The Sir Roger Scruton Prize is awarded annually to individuals distinguished by a lifetime of achievement that has advanced the humanities. Scruton Prize laureates are known for their contributions to political life, academic research, the natural or built environment, the fine arts, and broadening the public’s understanding of Western civilization and the institutions that support civil society.
The Scruton Prize is named in honor of Sir Roger Scruton (1944-2020) who was a celebrated professor, philosopher of aesthetics, and prolific author. Sir Roger published more than 50 books concerning aesthetics, politics, music, philosophy, religion, culture, architecture, and the environment. His work is translated into dozens of languages. He was a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Society of Literature. He was a significant figure in the dissident movements of the Eastern bloc, and advised governments in the decades following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He was founding advisor for Common Sense Society.
Established in cooperation with the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation, the Scruton Prize is a silver medal designed by classical artist Michael Curtis.
Professor Rémi Brague (France) is a French historian of philosophy, professor emeritus of Arabic and religious philosophy at the Sorbonne, and Romano Guardini chair emeritus of philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Brague is well known for his works on classical and medieval intellectual history and religion, most notably Eccentric Culture: A Theory of Western Civilization. Brague has received many awards, including the rank of Knight in the prestigious National Order of the Legion of Honor, which he received in 2013.
Fisher Derderian (United States) is the founder and executive director of the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation. Raised on a farm in the Central Valley of California, Derderian spent 7 years in New York City before returning to California, where he currently resides with his wife, Maxine, and their three children. He holds a B.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics from The King’s College, N.Y.C. and a M.A. in philosophy from the University of Buckingham.
Léon Krier (Luxembourg) is a Luxembourgish architect, architectural theorist, and urban planner. Well-known for his master plan for Poundbury in Dorset, England, Krier currently heads an international architecture and planning practice in addition to writing and teaching. A prominent critic of architectural Modernism and advocate of New Traditional Architecture and New Urbanism, Krier spent twenty years practicing and teaching in the United Kingdom at the Architectural Association and Royal College of Art. He is a Driehaus Architectural Prize laureate (2003) and a Commander in the Royal Victorian Order.
Baroness (Lucy) Neville-Rolfe (United Kingdom) DBE CMG is chair of the Board of Crown Agents, a nonprofit international development organization. A former Treasury minister and previously a board director of Tesco PLC, Baroness Neville-Rolfe has sat as a conservative peer since 2013 and is chair of the House of Lords Committee on the Built Environment. She also served as a minister at the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Culture departments (2014-16). She served as a non-executive member of the then Foreign and Commonwealth Office Management Board between 2000 and 2005, and previously held positions in the Policy Unit at 10 Downing St. and the Deregulation Unit in the Cabinet Office. She is currently a non-executive director of Secure Trust Bank PLC and of Capita PLC, a trustee of Thomson-Reuters, and the chair of the U.K.-ASEAN Business Council.
María Sánchez (Guatemala) is a co-founder and director of Estudio Urbano, an architectural practice based in Guatemala that specializes in traditional architecture, urban planning and landscape architecture. She serves as town architect for Cayalá, which she designed with Léon Krier, and founded Arte Civico, a nonprofit foundation that promotes an integrated vision of placemaking. Sánchez received her M.A. in architecture from the University of Notre Dame and sits on the University’s Architecture Advisory Council.
Marion Smith (United States) is the president and C.E.O. of Common Sense Society, which he founded in 2009. He is also the chairman of Washington, D.C.’s National Civic Art Society, a former visiting fellow in the B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics at The Heritage Foundation, and the former executive director and C.E.O. of the congressionally authorized Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from South Carolina’s Wofford College and earned an M.A. from Central European University.
Ignat Solzhenitsyn (United States) is a Russian-American conductor and pianist. He is the conductor laureate of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the principal guest conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Solzhenitsyn has led orchestras and symphonies in dozens of cities across North America and Europe, and frequently performs at international festivals. A winner of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, he serves on the piano faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, his alma mater. He is also the son of Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Ambassador Michael Žantovský (Czech Republic) is a Czech diplomat, politician, writer, and translator, currently serving as the executive director of the Václav Havel Library. Amb. Žantovský is the former president of the Aspen Institute Prague, a member of the Forum 2000 Foundation Program Council, former chairman of the Civic Democratic Alliance and a one-time senator of the Civic Democratic Alliance in the Parliament of the Czech Republic. He has served as ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United Kingdom, the United States and the State of Israel. He was also the spokesman of President Václav Havel and political director at the Office of the President of the Czech Republic.
Nominations are now closed for the 2023 Scruton Prize laureate. The Prize’s selection committee will now convene to review and select three finalists to undergo further review before deciding upon the recipient of the Prize. The Scruton Prize laureate will be formally announced in January 2023 with the award ceremony to follow in early spring. For any questions about the nomination process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are thrilled to award Dr. Jordan Peterson the inaugural Scruton Prize. Dr. Peterson has stood courageously for freedom of academic inquiry and against the assault on language and critical thinking. Through his lectures and writings, he has provided an entire generation of young people around the world with access to intellectual wellsprings of our civilization, and they have responded by the millions. Dr. Peterson’s message is one of personal responsibility and gratitude—a path out of the mire of envy and strife that characterizes so much of media and public life today. He warns of the dangers of ideology on all sides of the political arena. His message calling us to build fulfilling lives and stable communities is one that is needed today.”— Marion Smith, President and C.E.O. of Common Sense Society
“It is an honor to be awarded the inaugural Sir Roger Scruton Prize. Sir Roger was perhaps the most influential British conservative of the last half of the 20th century. In 2018, I had the great privilege of meeting with him and publicly discussing the nature of beauty and the importance of tradition. Sir Roger’s resistance to the blandishments and cliches of ideology—behind the Iron Curtain, in academia, in government and art—came at no small personal cost, and set us all a daunting example.”— Dr. Jordan B. Peterson
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