Professor Warwick Anderson Awarded Prestigious ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship

On the 10th August the Australian Research Council announced award of an Australian Laureate Fellowship to Professor Warwick Anderson, currently Professorial Research Fellow in the Department of History and the Centre for Values, Ethics, and the Law in Medicine at The University of Sydney.

Competition for the fellowships is fierce because the award carries with it ARC recognition that the successful applicants have an outstanding international reputation, and Professor Anderson is the first Historian to receive the Fellowship.

Some interesting statistics for this round are:

  • overall success rate for Laureate Fellowships: 12% of applicants
  • for resident Australians: 10%
  • for humanities applicants 6%
  • Professor Anderson was the only successful humanities applicant of the 18 who applied.

To be successful, Laureate projects must support research that will deliver significant economic, environmental, social or cultural benefits to Australia. Through project funding, the scheme also aims to provide an excellent research training environment and mentorship to nurture early-career researchers.

A historian of biology, medicine and public health, Warwick will use his Laureate funding to throw new light on Australia’s growth as a nation and build on his fascination with ideas about race, human difference, and citizenship in the 19th and 20th centuries.

“My Laureate fellowship will reveal an intense scientific debate about what it meant to be human in the southern hemisphere during the 20th century, placing Australian racial thought in a new context,” said Anderson, a self-confessed ‘intellectual vagabond’ who first trained as a medical doctor but whose passion for the history of medicine has led to extensive studies in historical aspects of tropical medicine and human biology.

“These southern hemisphere debates were often distinct from those taking place in the North Atlantic. Through comparative study of issues ranging from skull measuring to early genomics, I plan to show the distinctive character and scope of racial ideas in southern settler societies, and assess their global impact.”

Prof Anderson will work with colleagues in Brazil, New Zealand, East Timor, South Africa, Argentina and the United Kingdom, as well as with younger scholars, to bring southern settler societies together into the global picture of 20th-century race science so we have a better insight into how human difference is understood in the countries in our region.

The School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry warmly congratulates Warwick on his award.

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