On This Day … 24 August

People (Births)

  • 1915 – James Tiptree Jr. (Alice Bradley Sheldon), American psychologist and science fiction author (d. 1987).
  • 1923 – Arthur Jensen, American psychologist and academic (d. 2012).

People (Deaths)

  • 2004 – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Swiss-American psychiatrist and academic (b. 1926).

James Tiptree Jr.

Alice Bradley Sheldon (born Alice Hastings Bradley; 24 August 1915 to 19 May 1987) was an American science fiction author better known as James Tiptree Jr., a pen name she used from 1967 to her death. It was not publicly known until 1977 that James Tiptree Jr. was a woman. From 1974 to 1977 she also used the pen name Raccoona Sheldon. Sheldon was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012.

She studied for her bachelor of arts degree at American University (1957-1959), going on to achieve a doctorate at George Washington University in Experimental Psychology in 1967. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on the responses of animals to novel stimuli in differing environments. During this time, she wrote and submitted a few science fiction stories under the name James Tiptree Jr., in order to protect her academic reputation.

Arthur Jensen

Arthur Robert Jensen (24 August 1923 to 22 October 2012) was an American psychologist and writer. He was a professor of educational psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Jensen was known for his work in psychometrics and differential psychology, the study of how and why individuals differ behaviourally from one another.

He was a major proponent of the hereditarian position in the nature and nurture debate, the position that genetics play a significant role in behavioural traits, such as intelligence and personality. He was the author of over 400 scientific papers published in refereed journals and sat on the editorial boards of the scientific journals Intelligence and Personality and Individual Differences.

Jensen was controversial, largely for his conclusions regarding the causes of race-based differences in IQ. A 2019 study found him to be the most controversial intelligence researcher among 55 persons covered.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (08 July 1926 to 24 August 2004) was a Swiss-American psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies, and author of the internationally best-selling book, On Death and Dying (1969), where she first discussed her theory of the five stages of grief, also known as the “Kübler-Ross model”.

Kübler-Ross was a 2007 inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame, was named by Time as one of the “100 Most Important Thinkers” of the 20th century and was the recipient of nineteen honorary degrees. By July 1982, Kübler-Ross taught 125,000 students in death and dying courses in colleges, seminaries, medical schools, hospitals, and social-work institutions. In 1970, she delivered an Ingersoll Lecture at Harvard University on the theme On Death and Dying.

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