The Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize 2016

About the Prize: The Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize is awarded annually for a book or article that constitutes, motivates or exemplifies the best and/or most innovative writing in or about the tradition of critical realism, including the philosophy of metaReality, in the previous year. The winner is invited to give the annual Cheryl Frank Memorial Lecture at the IACR Annual Conference or some other suitable venue. If the Author wishes, the lecture will be considered for publication in Journal of Critical Realism.

The Cheryl Frank Committee consists of one nominee each from IACR, the Centre for Critical Realism and JCR. This year’s judges were Jamie Morgan, Tone Skinningsrud and Nick Wilson. Alan Norrie chaired the panel.

The Winners for 2016
 The joint winners of the prize for 2016 are:
·      the late Roy Bhaskar for his book (edited by Mervyn Hartwig) Enlightened Common Sense (Routledge); and
·      Leigh Price and Heila Lotz-Sisitka (eds.) for their antology Critical Realism, Environmental Learning and Social-Ecological Change (Routledge).
 Enlightened Common Sense was regarded as a pleasure to read, and also helpful in establishing connections and summarizing the structure of arguments from previous works. It is also a novel contribution in that it pursues the connections between critical realism and other areas of research, for example critical discourse analysis (CDA) and interdisciplinary research. It is the first occasion on which the three phases of Bhaskar’s work have been brought together as a whole. The judges noted the contribution of Mervyn Hartwig in editing this work and making it available to a readership.
 Critical Realism, Environmental Learning and Social-Ecological Change was regarded as the most ‘motivating’ of the nominations, representing an impressive overall project in an important subject area. The panel found the mix of contributions, the focus on environmental learning, on South Africa, and applied work at PhD level and above, as well as the attempt to span all three phases of CR, all to be very commendable and, in part, valuable because of the level at which it is pitched. It is a collective project worthy of winning the prize.
Special mention
The committee wished also to give special mention to the following book: Dave Elder-Vass, Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy (Cambridge University Press). Whilst regarding the book as excellent in its own right, the judges did not think it was as substantively oriented to, or motivated by the development of, critical realism as the winning volumes.