Instead of reflecting on autism through studies or statistics, for Spectrum’s fifth annual book — available to download as a PDF on our site today — we sought a more personal lens: the lives of the people who research the condition. The scientist profiles that fill these pages reveal a heterogeneous bunch, with wide-ranging academic interests and hobbies. Published over the past 12 years on our site, the profiles, arranged alphabetically here, have been updated to include highly cited papers and 2022 news from the researchers themselves.
The book opens with a look back at the field’s first movers: In “The new history of autism,” journalist David Dobbs explores the lives of scientists whose forgotten work predated or enabled that of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger, long credited as the sole founders of autism science. End pages for various sections include QR codes to additional profiles and “beyond the bench” portraits of scientists’ lives outside the lab. Additional spreads feature an illustration that begins to trace eight decades of apprenticeship among autism researchers and a list of 40 up-and-coming scientists under 40 years old — both informed by asking our sources and profile subjects about significant mentor relationships during their careers.
We hope these pages show autism research in an exciting time of flux, propelled by what these scientists care about, what questions drive their work and where they think the field is headed next.
Cite this article: https://doi.org/10.53053/VELW4031