Simon Baron-Cohen is a Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry University of Cambridge and Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Director of the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, which he set up in 1997. He is author of 5 books: Mindblindness, The Essential Difference, Prenatal Testosterone in Mind, Zero Degrees of Empathy, and The Pattern Seekers. Dr. Baron-Cohen has edited scholarly anthologies including Understanding Other Minds. He has also written books for parents and teachers including Autism and Asperger Syndrome: The Facts. He is author of Mind Reading and The Transporters, digital educational resources to help children with autism learn emotion recognition, and both nominated for BAFTA awards.
Dr. Baron-Cohen has published over 720 peer reviewed scientific articles, which have made contributions to many aspects of autism research, to typical cognitive sex differences, and synaesthesia research. Three influential theories he formulated were the ‘mindblindness’ theory of autism (1985), the ‘prenatal sex steroid’ theory of autism (1997), and the ‘E-S’ theory of typical sex differences (2002). Among his scientific discoveries are “mindblindness” in autism (1995), that autism can be diagnosed at 18 months of age (1996), the role of the amygdala in autism (1999), genetic links between systemizing and autism (2018), and the causal role of prenatal sex steroids in autism (2019). See www.autismresearchcentre.com
He created the first UK clinic for adults with suspected Asperger Syndrome (1999) that 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 the topic of Autism and Human Rights. Dr. Baron-Cohen serves as Scientific Advisor, Trustee or Patron to several autism charities including the Autism Centre of Excellence (ACE) at Cambridge, and to the company Auticon, which only employs autistic people. He has supervised 44 PhD students, many of whom are professors around the globe.
Dr. 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 was President of the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR, 2017-19). He was Chair of the NICE Guideline Development Group for Autism (Adults) and was Chair of the Psychology Section of the British Academy. He is co-editor in chief of the journal Molecular Autism which has the highest impact factor of all autism research journals. He is a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator. Dr. Baron-Cohen is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Wellcome Trust funded award investigating the genetics of autism, in collaboration with the Sanger Centre, and is PI of the SFARI funded award investigating the prenatal biology of sex differences in autism. He leads other projects investigating vulnerability in autistic people, including in the criminal justice system, employment, and suicidality. He has taken part in many television documentaries, including the BBC’s Horizon, and Employable Me. Dr. Baron-Cohen received a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours List 2021.