Professor Susan Greenfield

  • About Professor Susan Greenfield
  • Corporate Biography

Susan Greenfield was both an undergraduate and graduate at Oxford University, taking a DPhil in the Department of Pharmacology in 1977. She subsequently held research fellowships in the Department of Physiology Oxford, the College de France Paris, and NYU Medical Center New York. In 1985 she was appointed University Lecturer in Synaptic Pharmacology, and Fellow and Tutor in Medicine, Lincoln College, Oxford, before receiving a Professorship in 1996. From 1998 to 2010 she served as Director of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a post held jointly with her chair in Oxford. She currently holds a Senior Research Fellowship at Oxford University, Lincoln College and is founder and CSO of a biotech company ( that is developing a novel anti-Alzheimer drug based on her research exploring novel brain mechanisms linked to neurodegeneration.

She has since been awarded 31 Honorary Degrees from British and foreign universities. In 2000 she was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians. Further international recognition of her work has included the 'Golden Plate Award' (2003) from the Academy of Achievement, Washington, the L'Ordre National de la Légion d'Honneur (2003), from the French Government, and the 2010 Australian Medical Research Society Medal. She was awarded a CBE in the Millennium New Year's Honours List, and was granted a non-political Life Peerage in 2001. In 2004 and 2005, she was 'Thinker in Residence' in Adelaide, reporting to the Premier of South Australia on applications of science for wealth creation. She was appointed Chancellor of Heriot Watt University 2005-2012, and in 2007 she was elected into the Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. She has recently been offered a Visiting Professorship for November 2014 at the Medical School, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Greenfield also studies the physical basis of the mind: in 1995 she published her own theory of consciousness Journey to the Centres of the Mind (1995), which was developed substantially in The Private Life of the Brain (2000). A recent lecture in 2012 on this subject: The Neuroscience of Consciousness has so far attracted 71,895 hits. Meanwhile, her book The Human Brain:A Guided Tour (1997) ranked in the British best-seller lists, and is still in print as a popular introduction to the brain for non-specialists: it was followed by Tomorrow's People: How 21st Century technology is changing the way we think and feel (2003), which explored human nature and its potential vulnerability in an age of technology. These ideas were expanded in her later book, ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century (2009). In addition she has written a novel '2121: A Tale form the Next Century', published in 2013, which describes a dystopia century ahead in the future and was entered for the Booker Prize. The theme of unprecedented changes to contemporary human cognition, arguably comparable in its significance to Climate Change, was briefly explored in a monograph You and Me (2011), and has now been developed further in an in-depth exploration of the impact of technology on the brain in 'Mind Change: How 21st Century Technology is leaving its mark on the brain' to be published in August 2014 by Random House.

Due to her original training in classics, she held the Presidency of the Classical Association for 2003-2004 and in 2010 was elected to a Fellowship of the Science Museum. She was a Forum Fellow at the World Economic Conference at Davos for ten years. In response to a request in 2002 from the Secretary of the State for Trade and Industry, she authored the Greenfield Report SET Fair: A Report on Women in Science, Engineering, and Technology. Greenfield has been profiled in a wide range of papers and magazines, voted one of the 100 most influential women in Britain by the Daily Mail, and 'Women of the Year' by the Observer.


Contact Agent: 

Susan Greenfield has delivered captivating keynote talks, lectures and after dinner speeches for organisations across a wide variety of sectors including finance, technology, human resources, media and education.

Most recently, Susan has delivered talks for the following organisations - McKinsey's, Investec, Deutsche Bank, Barclays Corporate, Egon Zehnder International, CoreNet Global, KION Group, Pearlfisher and Newcastle University.

Recent testimonials include:

The feedback has been excellent. Susan and her eye-opening predictions for the future were one of the hits of the event. Please do pass on my thanks.
Head of Communications and Marketing, Deutsche Bank - Global Markets

Can you please pass on my sincere thanks to Susan for attending and speaking at our event last Tuesday. I have received nothing but extremely favourable feedback from our guests and Susan's contribution certainly made the evening a huge success.
Relationship Director, Barclay's Corporate

We are all still on a high from her time with us – it was 'awesome' as some of the boys said!
Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education, St Peters College

Thank you for your participation on IWF's global stage last week as we explored Balance and Power in the 21st Century with 750 leaders.It was our distinct pleasure to have you with us, and we thank you for making a difference.
Chief Executive Officer, IWF

This success would not have been possible to achieve without your considerable input and expertise, and i would like to express our thanks for the time you gave to presenting at the event.
Katy Parkinson, on behalf of The Biopharmaceutical Conference

The event was extremely successful, with your keynote on the neuroscience of learning singled out for particular praise. On the basis of the feedback received we know that the delegates left inspired and enthusiastic about what they can do to promote excellence in teaching and learning, with some delegates referring to your contribution as 'awe-inspiring' and determined to do some reading in and around the area.
Chief Executive, Learning and Skills Improvement Service


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