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Cambridge Neuroscience academics recognised in 2021 New Year Honours

Researchers from the University of Cambridge have been recognised in the 2021 New Year Honours, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to society.

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of Cambridge’s Autism Research Centre and a Fellow of Trinity College, has been knighted for services to autism research and autistic people. He is one of the top autism researchers in the world, and is a Fellow of the BritishAcademy, the Academy of Medical Sciences, and the British Psychological Society. He served as Chair of the NICE Guidelines for autism and is Director of the charity the Autism Centre of Excellence and Vice President of the National Autistic Society. He was President of the International Society for Autism Research. He created the first clinic worldwide to diagnose autism in adults and championed the human rights of autistic people at the UN. He is author of The Essential Difference, Zero Degrees of Empathy, and The Pattern Seekers, which have captured the public imagination.

Professor Baron-Cohen said: “This honour came as a complete surprise, and I accept it on behalf of the talented team of scientists at the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, and on behalf of the Autism Research Trust, the charity that has supported us. The basic needs and human rights of autistic people and their families are still not being met by statutory services, due to insufficient funding, so we are creating a new charity, the Autism Centre of Excellence, to address this gap.”

Professor Usha Goswami, Director for the Centre for Neuroscience in Education, Professor of Cognitive Developmental Neuroscience and Fellow of St. John’s College, becomes CBE for services to educational research.

Her research focuses on children’s cognitive development, particularly the development oflanguage and literacy. Her world-leading work on dyslexia led to the discovery that children with the disorder hear language differently, showing it to be a language disorder and not a visual disorder as previously thought. This significant finding is enabling the development of transformative new educational interventions, which will benefit millions of children with dyslexia worldwide.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this award,” said Professor Goswami. “I have been interested in children’s development since training as a primary school teacher and it is wonderful to have my research recognised in this way.

For more information and a full list of those recognised from University of Cambridge, please see here

Congratulations to Simon and Usha on this wonderful achievement!

Posted on 12/01/2021

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