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Royal Institution article names Barbara Sahakian amongst the top women in science

A recent article discussing top women in science includes within the list of possible candidates the Department of Psychiatry’s Professor Barbara Sahakian.  The article, published in the Royal Institution blog, discusses the difficulty of picking just 10 women, pasBarbara Sahakiant and present, who have contributed to scientific understanding and progress, as well as the value of acknowledging female role models for the next generation of scientists.

The author of the piece suggests the criteria that might be used to come up with a list of female scientists to honour, such as overcoming adversity, engaging the community, participating in mentorship, and participating in cross-disciplinary research, not to mention a high standard of scientific inquiry.

Professor Barbara Sahakian, with her diverse research interests and focus on public engagement, is clearly a prime candidate for such a list.  When asked for a comment, she explained: “It is a great honour to be recognised as one of the top women scientists. It is a very special tribute and acknowledgement of my scientific achievements. My research work integrates several disciplines, and methodologies for scientific inventions, such as the CANTAB tests, and discoveries in the fields of neuroscience and mental health in order to improve brain health, quality of life and wellbeing of people with mental health problems. To achieve this, I have focused on the neural basis of cognitive, emotional and behavioural dysfunctions.”

With her international reputation for multidisciplinary neuropsychology, Professor Sahakian has made significant contributions with her collaborative invention of the CANTAB tests for assessment of cognitive function, and is also President of the International Neuroethics Society (INS) and of the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP).

Professor Sahakian added: “I am very fortunate in my fields to be surrounded by bright PhD students and post-docs, who are truly remarkable scientists and rising stars. Their dedication to, and enthusiasm for, their research work inspires me. Like myself, many of the young women I work with have a commitment to neuroscience and mental health policy, neuroethics and engaging the public in science. Together, we will ensure that all members of society experience better brain health, cognition and wellbeing for a flourishing society.‚Äč”

The importance of having members of the scientific community like Professor Sahakian and the other women mentioned in the Royal Institution’s blog post should not be underestimated, as publicising their contributions will bring the image of science and scientists in line with an inclusive community fit for the future.

Posted on 06/08/2014

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