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The Baroness Greenfield
Susan Greenfield giving a talk at Saïd Business School in March 2006
|Born||1 October 1950|
Hammersmith, London, England
|Political party||none (crossbench)|
|Spouse(s)||Peter Atkins (1991–2005)|
|Alma mater||St Hilda's College, Oxford|
Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield, (born Hammersmith, London, 1 October 1950) is a British scientist, writer and broadcaster. She specializes in studying how the human brain works and has done a lot of research into diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease which are common in older people. She has written several books and appeared frequently on radio and television. She is very good at explaining what she does to the wide public, using words that ordinary people (non-scientists) can understand. In 1994 she gave the series of Christmas lectures on television for young children.
Life and work
Susan Greenfield was born in Hammersmith, West London. Her parents were of Russian and Austrian origin. She studied at the University of Oxford and also got a doctorate degree from the College de France in Paris. She is Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford and fellow of Lincoln College. She is the head of a group of 18 scientists who study degenerative brain diseases. Until recently she was director of the Royal Institution.
Susan Greenfield is very well known to the wider public through the books she has written and the lectures she has given on radio and on television. In 1994, she was the first woman to give the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures which were sponsored at that time by the BBC. She called those lectures "Journey to the centre of the brain".
Greenfield frequently lectures about the future of the brain and, in particular, the effect that computers are having in the way we think. She says that computer could be very useful for old people because it keeps their minds active. On the other hand she is worried that young people are using computers too much. Although activities such as video games are good for developing certain skills (such as quick reactions), there are many other skills that we need in life (such as the ability to communicate with people and understand other people’s emotions) that they do not teach us.
Awards and Honours
She has been given many awards, including the CBE for helping the public to understand science. a Chevalier Légion d'Honneur by the French Government. She has been given several honorary degrees and in June 2001, she was made a Life peer, as Baroness Greenfield, of Ot Moor in the County of Oxfordshire.