Leeds professor elected to British Academy


A leading law academic at Leeds has been made a Fellow of the British Academy.

Anna Lawson, Professor of Law in the School of Law and Joint Director of the Faculty of Social Science’s Centre for Disability Studies, has been recognised for her contribution to the humanities and social sciences.

An expert in disability law, Professor Lawson’s research and teaching covers human rights, equality, accessibility, inclusion and access to justice.

She works – in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, particularly disabled people’s organisations, as well as researchers with different disciplinary backgrounds - to tackle the persistent forms of disadvantage and exclusion experienced by disabled people all over the world.

Professor Lawson’s academic interest in disability and law is rooted in her personal experience – she lost all her sight between the ages of 7 and 25, with a rare form of macular degeneration.

She holds membership, trustee and advisory positions in a range of local, national and international disabled people’s and human rights organisations, and has regularly advised policy-makers, governments and intergovernmental organisations.

Inspirational colleague

Professor Simone Buitendijk, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leeds, said: “Anna is an inspirational colleague, and this recognition of her remarkable contribution to disability and human rights is richly deserved.”

This year, 52 Fellows have been elected to the British Academy, 29 of whom are women - the highest number of women ever elected.

Professor Julia Black, the new President of the British Academy, said: "I am delighted to welcome these distinguished and pioneering scholars to our Fellowship.

“I am equally delighted that we have so many new female Fellows. While I hope this means that the tide is finally turning for women in academia, there is still much to do to make the research world diverse and open to all. 

“With our new Fellows’ expertise and insights, the Academy is better placed than ever to open new seams of knowledge and understanding and to enhance the wellbeing and prosperity of societies around the world. I congratulate each of our new Fellows on their achievement and look forward to working with them.” 

Founded in 1902, the British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. It is a Fellowship of over 1,600 of the leading minds in these subjects from the UK and overseas.

Further information

Main image: Professor Lawson with guide dog Finn

For more information, contact Ian Rosser, Media Relations manager at the University of Leeds, by email on i.rosser@leeds.ac.uk.