| Amartya Sen
London, Oct. 29: Amartya Sen is to quit the Mastership of Trinity College, Cambridge, in January, 2004, his office confirmed today.
Sen, who will be 69 on November 3, will then have completed six years as Master.
The Nobel Prize winner wants to return to Harvard, which he left to take up the Mastership of Trinity. He will, however, remain a Fellow of the College. Today, Sen was not available for comment as he was in Santa Clara in California, receiving an honorary degree.
Before leaving for the US, he said he had been offered “a post he couldn’t refuse”.
He said he was returning to Harvard to his old job as Lamont Professor in January 2004. “Six years is, I think, long enough — despite the attractions of the mastership of this great college,” Sen said. “I have been very privileged to be Master, and intend to continue being active as a member of the Trinity community.”
Sen’s departure is already leading to high-level academics forming an orderly queue for the post, which, as a Crown appointment, will be chosen by British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The runners and riders so far include Lord Runciman and Dr Anil Seal, both Trinity fellows.
“Professor Sir Alec Broers, the current university vice-chancellor, and Sir Martin Rees, a King’s fellow, are also putting their markers down, but the favourite at the moment has to be Runciman,” The Daily Telegraph newspaper said. “Although he’s a viscount and all that, he likes to be known as Garry and he and his wife are both keen Blairites.”
Paul Simm, Trinity’s junior bursar, while refusing to comment on Sen’s successor, said: “Everybody is very sorry to hear that the master is going. He was simply made an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
At a recent Asian party, Sen looked visibly exhausted. “Yes,” he told a friend, “I am a bit fed up trying to attend so many meetings.”