IDS Director receives Lucy Mair Medal for Applied Anthropology

Published on 17 June 2019

IDS Director, Melissa Leach has been awarded the Lucy Mair Medal 2019 for Applied Anthropology.

The Medal, conferred by the Royal Anthropological Institute, honours excellence in the application of anthropology to the relief of poverty and distress, and to the active recognition of human dignity.

On receiving the award, Melissa extended her thanks to the Royal Anthropological Institute, and to IDS and University of Sussex colleagues and partners for their longstanding teamwork bringing anthropology to global challenges.

Melissa joins the ranks of esteemed past recipients of the Medal including the late Scarlett Epstein, one of the pioneers of development research.

Melissa has developed a number of important and original initiatives, including working with foresters, agricultural and medical scientists alongside large, interdisciplinary research programmes involving multi-country teams. She co-founded and co-directed the ESRC STEPS (Social, Technological and Environmental Pathways to Sustainability) Centre from 2006 to 2014, with its pioneering pathways approach to innovation, sustainability and development issues. She was also the lead social scientist in the UK and WHO Ebola scientific advisory committees during 2014-15. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and was awarded a CBE in 2017 for services to social science. A social anthropologist and geographer, her interdisciplinary, policy-engaged research in Africa and beyond links environment, agriculture, health, technology and gender, with particular interests in knowledge, power and the politics of science and policy processes.

Key contacts


Related content