Tom Scott-Smith awarded Leverhulme Research Fellowship

Congratulations to Tom Scott-Smith, who has won a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to explore the life of Lord John Boyd Orr (1880–1971).

The project, which began in September, examines Orr’s intellectual history, asking how his political views changed from youthful conservatism to radical idealism.

John Boyd Orr described himself as a simple farmer, but he ended up responsible for the most ambitious proposals for international governance in the 20th century. He was the first director of the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), and in his later years he also became president of the National Peace Council, the World Union of Peace Organisations, and the Movement for World Federal Government. His most important contribution to the history of ideas was the proposal of a World Food Board, which has been described as ‘one of the most ambitious designs for international action ever put forward’.

Drawing on detailed archival research, this project explores the complex relationship between power and opposition, examining how radical new ideas can be launched successfully onto the global stage.

Tom Scott-Smith is Associate Professor of Refugee Studies and Forced Migration.