Royal Society David Attenborough Award presented to Herts psychology professor

 1 January 2024 30 August 2023
30 August 2023

Professor Richard Wiseman, Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, has been awarded the David Attenborough Award and Lecture by the Royal Society, as the society announce its winners for 2023.

He has been selected for the award for his sustained and innovative public engagement with the psychology of magic and the nature of deception, and his exposure of pseudo-science through multiple routes including his popular books, videos, podcasts and festival appearances.

Professor Wiseman, the UK’s only Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology, has researched several areas of applied social psychology, including the psychology of self-help, luck, deception, magic, humour and paranormal belief.

He is the author of several books including Night School: The Life-Changing Science of Sleep, The Luck Factor: The Scientific Study of the Lucky Mind, Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives and many more. He also presents the podcast series On Your Mind, where he aims to answer a thousand questions about the human mind.

On winning the award, Professor Wiseman said:

“For over thirty years, the University of Hertfordshire has kindly supported my research and public engagement work, and I am delighted to receive this prestigious award.

“I am passionate about exploring how academic psychology can improve people’s lives, and am looking forward to creating more talks, books, shows, articles and videos in the future”.

The Royal Society is the independent scientific academy of the UK, dedicated to promoting excellence in science for the benefit of humanity. Its prestigious medals and awards programme recognises and celebrates outstanding contributions from individuals and teams. There are around 30 medals and awards presented annually.

The full list of medals and awards can be found on the Royal Society website. To find out more about psychology teaching and research at Herts, visit


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