Amartya Sen Wins National Humanities Medal

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Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, India’s most well known economist, received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama at a ceremony in the White House.

“Sen is being awarded the 2011 National Humanities Medal for his insights into the causes of poverty, famine and injustice,” said a citation. “By applying philosophical thinking to questions of policy, he has changed how standards of living are measured and increased our understanding of how to fight hunger.”

Sen currently serves as the Thomas W. Lamont University professor at Harvard University's Department of Economics and Philosophy. In 1998, he received the Nobel Prize in Economics.

His work contributed to the creation of the Human Development Index, which is utilized by the United Nations to rank the development of countries using such factors as life expectancy, child mortality, education and literacy.