G. E. Berrios

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German E. Berrios FMedSci is a Professor of Psychiatry at Cambridge University in the UK.

He was born in Tacna, Peru, and studied medicine and philosophy at the University of San Marcos (Lima, Peru). Subsequently, he read Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology (PPP) at Corpus Christi College, Oxford University, where he was a scholar by examination. He did postgraduate work in the history and philosophy of science at the same university under Charles Webster (medical historian), Alistair Cameron Crombie (historian of science), and Rom Harré (philosopher of science); and trained in neurology and psychiatry at the (then) Oxford United Hospitals.

Between 1973 and 1976 he was a Lecturer in Psychiatry at the University of Leeds where he trained in medical statistics under Professor Max Hamilton and received didactic analysis from Harry Guntrip.

Since 1977, he has taught at Cambridge University, UK (Departments of Psychiatry and of History and Philosophy of Science) where he currently holds the Chair of the Epistemology of Psychiatry and is a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist at Addenbrooke's Hospital (Cambridge, UK). He is a Life Fellow of Robinson College, and Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists of the UK, the British Psychological Society, and the Academy of Medical Sciences. In 1989, he founded (with the late Roy Porter) the international journal History of Psychiatry[1] of which he remains the editor.

He is married to Doris Alvarado Contreras (born Nazca, Peru, 1942); they have had 4 children: German Arnaldo (deceased), Francisco Javier (deceased), Claudio Fabricio (Business Analyst) and Ruben Ernesto (Philosopher).

His research has centred on the psychiatric complications of neurological disease[1] and the history, structure and epistemological power of descriptive psychopathology.[2] His ideas have been developed further by graduates from countries as far apart as Australia, Japan, Brazil, India, Chile, Colombia, China, Italy, and Spain who once attended the "Cambridge School of Psychopathology".[3] He is also interested in the ethics of research and for the last 18 years has been Chairman of the Cambridge Research Ethics Committee. He has been visiting professor at Universities in Hong Kong, Barcelona, Lima, Heidelberg, Jerusalem, Cornell, Adelaide, Chile, Mexico, Medellin, etc.

He has published 14 books and more than 400 papers on the clinical, historical and philosophical aspects of neuropsychiatry,[4] descriptive psychopathology, and the hermeneutics of mental symptoms.[5] He holds degrees honoris causa from the University of Heidelberg (Germany); the University of San Marcos (Perú); the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain); the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina); the National University of Cordoba (Argentina); and the University of Chile (Chile). In 2006, a Chair in Descriptive Psychopathology carrying his name was established at the University of Antioquia (Medellín, Colombia).[2] In 2007 he was awarded the Order of the Sun (Class: Grand Officer) by the Peruvian Government; in 2008 the Ramón y Cajal Award by the International Neuropsychiatric Association [3]; in 2010 he was made Honorary Fellow by the Royal College of Psychiatrists of the UK; and in 2016 he received a Life-Achievement Award from La Sociedad Española de Psicogeriatría,[6] and the Honorio Delgado Medal from the Instituto Nacional de Salud Mental Honorio Delgado – Hideyo Noguchi, Perú.[4] In 2018 he received the ‘Maestro Laguna‘ award from the University of Alcalá (Madrid, Spain). [5]


  1. ^ http://hpy.sagepub.com/
  2. ^ Berrios G.E. (1996) The History of Mental Symptoms. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ http://www.dinarte.es/salud-mental/neu074/074deba3.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.deficitdeatencionperu.org/berrios.htm
  5. ^ Berrios, German Elias (2013) Formation and meaning of mental symptoms: history and epistemology. Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences, 6(2):39-48 http://www.crossingdialogues.com/Ms-A13-02.htm
  6. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cifNlYVZoJw

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