‘Academics have an important role to play’ - Anand Menon wins Political Studies Communicator award for evidence-based information on EU referendum

Professor Anand Menon underlined the value of academic experts in political debate this evening (29 November) when he picked up the Political Studies Communicator award at the Political Studies Association (PSA)’s Annual Awards Ceremony in Westminster.

Now in its 15th year the PSA Awards pays tribute to those that have made an outstanding contribution to the study and conduct of politics in the past year.  Professor Menon achieved both, through his dissemination of evidence-based information on the UK’s role in Europe and the EU Referendum, which was crucial in helping to inform the public.

Menon is Professor of European Politics and Foreign Affairs at King’s College London and directs the Economic and Social Research Council initiative, The UK in a Changing Europe. This work has involved communicating the findings of social science research on the EU to the widest possible audience of non-academic stakeholders, including politicians, civil servants, business, third sector organisations and the general public.

The PSA judging panel who selected the award applauded: “the skill with which Menon has directed the UK in a Changing Europe initiative, making it an authoritative reference point, as well as communicating beyond the national media and reaching out directly to local communities throughout the country in a series of Town Hall events”.

On receiving the award Menon said: “I hope, despite the noise we heard about ‘experts’ during the referendum, that our work has shown to MPs, civil servants, journalists, business people, civil society - and indeed to academics themselves - that we have an important role to play in both analysing policy and informing public and political debate.”

After a year in which all bets were off, this year’s PSA Awards have been deemed exceptional. Master of ceremonies, Jon Snow (Channel 4 News) said “This year, more than any other, we have relied on those working at the very heart of politics to inform, influence, analyse and impact upon a number of issues and debates.”

The award was presented by Rona Fairhead, Chair of the BBC Trust. Previous winners include John Curtice (2015), Matthew Goodwin and Rob Ford (2014) and Danny Dorling (2013).

Other 2016 award winners include Grayson Perry (Contribution to the Arts and Culture), Michael Ignatieff (International Recognition Award) and Ruth Davidson (Best Use of Social Media).


The full list of winners:

Parliamentarian of the Year

Baroness Smith of Basildon

Politician of the Year

Sadiq Khan

Broadcaster of the Year

Laura Kuenssberg

Best Use of Evidence - Politician

Lord Stern of Brentford

Enlightening the Public

The Iraq Inquiry

Lifetime Achievement in Politics

Gordon Brown

Best Use of Social Media

Ruth Davidson

Campaigners of the Year

Margaret Aspinall and Professor Phil Scraton

International Recognition Award

Professor Michael Ignatieff

Journalist of the Year

Rachel Sylvester

Contribution to the Arts and Culture

Grayson Perry

Democratic Innovation

Democracy Matters Citizens’ Assembly Project

Innovation in Teaching Politics

Dr Matthew Wyman

Political Studies Communicator

Professor Anand Menon

W. J. M. Mackenzie Book Prize

Professor Christopher Hood and Dr Ruth Dixon

Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies

Professor Anne Phillips

PSA Student Short Video Competition

Christleton High School, Chester



Notes to editors

  • The 15th Annual PSA Awards was held at Church House, Westminster, London on 29 November 2016 to celebrate noteworthy academics, journalists, politicians, political campaigners and policy-makers who have made significant contributions to the conduct and study of politics.
  • The master of ceremonies on the evening was Jon Snow (Channel 4 News).
  • This year’s Awards Jury included Robert Barrington (Executive Director, Transparency International), Stephen Khan (Editor, The Conversation) Marjorie Wallace (CEO, SANE) and Professor Matthew Flinders (Chair, PSA).
  • Photos from the event will be available from Wednesday 30 November via the PSA Flickr account.
  • The Awards ceremony will be broadcast by BBC Parliament and available to view on BBC iPlayer after the event.
  • Follow social media coverage of the awards at @PolStudiesAssoc and #PSAAwards.
  • Please contact Stefanie Mair, Communications and Media Relations at the PSA with any other media enquiries: stefanie.mair@psa.ac.uk // 07938 128242
  • The Political Studies Association has been working since 1950 to develop and promote the study of politics. It is the leading UK Association in its field, with an international membership including academics in political science and current affairs, theorists and practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and students.