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1 Neuropsychiatry mavericks
  1. Anthony S David
  1. UCL Institute of Mental Health, London


Professor David is among Britain’s preeminent psychiatrists and academics. His research in recent times has focused on schizophrenia, neuropsychiatry, medically unexplained syndromes and neuroimaging. He has particular interest and expertise in the concept and nature of ‘insight’ in schizophrenia, and its relation to treatment compliance and an individual’s decision-making capacity. Professor David is Director of the UCL Institute of Mental Health.

Professor David is a widely published author in influential peer-reviewed academic journals. He recently published his latest book, the acclaimed Into the Abyss: A Neuropsychiatrist’s Notes on Troubled Minds. Dr David has co-edited several books, including The Self in Neuroscience and Psychiatry and Insight and Psychosis. He is the co-editor of the journal Cognitive Neuropsychiatry.

Professor David is a founding member of both the British Neuropsychological Society and the British Neuropsychiatry Association – he was Chair of the latter organization between 2004 and 2007. In 2018, he delivered the inaugural lecture as part of the Kings Lectures series.

Abstract A maverick is an outsider who has rare qualities which may be highly valued in many areas of society. Empirical research has validated ‘maverickism’ as a recognisable personality type. Medicine and psychiatry have always attracted mavericks – neuropsychiatry in particular. Over the last 150 years there have been several notable examples who have a few key characteristics in common, but their contribution has been mostly negative, sometimes disastrously so. Modern mavericks continue to flourish perhaps aided by the loosening of bounds on science communication and governance but also because of the difficulty mainstream neuropsychiatry has in communicating the biopsychosocial approach in a way that satisfies some sufferers. The question is whether they can be a useful stimulus.

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