Professor Lawrence Sherman Awarded Benjamin Franklin Medal

The Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in London will award the 2011 Benjamin Franklin Medal to the Wolfson Professor of Criminology at Cambridge University, Lawrence W. Sherman. Sherman is also a Fellow of Darwin College.

The RSA established the Medal in 1956 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin, who joined the Society when he lived in London. It is awarded each year to a "global 'big thinker,' someone who has shifted public debate in an innovative way and has contributed to furthering public discourse about human progress." Previous winners include Senator William Fulbright, General Colin Powell and Yale President Kingman Brewster.

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, said that Professor Sherman was selected for the Franklin Medal in recognition of his "pioneering scholarship in evidence-based policy, crime prevention and restorative justice." Sherman’s proposals for what he called "evidence-based policing," first presented in a Police Foundation Lecture in 1998, have since become part of police reform discussions from India to Australia, and form the core of the global Police Executive Program Sherman directs at Cambridge. Last year, over 50 police leaders who had studied at Cambridge established the Society of Evidence-Based Policing, electing Sherman as an Honorary President of the Society.

Sherman will be awarded the Medal at the RSA in London on November 1, when he will deliver a public lecture entitled "Professional Policing and Liberal Democracy." The event will be chaired by Sir Denis O’Connor CBE QPM, HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary.

Sherman came to Cambridge in 2007 from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the Greenfield Professor of Human Relations. He has also served as President of the American and International Societies of Criminology, as well as President of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. He is currently Director of the Jerry Lee Centre for Experimental Criminology at Cambridge, Co-Director of the Indian National Police Academy’s Mid-Career Training Program, and Permanent Advisor on Citizen Security to the Inter-American Bank for Development in Latin America. The Jury Co-Chair for the Stockholm Prize in Criminology since 2006, he has designed and directed over 30 controlled field experiments in police and criminal justice practices.

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