Some of you have been waiting for this announcement for a while; here it is:
The London School of Economics and Political Science announces that the Lakatos Award for an outstanding contribution to the philosophy of science, has been won jointly by Gordon Belot of the University of Michigan for his book Geometric Possibility (Oxford University Press, 2011) and by David Malament of the University of California, Irvine for his book Topics in the Foundations of General Relativity and Newtonian Gravitation Theory (Chicago, 2012). Each will win a prize of £7500.
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, but entirely independent of LSE’s Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method. 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 who produce detailed reports on the nominated books.
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, edited by John Worrall and Elie Zahar). Two volumes of Philosophical Papers, edited by John Worrall and Gregory Currie, appeared in 1978, also from CUP.