The Press and Journal: Tribute to ‘father of economics’

Juy 5 2008

Royal Mile honour for pioneering Adam smith

THE world’s first public monument to economist Adam Smith, often referred to as the father of modern economics, was unveiled yesterday.

The monument, which takes the form of a 10ft bronze statue on a massive stone plinth, stands on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile — right in the heart of Scotland’s capital, where Adam Smith worked and died.

The statue was created by Alexander Stoddart, Scotland’s leading monumental sculptor.

Its position is in view of the recent statue of Smith’s friend, the philosopher David Hume, looking downhill to the Canongate where Smith lived and is buried.

It also looks towards the harbour of Leith and over the Firth of Forth to the county of Fife, where Smith was born.

Eamonn Butler, director of the Adam Smith Institute, said: “This honour is long overdue. As author of The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith was the pioneer of what today we call economics.

“He championed the benefits of specialisation and free trade, creating the very idea of the modern market economy that dominates the free world today."

The statue was unveiled by Nobel Laureate economist Professor Vernon L. Smith.

He said: “This lasting tribute to Adam Smith comes at a time when there is a new awakening and recognition of his two immense contributions to understanding the human career."

The professor said of Adam Smith’s works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations: “Together, these works undergird freedom and the rule of law so essential everywhere to this human development process.

“I am honoured to have played a part in ensuring that this great economist, philosopher and humanitarian continues to be known and revered the world over.

“This monument in the capital city of his homeland will attract people to Edinburgh from all over the world to see the new statue and pay their respects."

Published by Press and Journal here

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