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Prof Nutt awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award by the BAP

Prof David Nutt

By Professor Valerie Curran and Professor Ilana Crome 

In 1989, David Nutt accepted the BAP Council’s invitation to become the Managing Editor of their flagship publication, the Journal of Psychopharmacology (JoP). The first edition of JoP in 1987 had been published by Oxford University Press (OUP). However, the Journal subsequently faltered because of problems with OUP and a lack of submissions. As soon as David took over, he energetically began restructuring JoP, widening its range of articles, appointing an American Editor and improving the quality of the printed edition. He also approached other publishers and eventually signed a contract with Sage in 1996. JoP then went from strength to strength, increased its submissions, its Institutional subscriptions and its Impact Factor. By publishing sponsored supplements from 1999 onwards, David was able to provide much-needed income for BAP as well as the journal over many years.

In all, David was Managing Editor of JoP for over thirty years, a truly exceptional contribution to the life of the BAP. Throughout that time, he attended Council meetings and contributed enormously to BAP Summer Meetings not only by his own entertaining presentations but also by encouraging those of many junior scientists. He also contributed to BAP training courses and was very active in representing BAP to other organisations (e.g. joint symposia with the British Neuroscience Association, and interactions with government). He served as President of the BAP from 2000 to 2001. Mere mortals may ask how has David given so much to the BAP whilst also being Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Director of the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial, writing 35 books, 500+ journal articles, founding and running the hugely successful and clinically important charity Drug Science, inventing a psychoactive but alcohol-free drink, lobbying governments for rational drug policies, media appearances and much, much more.

In 2014, on the celebration of BAP’s 40th anniversary, David was selected to give the BAP guest lecture: ’40 years of BAP: a lifetime in psychopharmacology’. Barbara Sahakian, who introduced him before that lecture, spoke of his many scientific and medical achievements, his numerous awards and his impressive engagement with the public about science. She also described how he was undoubtedly the best person to deliver the 40th anniversary lecture “because he has worked tirelessly for the BAP in many roles and for many years”.

For over 30 years of hard work and energetic commitment to the BAP, we are delighted to nominate Professor David Nutt for the 2023 Outstanding Contribution Award.

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