OBE for Dr Steve Davis
Dr Stephen Davis of University College London, Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, was awarded an OBE in the 2009 New Year Honours list, for his services to children with communication disorders.
Dr Steve Davis
Steve has been working on a Wellcome Trust (WT) funded programme grant that examines why some children persist in stammering whilst others recover. He has done this since the grant started in 1999. He received his doctorate on stammering in 2002 whilst employed on the project, and his research was awarded the Travers Reid prize for research into children who stammer.
The WT-funded speech team has a particular interest in stammering as a developmental speech disorder and its relationship to fluent development of speech and language. It uses a variety of methodologies to investigate these issues, including analysis of naturally-produced spontaneous speech, experimental tasks, brain scan, survey, and modelling studies.
Steve helped establish the organisational structure for liaisons with clinics and families. Many of the individuals he works with devote considerable time to the project as they are tested at set times after they have first been seen. He currently manages an active cohort of over 300 children who stammer. Speech and language therapy students from home and abroad (principally the US) are tutored and supervised in their project work by Steve.
Strategic collaborations on stammering have been formed at the highest levels with other universities (City, Middlesex and Suffolk) various clinics (major ones include the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children, Tower Hamlets PCT, Dagenham and Redbridge, Hounslow) voluntary organisations (the British Stammering Association, the Dominic Barker Trust, the Stammer Trust, and the Down Syndrome Educational Trust) and other public and voluntary sector interests.
Steve has asked that tribute be paid to all those who have contributed to the success of the speech research team. This includes the speech therapists, self-help organisations, students, fellow researchers and, last but not least, all the children who have been involved and their families. He says that throughout his life, whatever the job or status, he has considered himself to be a public servant and has acted accordingly - and he looks forward to continuing to be of service to people with communication disorders and the research community alike.
Extended version of an article in the Spring 2009 edition of Speaking Out, page 5.
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