With the ITAKOM conference just days away, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce and thank our Scientific Committee members.  This panel of excellent researchers helped us review submissions to the conference, back in summer 2022, and select which of them would be offered the chance to present their work as a talk, versus a poster. The committee brought a range of expertise to that process and we are indebted to them for their insight and support.

A series of headshots of the scientific committee members. Three are white women, one is a woman of colour, two are white men. Most of them look to be in their 30s or 40s.

Prof. Duncan Astle
Duncan Astle is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, and Programme Leader at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, at the University of Cambridge. His 4D Research Group explores how the brain develops, why it is so variable, and the factors that can shape that development.

Dr. Monique Botha
Dr. Monique Botha is an autistic and ADHD community psychologist and Research Fellow at the University of Stirling. They are passionate about producing research to help autistic people live equitably in communities. Their past and present work has focused heavily on stigma, bias, and dehumanisation as it relates to autistic people.

Prof. Holly Joseph
Holly Joseph is a Professor of Language and Literacy Development and Director of the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM) at University of Reading. Her research focuses on reading development and difficulties, multilingualism, and social justice. She is also School Director of Racial Equity and Justice.

Dr. Amy Pearson
Dr. Amy Pearson is a Chartered Developmental Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Sunderland. She is interested in autism, neurodivergence, and neurodiversity. Her current research focuses on understanding factors impacting wellbeing among autistic people across the lifespan, with a particular interest in social factors.

Dr. Danielle Ropar
Dr. Danielle Ropar leads the Autism Research Team at the University of Nottingham, which conducts collaborative research with key stakeholders to create meaningful real-world impact. This includes the development of autism training resources for custody officers, which has influenced practice and policy at a local and national level. Her current research focuses on the Double Empathy Problem and how it influences information transfer, non-verbal communication, and social-perception between autistic and non-autistic populations.

Dr. David Simmons
Dr. David Simmons is a Lecturer in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow. Whilst he has worked on sensory (especially visual) perception for some years, more recently he has focused his research on perception in synaesthesia and autism, pioneering approaches using Virtual Reality technology. He is a frequent invited speaker on sensory aspects of autism, teaches popular courses on autism and advises both local and national government and 3rd-sector organisations. He is a member of the editorial board of The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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