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British Academy

The British Academy (BA) is the United Kingdom’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. It exists to recognise and support outstanding scholarly achievement in the humanities and social sciences and to promote their public value. This entry provides an overview of the BA, including its creation and mission, organisational structure, and activities.

Creation and Mission

As moves were made in 1899 to found an International Association of Academies, it was realised that, whilst the United Kingdom was appropriately represented in ‘Natural Science’ by the Royal Society, there was no BA that could represent ‘Literary Science’. In 1900, the Royal Society set up a British Academy Committee to consider how this anomaly might be addressed. But in summer and autumn 1901, various distinguished scholars met ...

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