Fife: The home of economics

Thursday 3 April 2008

Professor John Beath

The prestigious appointment of a St Andrews’ academic will bring the UK’s Learned Society for Economics to Scotland for the first time in its history.

Professor John Beath has been named the Royal Economic Society’s new Secretary-General, making him just the 9th post-holder in over 100 years.

The Secretary-General is responsible for running the affairs of the RES which includes the publication of two leading international journals (The Economic Journal and The Econometrics Journal) as well as other scholarly works, overseeing an annual international conference, authorising the provision of grants and fellowships, and organising an annual public lecture and a national competition for schools.

Professor John Beath, from the University’s School of Economics and Finance, will formally take over the post in June this year.

He said, “I am greatly honoured to become only the ninth Secretary-General in the Society’s 118-year life, especially when I reflect on the names of those who have previously held the post such as Lord Keynes, for example, who was the third post-holder.

“Equally important, I feel, is the heightened international profile this will give to Economics in Scotland as the Society will be based in St Andrews.  This will be the first time since the Society’s founding that its office will be outwith London.

“Following on from the recent major investment in Economics by the Scottish Funding Council (SIRE, the Scottish Institute for Research in Economics), this is a further step to help move the centre of gravity in the discipline back towards Scotland and to Fife, the country and the county that through Adam Smith have had such a profound effect on the development of economic thought.”

Founded in 1890, the Royal Economic Society is the UK’s learned society for Economics.  The major driving force behind the Society was the great 19th century economist Alfred Marshall and the meeting to found it was held at University College London on November 21, 1890.

One of its founder members was James Bonar, an economist and senior civil servant and a native of Perth.  The founding meeting was chaired by Viscount Goschen, subsequently Chancellor of the Exchequer, who became its first President.

The current President of the Society is Sir John Vickers, Drummond Professor at Oxford University and Warden-elect of All Souls College.



Professor Beath is available for interview on +44 (0)1334 462421.



Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Fiona Armstrong, Press Officer on 01334 462530 / 462529, 07730 415015 or email [email protected]
Ref:  RES030408
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