Simon Baron-Cohen, Ph.D.

Professor, University of Cambridge

SFARI Investigator Website

Simon Baron-Cohen is professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, a fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge and director of the Autism Research Centre. He is the author of Mindblindness, The Essential Difference, Prenatal Testosterone in Mind, Zero Degrees of Empathy and The Pattern Seekers and has written books for parents and teachers including Autism and Asperger Syndrome: The Facts. He is also the author of the DVDs Mind Reading and The Transporters, which help children with autism learn emotion recognition and which were both nominated for BAFTA Awards.

Baron-Cohen formulated the ‘mindblindness’ theory of autism (1985), the ‘prenatal sex steroid’ theory of autism (1997) and the ‘empathizing-systemizing’ theory of typical sex differences. He founded the first UK adult autism diagnostic service (1999), which has helped over 1,000 patients to have their disability recognized. He gave a keynote address to the United Nations in New York on Autism Awareness Day 2017 on autism and human rights.

Baron-Cohen is a fellow of the British Psychological Society, the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the American Psychological Association. He is vice president of the National Autistic Society and a past president of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR). He was chair of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) Guideline Development Group for Autism (Adults) and of the psychology section of the British Academy.

Baron-Cohen is co-editor in chief of Molecular Autism and a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator. He is principal investigator on the Wellcome Trust-funded Spectrum 10K project, in collaboration with the Sanger Centre. He is scientific advisor, trustee or patron to several autism charities including the Autism Centre of Excellence and the company Auticon, which only employs people with autism. He has taken part in many television documentaries, including the BBC’s Horizon and Employable Me.

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