Public Release: 

Dick Swaab wins the 2014 ECNP Media Award

European College of Neuropsychopharmacology

Europe's leading applied neuroscience association, the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 ECNP Media Award is Dick Swaab, for his book, We are our Brains: From the Womb to Alzheimer's (2014). Presented annually, the ECNP Media Award recognises outstanding contributions to destigmatising disorders of the brain. It is accompanied by a prize of € 5,000.

The ECNP Media Award was established to celebrate the achievements of those who promote a better understanding of the complexity and impact of disorders of the brain, stimulate discussion, and challenge stereotypes and stigma. Preference is given to work that highlights the connection with scientific research and helps to make the science of disorders of the brain accessible to a wide audience.

In announcing the award, ECNP Communication Committee chair Eduard Vieta (Barcelona) commended the book for its clear and lucid explication of the brain functioning and its humane and intelligent treatment of disorders of the brain.

"Understanding the brain and how it works is the best way to demystify and 'normalise' disorders of the brain. By showing us the brain, its astonishing complexity, and how disorders of the brain are intrinsic to the human condition Dick Swaab has made a wonderful contribution to destigmatising disorders of the brain," he said.

ECNP president Guy Goodwin (Oxford) added, "The success of this book - now translated into 13 languages - is a testament to Dick Swaab's success in communicating the excitement and importance of brain science. That he has been able to do this while staying true to the brain's complexity is a significant achievement."

Dick Swaab, Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Amsterdam, said, "I am not only very honoured by the award, but also extremely pleased that the ECNP considers "We are our Brains" as a contribution to mental health and wellbeing. Stigma's and taboos around brain disorders are life threatening and anything we can do to make people see mental health without these preconceptions is a step forward".

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The award will be presented at the welcome ceremony of the 27th ECNP Congress on 18 October in Berlin, Germany (see http://www.ecnp-congress.eu/).

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