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Fellowships recognise significant contributions in pandemic year

17 May 2021

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Researchers specialising in race equality and in regional economic policy are among the 45 new academics, researchers, and professionals welcomed to the Learned Society of Wales Fellowship.

Professors Emmanuel Ogbonna and Max Munday join academics from Welsh, UK and overseas higher education institutions as well as individuals who play a significant role in Welsh public life.

Collectively the cohort demonstrates the ongoing excellence of Welsh research, universities and intellectual life, all of which have shone during the extraordinary events of this pandemic-marked year.

The work of the two Cardiff Business School Professors is no exception.

Over the last 18 months, Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna authored a major report which revealed the complex and long-standing factors contributing to the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on Wales’ Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Professor Ogbonna chaired the subgroup from the BAME COVID-19 expert advisory group, set up by First Minister Mark Drakeford. Their report made more than 30 recommendations to the Welsh Government to address the socio-economic and environmental risks it highlighted.

Since then, he has welcomed the Welsh Government’s response to the report and co-chaired (with the Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Government) the Steering Group which developed a race equality action plan for an anti-racist Wales.

“I’m thankful to the Learned Society for the award of this Fellowship. It’s particularly pleasing to receive this award at a time that we’re working to make Wales the first anti-racist nation in the world. I look forward to continuing my work in this direction and to helping the society in all its work.”

Professor Emmanuel Ogbonna Professor of Management and Organization

The year of the pandemic also saw the culmination of a longstanding project led by Professor Max Munday and his Welsh Economy Research Unit colleagues.

The Superfast Broadband Business Exploitation project investigated the impact of digital technologies on business processes, relationships between businesses, and products and services in Wales.

Their final event, delivered online between from 2-3 December 2020, showed how digital technologies have supported business resilience during the pandemic and policy implications to drive post-pandemic recovery in Wales.

Since then, Professor Munday has co-authored a report which examined the impact of the CSconnected Compound Semiconductor community amid the challenging economic conditions brought on by the pandemic, and has been leading on research examining how the Welsh Government has assisted small enterprises through the pandemic.

“We’re very pleased to be involved with research on the compound semiconductor cluster which promises really exciting economic opportunities for Wales. And as a newly elected Fellow, I’m looking forward to working with the Learned Society on matters around the Welsh economy, too.”

Professor Max Munday Director of Welsh Economy Research Unit

“These Fellowships demonstrate the contribution that both Max and Emmanuel have made to Wales throughout the long service of their careers, most notably in the fields of regional economic development and race equality. On behalf of everyone at Cardiff Business School I offer them our warmest congratulations on this very well-deserved recognition.”

Professor Rachel Ashworth Dean and Head of School

Election to the Fellowship is based on a ballot of existing Fellows. It is a public recognition of excellence, is keenly competed and follows a rigorous examination of each nominee’s achievements in their relevant field(s).

“I’m delighted to welcome our new Fellows to the Learned Society of Wales. This past, extraordinary, year has shown the value of world-class research. There’s a thirst for knowledge and expertise, in all fields, as we try to recover from the challenges of the pandemic. And, our Fellows are at the forefront of that knowledge and expertise.”

Professor Hywel Thomas President of the Learned Society of Wales

The new Fellows will be formally admitted at the Society’s AGM which on Wednesday 19 May 2021.

Read the full list of new Fellows, their institutions, and subject specialisms.

The Society now has 595 distinguished Fellows who come from all branches of learning and are prominent figures within their respective academic disciplines or professions.

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