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Researcher at the forefront of autism receives Presidents’ award

25 October 2019

Professor Francesca Happé, an international leader on research into autism, has been awarded the BPS Presidents’ Award for 2019.

Professor Happé has helped change the way people think about autism and is still pushing the boundaries of this field. She has led seminal work on the neuro-cognitive causes of the specific social impairments in autism.

A previous winner of the BPS Spearman Medal and the EPS Prize, she is widely recognised as one of the most distinguished developmental psychologists in the UK, and is a fellow of the Academia Europea, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the British Academy.

She conducted the first neuroimaging study to identify brain regions now known as the ‘mentalising network’, which tested differences in early autism.

Professor Daryl O’Connor, chair of BPS Research Board, said:

“I am delighted that Professor Francesca Happé has won the Presidents’ Award. This year we received a large number of truly excellent nominations, which made the award committee’s task incredibly difficult.

However, we felt that Professor Happe’s distinguished contribution to psychological science over a sustained period and the outstanding quality of her research made her a worthy winner of this award.”

The award confers life membership of the BPS.


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