Professor Simon Baron-Cohen

Professor Simon Baron-Cohen

Simon Baron-Cohen is Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Director, Autism Research Centre (ARC) in Cambridge. He has a degree in Human Sciences from New College, Oxford, a PhD in Psychology from UCL, and an M.Phil in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London, and he  held lectureships in these departments. He is author of Mindblindness, The Essential Difference, Prenatal Testosterone in Mind, and Zero Degrees of Empathy. He has edited scholarly anthologies including Understanding Other Minds, Synaesthesia, and The Maladapted Mind. He has written books for parents and teachers including Autism and Asperger Syndrome: The Facts, and Teaching Children with Autism to Mindread. He has celebrated autism in An Exact Mind. He is author of the DVDs Mind Reading and The Transporters, to help children with autism learn emotion recognition, both nominated for BAFTA awards. He is author of >450 scientific articles. He has supervised 32 PhD students.

In 1985 Baron-Cohen formulated and went on to test the ‘mindblindness’ theory of autism. In 1997, he formulated and went on to test the ‘fetal sex steroid’ theory of autism. He has also made contributions to the fields of autism prevalence and screening, autism genetics, autism neuroimaging, autism and technical ability, typical cognitive sex differences, and synaesthesia. In 1999 Baron-Cohen created the first UK clinic for adults with suspected Asperger Syndrome, called the CLASS clinic (Cambridge Lifespan Asperger Syndrome Service), at a time when the National Health Service (NHS) did not see the clinical need for this. This has helped over 1,000 patients to have their disability recognized, the “lost generation” of adults who had missed out on diagnosis in childhood, and has been used to create a model for similar clinical services all over the UK.

Baron-Cohen has received awards from the British Psychological Society (BPS) (Spearman Medal); the American Psychological Association (McCandless Award); the BPS (May Davison Award); the Autism Award Philadelphia Autism Association/Princeton University; the Presidents’ Award (BPS); the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA), Joseph Lister Lecturer; the Lifetime Achievement Award, MENSA; and Kanner-Asperger Medal (German Society for Research into Autism). He is a Fellow of the BPS, the British Academy, and the American Psychological Association. He is Vice-President of the National Autistic Society, Autism Anglia, and was President, Psychology Section of the British Association and Vice-President, International Society for Autism Research (INSAR). He was Chair of the NICE Guideline Development Group for Autism (Adults), is Scientific Advisor or Patron to 6 autism charities, and a member of the Department of Health Program Board, Autism Strategy. He is Chair of the Psychology Section of the British Academy. He is co-editor in chief of the journal Molecular Autism and on the Editorial Board of many journals, including the Lancet Psychiatry. He is an Andrew D White Professor-At-Large, Cornell University, and received Doctor of Science degrees from Roehampton University and Abertay University. He is President-Elect of INSAR and an National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator.

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