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FBA for two King's professors

23 July 2010

Anke Ehlers, Professor of Experimental Psychopathology and Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow at the Department of Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, and Shalom Lappin, Professor of Computational Linguistics in the Department of Philosophy, have been elected Fellows of the British Academy.

The British Academy, established by Royal Charter in 1902, inspires, recognises and supports excellence the humanities and social sciences throughout the UK and internationally. Each year up to 38 outstanding UK-based scholars are elected to the Fellowship. The prime criterion for election is academic distinction as reflected in scholarly research activity and publication.

Professor Ehlers trained as a clinical psychologist in Germany and the United States. Following research appointments in both countries and a chair in clinical psychology at the University of Göttingen, Germany, she came to the UK in 1993 as a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow at the Oxford University Department of Psychiatry.  She joined the Institute of Psychiatry in 2000 and is also is also the Research Director of the Maudsley Hospital's Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma.

Her research focus on anxiety disorders, in particular posttraumatic stress disorder, social phobia, and panic disorder. She also works on psychological factors in cardiovascular and dermatological disorders.

In 2004, she was elected Fellow of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (German Academy of Scientists).

Professor Ehlers says of her election: ‘I feel very honoured to be elected a Fellow of the British Academy. I look forward to joining my colleagues in promoting excellence in the humanities and social sciences and to supporting the important work of the Academy in fostering these disciplines and their contribution to society’.

Shalom Lappin was educated in Canada and the United States. He has taught and held chairs at universities in Israel and Canada. In 1993 he took up a position in the Linguistics Department at SOAS. He joined the Department of Philosophy at King's in 1999, and then moved to the Department of Computer Science, where he was head of the Natural Language Processing Group (2000-05). In September, 2005 he returned to the Department of Philosophy.

His areas of research and teaching are formal and computational semantics, formal grammar, natural language processing, and logic. His current research activities include the formal foundations of semantics, type theory, machine learning, and the cognitive basis of natural language.

He says of his election to the British Academy: ‘Being elected to the British Academy is a great honour. I am delighted to have the opportunity of working with my colleagues in the Academy for the advancement of the humanities and the social sciences in the UK. I have been impressed by their deep commitment in supporting the integrity of scientific and academic research in Britain. In a time of serious austerity and cuts in public services, the activities of the Academy are of paramount importance.’

The British Academy has over 900 Fellows, encompassing psychologists, economists, historians, lawyers, theologians, criminologists and many others. Their expertise can shed light on major topical issues, ranging from climate change to radical extremism.

The election of Professors Ehlers and Lappin to the British Academy brings the total of King’s current and emeritus staff who are Fellows to 21.

To see the full list of new elected Fellows, go to the British Academy web pages:




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