Honoured psychologists

Ella Rhodes reports on the new year list.

Experts in emergency preparedness, psychosis, music and psychology, as well as a former British Psychological Society president were among the psychologists named on the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

Dr Marian Brooke Rogers, Reader in Risk and Terror at King’s College, London, received an OBE for services to academia and government. Rogers has been chair of the behavioural science group which works alongside the cabinet office in preparing the National Risk Register and classified National Security Risk Assessment – both secret processes. These documents lay out the evidence regarding the likelihood and potential impact of natural disasters, major accidents and malicious attacks. With a particular focus on communication during these low probability, high impact events, Rogers has been instrumental in changing the government approach to communicating with the public about such risks.

‘The Blackett Review in 2011 was a turning point, this was a review of high impact low probability risks, and they said one of the key drivers in a major crisis is to avoid collateral impacts and restore normality as quickly as possible. But they also went on to say that quite often we don’t even understand what the public think or know about these risks and back in those days the government would have been nervous about talking about some of these – they were afraid of panicking people or frightening them. But now we’ve really given them the evidence and confidence to say actually it’s irresponsible not to make the information available.

‘There’s work going on all over the world bringing the evidence to governments and giving them the confidence to talk to their publics about these issues and to show the success of emergency response is dependent on the cooperation of the public, so if they’re not engaging with them throughout the process they’ll struggle to deliver plans and procedures.’ Over the next few years Rogers will be continuing her work with the NiHR Health Protection Research Unit focusing on the behavioural impact of communications on groups considered to be more vulnerable. She will also be looking to assess some of the emergency-related campaigns we see all around us such as the “See it, say It, sorted” campaign and “run, hide, tell” for their effectiveness.

Former President of the British Psychological Society Professor Antony Chapman, lately vice-chancellor of Cardiff Metropolitan University, received an OBE for services to higher education. He joins his wife, Dr Siriol David, who was awarded an OBE in last year’s New Year’s Honours List. He said among his proudest achievements were being voted an honourary Fellow of the BPS and receiving an honourary DSc from his alma mater, the University of Leicester. He plans to continue working with the Buttle Trust and developing UK higher education overseas through trans-national education.

Professor Elizabeth Kuipers, (King’s College, London), received an OBE for services to clinical research, treatment and support to people with psychosis. Kuipers is well-known for her research and clinical work focusing on developing, evaluating and improving psychological interventions for people with psychosis and their caregivers. She has also worked towards improving support for women academics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s which received a Silver Athena Swan award in recent years.

Kuipers is currently working on, among other things, a trial investigating SlowMo therapy led by Professor Philippa Garety. This therapy incorporates an interactive app to support people experiencing delusions between therapy sessions.  

An OBE was also awarded to Professor John Sloboda, Research Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, for services to psychology and music, collaborating with professional musicians on practice-related research. Sloboda directs the Guildhall School’s Understanding Audiences research programme and is also Emeritus Professor at Keele University where he worked from 1974 to 2008. His work on the psychology of music is known internationally and has been President of the Psychology and General Sections of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as President of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music.

He said prior to being awarded the OBE some of his proudest moments included being elected to the Fellowship of the British Academy with dual membership of both the Psychology and Music Sections: ‘This recognised that my work, and that of music psychologists more generally, has had significant impact both within the disciplines of psychology and of music. Indeed, music psychology is probably a more common component of the contemporary music undergraduate degree than it is of the psychology undergraduate degree, and this is only right, since it is musicians, what they do, and who they affect, that are at the heart of the issues that music psychology discusses.’

Last year Sloboda was appointed President of a new international scholarly association for research into the Social Impact of Music Making. ‘My research over the next few years will focus on how musicians work to improve not only musical but social outcomes for people in such diverse environments as countries in or recovering from conflict, prisons, and areas of urban deprivation.’  
Clinical Psychologist Lucy Marks was awarded an MBE for services to children’s mental health and primary care. She is Chief Executive Officer with Compass Wellbeing, a social enterprise which delivers NHS and Local Authority  services, including Psychology and Counselling in primary care . ‘We created a values-based organisation that is connected to the community, and as a clinical psychologist I feel I have been in a really fortunate position to be able to use sound psychological principles to underpin how we do things.’

The organisation has won tenders to deliver both School Nursing and Family Nurse Partnership (FNP). They have developed a   training programme for school nurses  in the early detection and management of emotional distress and mental health issues in pupils. FNP is for vulnerable teenage parents, providing regular visits from specially-trained family nurses from pregnancy up until the child is two-years-old. These nurses can recognise the early signs of emotional distress and support younger parents in building their confidence. ‘It has been particularly rewarding to bring together the expertise we now have in psychology and counselling and nursing, I feel really fortunate to have been able to work with so many talented staff at Compass Wellbeing and we continue to develop our services at a time when there are such enormous pressures in health and social care services.’

Neuroscientist and the co-Founder of the artificial intelligence research group DeepMind, now owned by Google, Demis Hassabis was awarded a CBE for services to science and technology. As reported on the BBC Hassabis said he was very proud of his team at DeepMind: ‘This is recognition of the immense contribution they have already made to the world of science and technology, and I’m excited about the potential for many more breakthroughs and societal benefit in the years ahead.’

BPS Members can discuss this article

Already a member? Or Create an account

Not a member? Find out about becoming a member or subscriber