Professor Uta Frith on BBC Radio 4's desert island

An Honorary Fellow of the Society was a castaway on Desert Island Discs last week.

Listen again to Professor Uta Frith, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development at University College London, talking to Kirsty Young on Radio 4.

As the Desert Island Discs website says:

“Uta Frith's groundbreaking work on autism has revolutionized our understanding of the condition; overturning the traditional, long-held belief that the root of the problems are social & emotional; discovering instead that autism is the result of physical differences in the brain.

“She arrived in Britain from Germany in the early 60's for a two-week course in English. Half a century later, and groaning under the weight of myriad fellowships and awards, with an honorary CBE to her name, she is one of the grand dames of British science.”

And Professor Frith told us:

"I found it an enormous privilege to be chosen as a castaway on an island that has become an almost legendary institution. If I think of some of the castaways who have been on the programme I feel very small and inadequate. I had to suppress these feelings as I would have been far too overcome to say anything sensible. Actually Kirsty Young and the team behind the programme were extremely reassuring, and therefore I was able to thoroughly enjoy the unique experience.

"I was struck that the team behind Desert Island Disks is entirely female. They are incredibly competent women who clearly work well together, mostly behind the scenes. They prepare the music, the questions, establish the running order, make sure the interview is running smoothly and then do the editing. They have a thorough grasp of their castaways, and every time they adjust to a completely different personality. 

"I was very nervous and conscious of the fact that we all tell stories about our lives, which of course we believe to be truthful, but which nevertheless we can't trust. Other people's views would be more valid, but here these are kept out for the castaways. Kirsty threw me a number of questions that nobody had asked me before. At this point I have no idea what I will feel when I will listen to the programme on Sunday.”

As well as listening to Professor Frith on Desert Island Discs you can follow her on Twitter.

You may be interested to read a review of the programme featuring Professor Frith. The review has been written by postgraduate student Donna Peach, and appears on the Psychologist website (scroll down to read the article).

You can listen to a Desert Island Discs by another eminent psychologist, Dr Dorothy Rowe, on the programme's website.

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