The naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has today, Tuesday 6 February, been announced as the winner of the fourth Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize. In the spirit of John Maynard Keynes’ work, life and legacy, this global prize recognises Attenborough’s outstanding contribution to society.
From the 1960s as Controller of BBC2 television Sir David Attenborough has brought both nature and the arts to millions. His latest series, Blue Planet II was a cultural event in 2017, achieving the highest viewing figures of any programme that year. Through his broadcasting Attenborough continues to play a vital role in raising awareness of the human impact on the planet, warning against the consequences of climate change and pollution for the natural world and the species that inhabit it.
Attenborough will deliver the annual Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Lecture at Charleston Festival on Monday 21 May. With a nod to the artistic heritage of Charleston, Beauty and the Beasts sees him make use of new video evidence to answer the divisive question of whether some animals can justifiably be described as artists.
Dame Liz Forgan, chair of the advisory panel, comments: “The Keynes Prize recognises outstanding individuals who have used their genius in the service of humanity.
“David Attenborough’s exceptional gift of communication has made it easy for us all to share his deep understanding of the natural world. He has been our trusted guide and teacher in the air, under the sea, in desert, tundra and jungle with humour, colour, imagination and good science. If our grandchildren inherit a sustainable planet he will deserve their gratitude.”
The winner, Sir David Attenborough, comments: “I am greatly honoured that the Charleston Festival has awarded me its Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize. Please give my grateful thanks to those who made the decision.”
Anthony Cooke-Yarborough, CEO EFG Private Bank, comments: “We are delighted that Sir David Attenborough has been chosen as the recipient of the Charleston EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize. Throughout a long and illustrious career, Sir David has followed and shared his passion for the planet. He continues to bring a huge amount of can-do energy to his role. The breadth of his expertise and the depth of his influence are very much in the spirit of Keynes’s life and legacy.”
Following his win, Attenborough will receive a sum of £10,000 with the suggestion that he might use it to commission a work of art in any form; Maynard Keynes was a patron of the arts and founder of the Arts Council. Sir David will also give the annual Charleston-EFG Keynes Lecture at the Charleston Festival on Monday 21 May. The full programme for the 2018 Festival is now available at: www.charleston.org.uk/festival. Other luminaries in the Festival programme include Ali Smith, Alan Hollinghurst, Lubaina Himid, Jeanette Winterson, A C Grayling, Kamila Shamsie and Robert Webb.
The advisory panel comprises Dame Liz Forgan, former Chair of the Scott Trust and of Arts Council England; Simon Keynes, great-nephew of John Maynard Keynes; Professor Michael Proctor, Provost of King’s College, Cambridge; Lord Robert Skidelsky, Emeritus Professor of Political Economy, politician and award-winning biographer of Keynes; Helen Park-Weir, Head of Marketing UK at EFG International.
Keynes wrote The Economic Consequences of the Peace whilst staying at Charleston and subsequently moved to Tilton, just a stroll across a field away. Keynes embodies the radical and interdisciplinary nature of the Charleston milieu. His The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money was recently voted the most influential academic book that has shaped our times.
For further information, please contact
Truda Spruyt or James Douglas at Four Colman Getty on:
020 3697 4248 / Truda.Spruyt@fourcolmangetty.com
020 3697 4267 / James.Douglas@fourcolmangetty.com