Lakatos Award 2011

The London School of Economics and Political Science announces that the Lakatos Award, of £10,000 for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science, will not be awarded in 2011.

The Management Committee for the Lakatos Award has considered the reports from the Selectors on the books shortlisted for the 2011 prize. While there is no doubt that all of the shortlisted books have their virtues, and that some make weighty contributions to the field, the overall view taken by the Management Committee on the basis of the Selectors’ reports is that none quite meets the level of impact and significance required to merit the Award; and consequently no Award will be made this year.

The Lakatos Award is given for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science, widely interpreted, in the form of a book published in English during the previous five years. It was made possible by a generous endowment from the Latsis Foundation. The Award is in memory of the former LSE professor, Imre Lakatos, and is administered by an international Management Committee organised from the LSE.

The Committee, chaired by John Worrall, decides the outcome of the Award competition on the advice of an international, independent and anonymous panel of Selectors.

Nominations can now be made for the 2012 Lakatos Award, and must be received by Friday 20th April 2012. The 2012 Award will be for a book published in English with an imprint from 2007-2012 inclusive. A book may, with the permission of the author, be nominated by any person of recognised standing within the profession.

For further details of the nomination procedure or more information on the Lakatos Award 2011, contact the Administrator, Chris Thompson at

Imre Lakatos, who died in 1974 aged 51, had been Professor of Logic with special reference to the Philosophy of Mathematics at LSE since 1969. He joined the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method in 1960. Born in Hungary in 1922, he graduated (in Physics, Mathematics and Philosophy) from Debrecen University in 1944. He then joined the underground resistance. (His mother and grandmother perished in Auschwitz.) After the War, he was active in the Communist Party and had an influential position in the Ministry of Education. In 1950 he was arrested and spent the next three years as a political prisoner. After his release, he was given refuge in the Hungarian Academy of Science where he translated western works in science and mathematics into Hungarian. After the suppression of the Hungarian uprising he escaped to Vienna and from there, with the aid of a Rockefeller fellowship, on to Cambridge, England. He there wrote his (second) doctoral thesis out of which grew his famous Proofs and Refutations (CUP, 1976). Two volumes of Philosophical Papers, edited by John Worrall and Gregory Currie, appeared in 1978, also from CUP.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized, wuthrich

One response to “Lakatos Award 2011

  1. Eric Schliesser at New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science has posted a challenge to the committee awarding the Lakatos prize, listing a number of books published in the relevant period, many of which do strike me as rather big deals. And some prominent philosophers have reacted approvingly, listing even more deserving books. To all of these one could add Laura Ruetsche’s Interpreting Quantum Theories and Gordon Belot’s Geometric Possibility. Maybe all these books were not nominated for some inexplicable reason? Anyway, the discussion can be found at

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