Asifa Majid is a professor of cognitive science at the University of Oxford. Majid studies the relationship among language, culture, and mind.
Humans are one species, and yet we speak 7,000 different, mutually unintelligible languages, each hosted in distinct cultural niches around the globe. How does this diversity of language, culture, and experience affect how people think and behave? During her fellowship year, Majid is writing a book to synthesize her wide-ranging empirical work to elucidate which aspects of cognition are fundamentally shared and which are language- or culture-specific.
Majid, who earned her PhD at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has been awarded various prizes for her scientific work (e.g., Ammodo Science Award, Radboud Science Award) and public engagement (e.g., Science Live @Drongo award). She received a personal grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) of €1.5 million to study language and cognition across cultures. Majid is an elected member of Academia Europaea for her contributions to linguistics, an elected fellow of the Association for Psychological Science in recognition of her sustained outstanding contributions to psychology, and an elected fellow of the Cognitive Science Society for sustained research excellence and impact.
Oxford Professor Asifa Majid Calls for Greater Diversity in Linguistic Research in Harvard Radcliffe Talk (Harvard Crimson, 4/7/23)