30 languages, and include Collective Choice and Social Welfare (1970), On Economic Inequality (1973, 1997), Poverty and Famines (1981), Choice, Welfare and Measurement (1982), Resources, Values and Development (1984), On Ethics and Economics (1987), The Standard of Living (1987), Inequality Reexamined (1992), Development as Freedom (1999), Rationality and Freedom (2002), The Argumentative Indian (2005), and Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (2006).

Sen has received honorary doctorates from major universities in North American, Europe, Asia and Africa. Besides the 1998 Nobel Prize, his other awards include the "Bharat Ratna" (the highest honor awarded by the President of India), the Senator Giovanni Agnelli International Prize in Ethics; the Alan Shawn Feinstein World Hunger Award; the Edinburgh Medal; the Brazilian Ordem do Merito Cientifico; the Presidency of the Italian Republic Medal; the Eisenhower Medal (2000); Honorary Companion of Honour (U.K., 2000), and the George E. Marshall Award.

To arrange for interviews with Sen, contact George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846 or