Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield

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The Baroness Greenfield
Baronesssusangre1.jpeg
Born (1950-10-01) 1 October 1950 (age 63)
Hammersmith, London, England, UK
Nationality British
Institutions University of Oxford
Royal Institution of Great Britain
Heriot-Watt University
Lincoln College, Oxford
House of Lords
Alma mater St Hilda's College, Oxford
Thesis Origins of acetylcholinesterase in cerebrospinal fluid (1977)
Doctoral advisor Anthony David Smith[1]
Notable awards

CBE

Chevalier Legion d'Honneur
Spouse Peter Atkins (m. 1991–2005)
Susan Greenfield's voice
Recorded February 2011 from the BBC Radio 4 programme Four Thought

Susan Adele Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield, CBE,[2] HonFRCP (born 1 October 1950) is a British scientist, writer, broadcaster, and member of the House of Lords. Her research is to identify a novel approach to the treatment of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. She is also interested in the neuroscience of consciousness.[3]

Greenfield is Senior Research Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford University. From 2005 to 2012, she was Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. From 1998 to 8 January 2010, she was director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.[4] In September 2013, she co-founded the biotech company Neuro-bio Ltd, where she is Chief Scientific Officer.[5]

Education[edit]

Susan Adele Greenfield was born to a Jewish father[6] and a Christian mother in Hammersmith, London. Her mother, Doris (née Thorp), was a dancer, and her father, Reginald Myer Greenfield, was an electrician.[7]

She attended the Godolphin and Latymer School, where she took A levels in classics and maths. The first member of her family to go on to university, she was initially admitted to St Hilda's College to read classics, but became interested in philosophy and graduated with a first degree in philosophy and psychology.[7][8] As a Senior Scholar at St Hugh's College, Oxford,[9] she completed her Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1977 under the supervision of Anthony David Smith on the Origins of acetylcholinesterase in cerebrospinal fluid.[1]

Career[edit]

Greenfield's research is focused on brain physiology, particularly on the brain mechanisms of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, but she is also known as a populariser of science. Greenfield has written a range of books about the brain, regularly gives public lectures, and appears on radio and television.[10][11]

Since 1976, Greenfield has published some 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals, including studies on the basic brain mechanisms involved in addiction and reward,[12][13][14][15][16][17] i.e. relating to dopamine systems and related neurochemicals.[18][19]

She investigated the brain mechanisms underlying ADHD[20][21] as well as the impact of environmental enrichment.[22]

In 1994, she was invited to be the first woman to give the Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, then sponsored by the BBC. Her lecture was titled "Journey to the centre of the brain".[23] She was appointed Director of the Royal Institution in 1998,[24] until the position was abolished in 2010 for financial reasons.[25]

From 1995-99, she gave public lectures as Gresham Professor of Physic. Greenfield was Adelaide's Thinker in Residence for 2004 and 2005.[26]

Greenfield created three research and biotechnology companies: Synaptica, BrainBoost, and Neurodiagnostics, which research neuronal diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

She has explored the relevance of neuroscience knowledge to education[27] and has introduced the concept of "mind change",[28] an umbrella term comparable to "climate change", encompassing the diverse issues involved in the impact of the 21st-century environment on the brain.[29]

In 2013 Greenfield published a dystopian science-fiction novel, 2121: A Tale from the Next Century, telling the story of videogame-playing hedonists and their conflict with "Neo-Puritans".[30]

Politics[edit]

Baroness Greenfield sits in the Parliament of the United Kingdom in the House of Lords as a crossbencher, having no formal political affiliation.[31] Records of Baroness Greenfield's activity in the House of Lords indicate abstention on a range of issues.[32]

Impact of digital technology controversy[edit]

In press interviews, at public speaking events,[33] as well as in her writing,[34] Greenfield has expressed concerns that modern technology, and in particular social networking sites and video games,[33] may have a negative impact on child development, leading to conditions including dementia and autism.[33][35][36][37]

In 2011, Greenfield was criticised for explicitly linking the increase in internet usage to a rise in autism, with the National Autistic Society describing her statements as "unhelpful speculation". Greenfield responded by saying, "I point to the increase in autism and I point to internet use. That's all."[38] Greenfield has been criticised by Ben Goldacre for failing to publish any research into her theories of technology's impact on child development. Goldacre suggested that "A scientist with enduring concerns about a serious widespread risk would normally set out their concerns clearly, to other scientists, in a scientific paper."[33][33]

In 2010, Greenfield explored the relevance of neuroscience knowledge to education,[39] and in 2011 she published You & Me: the Neuroscience of Identity, introducing the concept of "mind change", an umbrella term comparable to climate change, encompassing the diverse issues involved in the impact of the 21st century environment on the brain,[40] and inspired by various sources.[41]

Honours[edit]

As well as having 30 honorary degrees,[42] Greenfield has received awards including the Royal Society's Michael Faraday Prize. She has been elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians[42] and the Science Museum.[43]

In January 2000, Greenfield received the CBE[44] for her contribution to the public understanding of science.[2] Later that year, she was named Woman of the Year by The Observer. On 18 June 2001, she was created a Life Peer, as Baroness Greenfield, of Ot Moor in the County of Oxfordshire.[2][45]

In 2003, she was appointed a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur by the French Government.[42]

In 2006 she was made an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association[46] and was the Honorary Australian of the Year.

In 2010 she was awarded the Australian Society for Medical Research Medal.[47] She received the British Inspiration award for Science and Technology.[48]

Patronage[edit]

She is a patron of the Alzheimer's Research UK[49] and of Dignity in Dying. She is a founder and trustee of the charity Science for Humanity, a network of scientists, researchers and technologists that collaborates with non-profits to create practical solutions to the everyday problems of developing communities.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Greenfield was married to University of Oxford Professor Peter Atkins from 1991 until their divorce in 2005.[50]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Greenfield, Susan (1995). Journey to the Centers of the Mind: Toward a Science of Consciousness. San Francisco, California: W.H. Freeman. pp. 236 pages. ISBN 0-7167-2723-4. 
  • Greenfield, Susan (1997). The Human Brain: A Guided Tour (Science Masters Series). New York: Basic Books. pp. 160 pages. ISBN 0-465-00726-0. 
  • Greenfield, Susan (2002). The Private Life of the Brain (Penguin Press Science). London, UK: Penguin Books Ltd. pp. 272 pages. ISBN 0-14-100720-6. 
  • Greenfield, Susan (2003). Tomorrow's People: How 21st Century Technology is Changing the Way we Think and Feel. London, UK: Allen Lane. pp. 304 pages. ISBN 0-7139-9631-5. 
  • Greenfield, Susan (2006). Inside the Body. London, UK: Cassell Illustrated. pp. 288 pages. ISBN 1-84403-500-X. 
  • Greenfield, Susan (2008). ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century. London, UK: Sceptre. pp. 320 pages. ISBN 0-340-93600-2. 
  • Greenfield, Susan (2011). You and Me: The Neuroscience of Identity. London, UK: Notting Hill Editions. ISBN 978-1907903342. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Greenfield, Susan (1977). Origins of acetylcholinesterase in cerebrospinal fluid (DPhil thesis). University of Oxford. 
  2. ^ a b c House of Lords (2001). "Minutes and Order Paper – Minutes of Proceedings". UK Parliament House of Lords. Retrieved 27 October 2007. 
  3. ^ Private Life of the Brain (2000)
  4. ^ The Times (9 January 2010). "Baroness Greenfield loses her job in Royal Institution shake-up". London, UK: The Times. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "Team". NeuroBio. Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  6. ^ "Interview: Susan Greenfield". Thejc.com. 24 November 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Radford, Tim (30 April 2004). "The Guardian profile: Susan Greenfield". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 26 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Bell, Matthew (30 June 2013). "Susan Greenfield: After the science, the fiction". The Independent on Sunday. 
  9. ^ British Council on Science (2007). "Baroness Greenfield". British Council on Science. Retrieved 27 October 2007. 
  10. ^ "What Goes On In The Brain" Dialogue Talk; accessed 20 March 2014.
  11. ^ Susan Greenfield, Baroness Greenfield at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ Cragg, S.J., Hille, C.J. & Greenfield, S.A. Functional domains in dorsal striatum of the nonhuman primate are defined by the dynamic behavior of dopamine. J Neurosci 22, pp. 5705–5712 (2002) [1]
  13. ^ Cragg, S.J., Hille, C.J. & Greenfield, S.A. Dopamine release and uptake dynamics within nonhuman primate striatum in vitro. J Neurosci 20, pp. 8209–8217 (2000) [2]
  14. ^ Cragg, S.J., Hille, C. J. & Greenfield, S. A. Dopamine release and uptake kinetics in the putamen of non-human primate striatum in vitro: Species and region differences. Eur J Neurosci 12, pp. 135–135 (2000) [3]
  15. ^ Cragg, S.J., Clarke, D.J. & Greenfield, S.A. Real-time dynamics of dopamine released from neuronal transplants in experimental Parkinson's disease. Exp Neurol, 164, pp. 145–153, doi:DOI 10.1006/exnr.2000.7420 (2000) [4]
  16. ^ Cragg, S.J., Holmes, C., Hawkey, C.R. & Greenfield, S.A. Dopamine is released spontaneously from developing midbrain neurons in organotypic culture. Neuroscience 84, pp. 325–330 (1998) [5]
  17. ^ Dickie, B.G.M., Holmes, C. & Greenfield, S.A. Neurotoxic and neurotrophic effects of chronic N-methyl-D-aspartate exposure upon mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons in organotypic culture. Neuroscience 72, pp. 731–741 (1996) [6]
  18. ^ Threlfell, S., Greenfield, S.A. & Cragg, S.J. 5-HT(1B) receptor regulation of serotonin (5-HT) release by endogenous 5-HT in the substantia nigra. Neuroscience 165, pp. 212–220, doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.10.005 (2010) [7]
  19. ^ Threlfell, S., Exley, R., Cragg, S.J. & Greenfield, S.A. Constitutive histamine H-2 receptor activity regulates serotonin release in the substantia nigra. J Neurochem 107, pp. 745–755, doi:DOI 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05646.x (2008) [8]
  20. ^ Dommett, E.J., Overton, P.G. & Greenfield, S.A. Drug Therapies for Attentional Disorders Threlfell, S., Exley, R., Cragg, S.J. & Greenfield, S.A. Constitutive histamine H-2 receptor activity regulates serotonin release in the substantia nigra. J Neurochem 107, pp. 745–755, doi:DOI 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2008.05646.x (2008) [9]
  21. ^ Dommett, E.J., Henderson, E.L., Westwell, M.S. & Greenfield, S.A. Methylphenidate amplifies long-term plasticity in the hippocampus via noradrenergic mechanisms. Learn Memory 15, pp. 580–586, doi:Doi 10.1101/Lm.1092608 (2008) [10]
  22. ^ Devonshire, I.M., Dommett, E.J., Grandy, T.H., Halliday, A.C. & Greenfield, S.A. Environmental enrichment differentially modifies specific components of sensory-evoked activity in rat barrel cortex as revealed by simultaneous electrophysiological recordings and optical imaging in vivo. Neuroscience 170, pp. 662–669, doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2010.07.029 (2010) [11]
  23. ^ RI. "List of Lecturers". RI. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  24. ^ profile on Royal Institution website
  25. ^ Gammell, Caroline; Alleyne, Richard (12 January 2010). "Baroness Greenfield's redundancy 'only way to get rid of her'". The Daily Telegraph (London, UK). 
  26. ^ "Adelaide Thinkers in Residence – Susan Greenfield". Govt. of South Australia. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  27. ^ Dommett, E.J.; Devonshire, I.M.; Plateau, C.R.; Westwell, M.S.; Greenfield, S.A. (2010). "From Scientific Theory to Classroom Practice". The Neuroscientist 17 (4): 382–388. doi:10.1177/1073858409356111. PMID 20484219. 
  28. ^ Khalili, Mustafa; Smith, Elliot; Oltermann, Philip (15 August 2011). "Susan Greenfield: "Mind change is 'an issue that's as important and as unprecedented as climate change"". London: Guardian. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  29. ^ Greenfield, Susan. "You And Me: The Neuroscience of Identity". Notting Hill Editions. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  30. ^ Little, Reg (9 August 2013). "Susan Greenfield: Tale of a terrible reckoning". Oxford Times. 
  31. ^ "Baroness Greenfield". UK Parliament Website. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  32. ^ "Baroness Greenfield profile at". TheyWorkForYou. mySociety. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  33. ^ a b c d e Goldacre, Ben (21 October 2011). "Serious claims belong in a serious scientific paper". The Guardian (London, UK). 
  34. ^ and Me: The Neuroscience of Identity
  35. ^ Derbyshire, David (24 February 2009). "Social websites harm children's brains". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 5 March 2009. 
  36. ^ "Social websites: bad for kids' brains?". BBC Newsnight. 25 February 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/7909847.stm. Retrieved 6 January 2010.
  37. ^ Arthur, Charles (25 February 2009). "Age Concern backs social networks but Ben Goldacre's blood pressure still rising". guardian.co.uk (London, UK). Retrieved 14 March 2009. 
  38. ^ Tracy McVeigh (6 August 2011). "Research linking autism to internet use is criticised". London: Guardian. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  39. ^ Dommett, E.J., Devonshire, I.M., Plateau, C.R., Westwell, M.S. & Greenfield, S.A. From Scientific Theory to Classroom Practice. The Neuroscientist: doi:10.1177/1073858409356111 (2010) [12]
  40. ^ You & Me: the Neuroscience of Identity; Notting Hill editions (2011) ISBN 9781907903342
  41. ^ Official Susan Greenfield website; accessed 20 March 2014.
  42. ^ a b c "Bio on the Royal Institution website". Rigb.org. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  43. ^ "Fellows – About us". Science Museum. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  44. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 55710. p. 9. 31 December 1999.
  45. ^ The London Gazette: no. 56252. p. 7343. 21 June 2001.
  46. ^ "Current Honorary Fellows". British Science Association. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  47. ^ "MRW". asmr.org.au. Australian Society for Medical Research. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  48. ^ "2010 Awards". British Inspiration Awards. Retrieved 17 June 2013. 
  49. ^ "Patrons". Alzheimer's Research UK. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  50. ^ Moreton, Cole (11 May 2008). "Susan Greenfield: The girl with all the brains". London: The Independent on Sunday. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Anne McLaren
Fullerian Professor of Physiology
1999–present
Succeeded by
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Peter Day
Director of the Royal Institution
1998–2010
Succeeded by
Post abolished