St John's College President Professor Maggie Snowling appointed CBE

Congratulations to the President, Professor Maggie Snowling, who has been appointed CBE for services to Science and the Understanding of Dyslexia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Professor Snowling FBA, Professor of Psychology, is an acclaimed researcher in cognitive development and a leading international authority in the fields of dyslexia and language disorders. Her research spans psychology, medicine and education and she has made – and continues to make – outstanding contributions to the understanding of how children learn to read and how they sometimes fail to learn.  Before Professor Snowling started her scientific work, dyslexia was considered an illness of the middle classes, but she demonstrated that dyslexia tends to run in families and has a distinct cognitive profile. She was the first to propose that the critical problem was the processing of speech sounds, a theory that is now generally accepted. Her work has, as a result, not only significantly raised awareness of children with dyslexic reading difficulties, but has also improved the quality of teaching for these children.

Professor Maggie Snowling Professor Maggie Snowling. Photo credit: Chloe Dewe Mathews

Professor Snowling’s research has been characterised by rigorous science, a balanced analysis of the evidence, conceptual incisiveness, generous support of colleagues and outstanding leadership skills. She has been influential in ensuring that this academic work gets translated into policy. She was, for example, a key advisor to the Independent Review: Identifying and Teaching Children with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties (Rose 2009), the recommendations of which were then supported through a £10m grant for the training of specialist teachers.

" Dyslexia is in my family and I grew up aware of its impact. I think it was this experience which led me to study the nature and causes of the condition and to try to understand how to avoid its negative consequences. I am committed to finding ways of improving literacy difficulties, whether they are due to dyslexia, poor language or limited educational opportunity, enabling all to fulfil their potential. I am delighted to receive this honour in recognition of what has been a team effort. I hope it will serve to promote further understanding of individual differences in learning and the importance of evidence-based interventions in education. " Professor Maggie Snowling, St John's College President

For more information on Professor Snowling’s current projects and publications, see