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The effect of science and society on human development

20 February 2012

What does a child need to develop and how can society help? That’s the subject of a public lecture at Cardiff University featuring two eminent child psychologists.

Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder and director of the charity Kids Company and Sara Jaffee, a developmental psychopathologist at Kings College London will share their thoughts on how science and society can change lives in an event hosted by the University’s School of Psychology on Friday 9 March 2012.

Marking the start of the University’s programme of activities for National Science and Engineering Week (9-18 March 2012), the event will see the pair discuss the needs of children in Britain and highlight what individuals, organisations, and developmental scientists are doing to address those needs.

Professor Dylan Jones, Head of the School of Psychology said: "Understanding why some children fare well despite facing significant adversity and challenge while others fare less well is one of the big questions facing psychologists today. Achieving this understanding requires a dialogue between science and those working with vulnerable children.

"The aim of this talk is to identify the main issues in human development and how they impact on vulnerable children. It provides an important opportunity to facilitate, and participate in, the interface between science and practice."

Camila Batmanghelidjh has been a psychotherapist for more than twenty years and founded Kids Company in six converted railway arches in London. She has created a unique and pioneering approach in delivering services to some of the most vulnerable and disturbed children and young people.

Sara Jaffee is a developmental psychopathologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London who conducts research on at-risk families and children. She is interested in how stressful environments exacerbate underlying genetic vulnerabilities to affect children’s development, with a special interest in children’s antisocial behaviour.

Notes to editor

  1. Media are welcome to attend the event and should contact Victoria Dando, Public Relations Office to reserve a place
  2. The School of Psychology is one of Britain top-rated schools of psychology, it being the first to achieve the double accolade of the highest grade of merit for both research and teaching. In an independent assessment of teaching, conducted by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales it was rated ‘Excellent’, and in the latest Research Assessment Exercise it was awarded the highest level of distinction, Grade 5A, indicating research of a uniform international standard. The School is one of the largest Schools of psychology in the United Kingdom. It currently has some 40 full-time teaching staff, including 12 professors, alongside 40 full-time research staff, and nearly 60 research students.
  3. Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University President Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Three major new Research Institutes, offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places were announced by the University in 2010. www.cardiff.ac.uk

For further information, contact:

Victoria Dando

Public Relations

Cardiff University

Tel: 02920 879074

Email: DandoV2@cardiff.ac.uk