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Lifetime Achievement Award for York psychologist

Posted on 18 July 2016

A University of York academic has been awarded a lifetime achievement award from the British Psychological Society (BPS).

The BPS praised Professor Celia Kitzinger for the depth and scope of her research over the past 35 years and in particular her work related to sexualities and gender.

Professor Kitzinger, founder of the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) Psychology of Sexualities Section, is honoured with the BPS Research Board Lifetime Achievement Award.

During her career Professor Kitzinger has made several significant contributions to psychology. Her campaign to found the BPS Lesbian and Gay Psychology Section (now Psychology of Sexualities) laid the foundation within British psychology for the development and legitimation of the field.

The publication of her award winning book, The Social Construction of Lesbianism, inspired researchers to engage in sexualities research and is highly cited in psychology and social science journals. 

Professor Kitzinger, from the University’s Department of Sociology, said: “This award recognises in particular my work over the last 35 years on issues related to sexualities and gender, as well as my more recent research on other issues related to human rights and social justice. 

“I hope that it inspires early career researchers to believe that psychology and academic research can contribute to making the world a better place.”

Her contribution to the field of language and social interaction, in which Professor Kitzinger has conducted research on how social worlds are produced and sustained in everyday interaction, is widely recognised.

More recently, Professor Kitzinger has focused her research on catastrophic brain injury, end of life decision-making and advance decisions to refuse treatment. This includes an online multi-media resource for family members of people in prolonged vegetative and minimally conscious states which have won numerous funding body awards. 

Daryl O'Connor, Chair of the BPS Research Board, said: "Celia’s contribution to British psychology, and psychology internationally has been extraordinary over a long and sustained period of time. She has been a tour de force in terms of her research and her campaigning and has inspired a generation.”

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