We are delighted and proud to announce that Professor Francesca Happé, ACAMH Board Member and past Joint Editor of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (2000-2006), was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2021 New Year Honours for services to the study of autism.
Francesca Happé is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and until recently Director of the MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London.
Her enduring interest and study in autism has led to numerous research papers, books and publications aimed at academics, the professional community, students and the general public.
Professor Happé studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford, and did her PhD on autism at UCL/MRC Cognitive Development Unit, supervised by Professor Uta Frith.
A string of national and international institutions dedicated to the research and understanding of autism including the International Society for Autism Research, the National Autistic Society and the International Society for Autism Research have had the benefit of her leadership and advice over the years. In addition to her JCPP joint editorship she was joint editor the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders and Mind and Language
Her contribution to the scientific study of autism draws on experimental psychology, cognitive research studies, neuroimaging and genetics and the complex interplay between these exploratory methodologies. In a recent BBC 4 ‘The Life Scientific’ broadcast Professor Happé talks to Jim al-Khalili about her research into the abilities and assets of adults and children with autism. Her work has propelled the science of autism to new areas hitherto poorly understood; more people appear to have autism traits in the general population, women with autism are often overlooked, autism and mental illness deserve more attention, autism in old age has hardly been addressed.
We, at ACAMH, are honoured to have Professor Happé on our Board and look forward to working with her and being guided by her expertise and humanity in the fulfillment of our vision and aims in these challenging times.