Margaret A. Boden

Professor Margaret A Boden OBE ScD FBA
Born (1936-11-26) 26 November 1936 (age 87)
OccupationProfessor at the University of Sussex
Known forArtificial Intelligence research
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic work
DisciplineCognitive science

Margaret Ann Boden OBE FBA (born 26 November 1936)[1] is a Research Professor of Cognitive Science in the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex, where her work embraces the fields of artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, and cognitive and computer science.

Early life and education

Boden was educated at the City of London School for Girls in the late 1940s and 1950s.[2] At Newnham College, Cambridge, she took first class honours in medical sciences, achieving the highest score across all Natural Sciences. In 1957 she studied the history of modern philosophy at the Cambridge Language Research Unit run by Margaret Masterman.[3]


Boden was appointed lecturer in philosophy at the University of Birmingham in 1959. She became a Harkness Fellow at Harvard University from 1962 to 1964,[4] then returned to Birmingham for a year before moving to a lectureship in philosophy and psychology at Sussex University in 1965, where she was later appointed as Reader then Professor in 1980.[5] She was awarded a PhD in social psychology (specialism: cognitive studies) by Harvard in 1968.[6]

She credits reading "Plans and the Structure of Behavior" by George A. Miller with giving her the realisation that computer programming approaches could be applied to the whole of psychology.[7]

Boden became Dean of the School of Social Sciences in 1985.[5] Two years later she became the founding Dean of the University of Sussex's School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences (COGS), precursor of the university's current Department of Informatics. Since 1997 she has been a Research Professor of Cognitive Science in the Department of Informatics, where her work encompasses the fields of artificial intelligence, psychology, philosophy, and cognitive and computer science.[8]

Boden became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1983 and served as its vice-president from 1989 to 1991.[9] Boden is a member of the editorial board for The Rutherford Journal.[10]

In 2001 Boden was appointed an OBE for her services in the field of cognitive science.[5] The same year she was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Sussex.[5] She also received an honorary degree from the University of Bristol.[11] A PhD Scholarship that is awarded annually by the Department of Informatics at the University of Sussex was named in her honor.[12]


In October 2014 and January 2015, Boden was interviewed by Jim Al-Khalili on the BBC Radio Four programme The Life Scientific.[7]

In February 2017, Boden, along with other researchers, participated in a debate organized by the British Academy on the readiness of humans to develop romantic relationships with robots.[13]



See also


  1. ^ "Today in History - November 26 - Page 4". Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  2. ^ "Notable Alumni". City of London School for Girls. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  3. ^ (11 April 2014). "Cambridge Women Philosophers — Faculty of Philosophy". Retrieved 18 March 2019.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ "Hove's Maggie Boden: A world authority on artificial intelligence". Sussex Life. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d "Professor Margaret Boden awarded OBE". Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  6. ^ "John Templeton Foundation: Participants". Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b "BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Margaret Boden". 21 October 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  8. ^ "Margaret A Boden | Home Page". Archived from the original on 5 October 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  9. ^ "Professor Margaret Boden". The British Academy. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Editorial board". The Rutherford Journal. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  11. ^ Bristol, University of. "2002: Honorary Degrees awarded | News | University of Bristol". Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  12. ^ Team, Web. "The Margaret Boden Informatics PhD Scholarship : University of Sussex". Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  13. ^ "Are we ready for robot relationships?". Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  14. ^ Noam Chomsky Symposium on Margaret Boden, Mind as Machine: A History of Cognitive Science, Oxford (2006) two volumes. Reviewed in Artificial Intelligence Volume 171, Issue 18, (December 2007) Pages 1094-1103
  15. ^ "2016 ISAL Awards: Winners". 11 July 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2020.