Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, who was today made an Honorary Doctor of Science at Edge Hill University, gave some inspiring advice to graduands and their families.
The renowned neuroscientist, who has studied the teenage brain for over twelve years, said that adolescence should be celebrated and not demonised.
Professor Blakemore said:
“20 years ago we had little knowledge of adolescent brain development. Now we know the brain undergoes substantial changes throughout the teenage years and into the 20s and even early 30s.”
“Young people should seize opportunities available to them, as they will have a profound impact on brain development. It’s a great time to learn new skills, a time when many people are at their most creative and passionate. Embrace this period of self-discovery and make the most of it.”
Professor Blakemore is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL. She is Leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, whose research focuses on social cognition and decision-making in human adolescence.
Last year, Professor Blakemore delivered Edge Hill University’s annual Chancellor’s Lecture The Teenage Brain. She has been awarded a number of prizes including the British Psychological Society Doctoral Award 2001, the British Psychological Society Spearman Medal for outstanding early career research 2006, the Lecturer Award 2011 by the Swedish Neuropsychology Society and the Young Mind & Brain Prize from the University of Turin 2013.
She is actively involved in Public Engagement with Science, frequently gives public lectures and talks at schools, has worked with the Select Committee for Education, and acted as scientific consultant on the BBC series The Human Mind in 2003. She was named in the Sunday Times 100 makers of the 21st Century list 2014 and one of 30 under 45 in The Times Young Female Power List 2014.