Meet our editor, and our editor meets
A collection of interviews conducted by Jon Sutton, plus the odd feature. Updated occasionally.
17 March 2015
I walked into the BPS offices in Leicester as a 25-year-old, barely out of my PhD and with zero experience in editing or management. The assistant editor, Peter Dillon-Hooper, and production guy Mike Thompson, were there that day and have provided committed, loyal and good-humoured support ever since.
Those early years are a bit of a blur… we got the magazine out every month but the pace of change was much slower than I would have liked. I have to admit I cringe when I look back on some of our output! But The Psychologist was evolving, and there were also some significant shifts such as launching the Research Digest, which has gone on to be so successful.
In the last decade I have finally felt like we are getting there, but we have so much further to go. The months fly by and we are providing more content, to more people, in more places, in more ways, than we ever have. To keep that up, we really do need to hear from you with feedback, suggestions, people or topics you would like to see featured.
Some people who have been instrumental in any good we have done: in particular, Dr Graham Powell, Dr Paul Redford, Professor David Lavallee and Dr Catherine Loveday as inspirational and supportive chairs of our editorial advisory committee; and the wonderfully talented Dr Christian Jarrett as our Research Digest editor and journalist for several years.
But of course it's also about the Society membership, without whom I would have no hope of filling the pages each month! So I have collected together some of the interviews I have conducted over the years, and the features I have written through talking to so many brilliant people. I hope you enjoy them.
Our editor meets…
Jim Horne - a cornucopia of sleep research
Julian Boon - forensic psychologist
John Wearden - 'time is all you've got'
Andrea Burri - in the heat of the moment
Alison Gopnik - the supreme infant
Emma Donaldson-Feilder - managing to make a difference
Trevor Robbins - at the interface
James Blair - Chief of the Unit of Affective Cognitive Neuroscience
Lucy Yardley - the life guide
Tanya Byron - a tearaway success
Dorothy Miell - new Society President
Christina Salmivalli - KiVA - against bullying
Henrik Ehrsson - body illusions
Nicola Yuill - children and technology
Ian Walker - vulnerable road users
Jo Green - expectant mothers
Sean Haldane - neuropsychologist and poet
Allan Hobson - sleep and dreaming
Patrick Devine-Wright - sustainable energy
Tim Radford - science editor of The Guardian
Andreas Roepstorff - an interactive mind
Marinus van IJzendoorn - children and attachment
Gisli Gudjonsson - a thirst for the truth
Craig Knight - taking control of your space
Bruce Hood - 'we are not in control'
Nancy Doyle - the genius within
Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin - the longevity project
Jo Silvester - what makes a good politician
Cordelia Fine - battle of the sex differences
Francesca Happe - a creative, interpersonal scientist
Update: Some more interviews, published after March 2015
Sophie von Stumm - curiosity and the Hungry Mind Lab
Asifa Majid - the content of minds
Fleur-Michelle Coiffait - 'the families are at the centre of all this'
Douglas Vakoch - what would you say to an alien?
Jonathan Haidt - 'We have to bust up the orthodoxy'
James Pennebaker - 'real things are just endlessly fascinating'
Adrian Owen - at the flimsy border between life and death
Kavita Vedhara - imagine the brave new world
Paul Stenner - the thrilling and terrifying incitement to 'be different'
Marcus Munafo - the conspiracy of silence around science
Erica Burman - encountering hostility to critiques
Adam Buxton - on podcasting and double acts
Essi Viding - 'individuals are active agents in their own environments'
Emmy van Deurzen - 'they tried to paint me into a corner where I didn't belong'
Josep Call - comparative psychologist
Lily Bernheimer - environmental psychologist
Sarah Garfinkel - on interoception
Paul Curran - on giftedness and more
Richard Wiseman - on his book 'Shoot for the Moon'
Emmanuelle Peters - on psychosis
Katherine Carpenter - 'That whole journey you do with the patient takes skill and time'
Jenny Taylor - 'You can safely and effectively stretch the boundaries of how we create change'
Claudia Hammond - 'We are busy about everything'
Stephany Biello - 'We are interested in how the clock breaks down'
Stuart Ritchie - 'We need a certain amount of humility'
Kathryn Scott - 'The levers the government are pulling are psychological'
Emily and Laurence Alison - 'These are becoming lost skills we need to recapture'
Peter Olusoga and Hugh Gilmore - 'We have a reponsibility to go beyond sport'
Kirsten Johnson, Director of 'Dick Johnson is Dead'
Veronica O'Keane - The buried emotional tangle in the rag and bone shop
Sahil Suleman - cancer and Covid
Clifford Stott - 'For us it's about getting out of the laboratory and into the field'
Suzanne O'Sullivan - 'They had embodied a narrative'
Tom Buchanan - 'We are all involved in this false information universe'
Angharad Rudkin - 'All of the research is pointless if we can't digest it'
Will Storr - 'Storytelling is your best weapon for convincing people'
Mary-Frances O'Connor - 'You can't really study grief without studying love'
Jenny Terry - 'We need the BPS to understand who we are'
Maxine Woolhouse - 'What we eat, how we eat, how much, it's all part of our class identities'
Tom Ormerod - 'It's part of the fightback…'
Robin Banerjee - 'Are we going to be snapped back into individuality?'
Shanu Sadhwani - 'What we need right now is hope'
Gerard Drennan - 'If there is trauma, there will have been harm… we need to attend to it'
Power: Our fundamental concept. Meeting Brian Klaas, Jessie Singer, and Mark Knights
Emily Turton - 'Home is quite a frightening place…'
Andy Tolmie - 'It's only through change that you can see what a thing really is'
Adrian Whittington - 'We've never been in a more fertile environment for psychological approaches to take root…'
Roxane Cohen Silver - 'Be self-protective about media exposure to tragedy'
… plus some features:
An evolving, collaborative feature on 'Telling Psychology's stories of change'
Growing up with psychologists - with Aidan Horner
Words and sorcery: the causes and consequences of bad writing (with Simon Oxenham)
When psychologists become builders (where psychology and LEGO intersect)
Towards healthier meetings (with Abi Millar)
Bullies – thugs or thinkers? (outlining the research which won the Society's Doctoral Award)
… and some 'curios'
Are you analysing me then? Other people's perceptions of psychology (Student Writer Competition winner) - maybe the first appearance in The Psychologist, February 1997!
When psychology came to my rescue (for the Research Digest)
Seven deadly sins: My sloth (for Research Digest sin week… it was the last one left, Jon's not really slothful...)
Where the Wild Things Are (a small contribution to an 'Eye on Fiction' on his favourite children's book)
Looking back: 25 years of The Psychologist (there HAVE been other editors, and Jon enlists their help here)
In conversation with Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and author Fiona Neill at Latitude Festival 2015
In conversation with Professor Elizabeth Stokoe at Latitude Festival 2016
Increasingly thinking he's Adam Curtis or something…
'The magazine is you' - in conversation with Catherine Loveday (and, it has been pointed out, hogging both the conversation and the photo)
The summer 2020 edition, 'Towards a new normal, and beyond'. In the circumstances, this went pretty well…
A review of John Higgs' 'Love and let die: Bond, the Beatles, and the British Psyche'
A report from Conversation Analysis day, and tribute to Charles Antaki
Not Jon's article, but it's on Dad Jokes and he came up with the headline…
… we end with a couple of Jon's favourite quotes, the first dedicated with thanks to all those whose work he has butchered over the years!
"An editor may be butcher, but they are also a midwife, a parent, a nanny, a matron, a therapist, a conspirator and a friend. But don't forget that, in the end, only a butcher can turn a live, stamping, snorting, animal into something you can stomach." - Nell Frizzell
"In terms of your careers, do not stay in the same place for too long – you will get taken for granted after about five years, or, worse still, get too comfortable. Moving helps you learn." - Professor Clive Fletcher