University of Sussex professor awarded OBE

A University of Sussex professor was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year Honours 2021.

Kathleen Stock, Professor of Philosophy in the School of Media, Arts and Humanities (MAH), received the award in recognition of services to higher education.

Her award was announced on 30 December 2020 by the UK Government, which oversees the honours system. The award is formally bestowed by the Queen.

Professor Stock has been at Sussex since 2003. She is an analytical philosopher, with research interests spanning fiction, imagination, aesthetics, objectification, sexual orientation, sex and gender. She teaches modules on ethics, feminist philosophy, aesthetics and language.

She has publicly defended the rights of academics to discuss contentious ideas, including her own current research, which addresses philosophical questions about biological sex and gender.

Professor Kathleen Stock said: “I’m delighted to get this award in recognition of my attempts to open up academic discussion on important issues around sex and gender identity. Free discussion and tolerance of different ideas in this area is crucial in order to facilitate knowledge production and public understanding. As a senior academic and philosopher, I take my responsibility to truth very seriously, so I hope this award encourages others who have felt intimidated to feel that they too can discuss what matters to them.’

Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said: “I would like to congratulate Professor Stock on her OBE and to thank her for her contributions to Sussex over the past 18 years.

“It is no secret that Professor Stock’s current research has both supporters and detractors. This diversity of opinion, whilst difficult at times, is vital for a healthy university and our progress as a society.

“The University of Sussex, in common with universities in general, is and always should be a space where ideas can be exchanged and challenged freely, within the law. This is our most precious freedom, serving and protecting both those making the argument and those who disagree with them.’

Professor Kate O’Riordan, Dean of the School of Media, Arts and Humanities, said: “Many congratulations to Kathleen for this honour.

“Our priority as a School is to foster an inclusive and safe environment for everybody in our community to pursue their scholarship and studies.’

The New Year Honours list also included an OBE for Professor Michael Moore, a Professorial Fellow in the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), which is based on the University’s campus and shares close academic ties. Professor Moore’s honour recognises his services to international development, a field in which he has been active for more than 40 years.

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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Tuesday, 5 January 2021

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