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News archive 2005

Gold medal for Sir Lawrence

12 Dec 2005

Sir Lawrence Freedman, Vice-Principal (Research) and Professor of War Studies, has been awarded the prestigious Chesney Gold Medal by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

The Chesney Gold Medal is RUSI's highest award. It was first awarded in 1900 to Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan USN and has been awarded 33 times, with recipients including Winston Churchill in 1950 and Baroness Thatcher in 2000. Professor Sir Michael Howard, who established the King's Department of War Studies, received it in 1973.

The purpose of the award is to mark a lifelong distinguished contribution in the defence and international security fields. The citation acknowledges Sir Lawrence's major achievements in this area:

‘…Under his supervision, generations of students, as well as officers in Her Majesty's Forces learnt about the changing nature of war, and Britain's military history.

In his early academic career, Professor Freedman concentrated on the Soviet strategic threat, Britain's nuclear deterrent and the evolution of the trans-Atlantic Alliance.

As the Cold War ended, Professor Freedman was one of the prime movers in the growing debate about European security arrangements, as well as the new and emerging threats of terrorism and failed states. In all his contributions, he has combined erudition with a sympathetic view of the challenges facing Britain's Armed Forces, thereby enlightening a generation and more, in Britain and abroad, about the challenges facing us, and the appropriate role which the military can play to overcome them….'

Lawrence Freedman has been Professor of War Studies at King's since 1982. He has recently been appointed to the position of Vice-Principal (Research), having previously been Head of the School of Social Science & Public Policy. Before joining King's he held research appointments at Nuffield College Oxford, IISS and the Royal Institute of International Affairs. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and awarded the CBE in 1996 and the KCMG in 2003.

He was appointed Official Historian of the Falklands Campaign in 1997. The two volumes of the Official History were published this summer. Professor Freedman has written extensively on nuclear strategy and the cold war, as well as commentating regularly on contemporary security issues.

HRH The Duke of Kent, the RUSI Chairman, will formally present the Medal at the Institute on 12 January 2006.

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