On This Day … 22 July

People (Births)

  • 1881 – Augusta Fox Bronner, American psychologist, specialist in juvenile psychology (d. 1966).
  • 1893 – Karl Menninger, American psychiatrist and author (d. 1990).

People (Deaths)

  • 2012 – George Armitage Miller, American psychologist and academic (b. 1920).

Augusta Fox Bronner

Augusta Fox Bronner (22 July 1881 to 11 December 1966) was an American psychologist, best known for her work in juvenile psychology. She co-directed the first child guidance clinic, and her research shaped psychological theories about the causes behind child delinquency, emphasizing the need to focus on social and environmental factors over inherited traits.

In 1913, while taking a summer course at Harvard University, Bronner met Chicago neurologist and professor William Healy. Healy was equally interested in the study of child delinquency, and subsequently hired Bronner to work as a psychologist at his Chicago Juvenile Psychopathic Institute. In 1914, the institute was renamed the Psychopathic Clinic of the Juvenile Court, and Bronner soon became the assistant director. Bronner and Healy proceeded to shape the study and treatment of delinquent youth, contributing to the scientific understanding that most juvenile crime stemmed from “mental repressions, social conflicts, and family relations”, not hereditary factors. Among other research, Bronner identified that delinquency often arose as a result of placing children with learning disabilities or special abilities in the wrong kinds of educational environments.

In 1917, Bronner and Healy took up new positions at the Judge Baker Foundation of Boston (later the Judge Baker Children’s Centre), a new publicly funded child guidance clinic attached to the Boston juvenile court. Bronner handled most of the psychological examinations of youth, as well as interviews with girls and the youngest children. In 1927, Bronner and Healy wrote the influential Manual of Individual Mental Tests and Testing, a comprehensive guide to assessing a patient’s mental state. Although Healy was originally given the full position of director, with Bronner acting as assistant director, Bronner eventually became co-director of the Foundation in 1930. The Judge Baker Foundation soon became a model for other child guidance clinics across the country, with its co-directors developing important psychiatric practices such as the “team” method, in which psychologists worked together with social workers and physicians to treat a patient.

On 19 November 1930, Bronner and Healy were invited by President Herbert Hoover to attend the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection.

During the 1930s, Bronner also worked briefly in New Haven, Connecticut, as Director of the short-lived Research Institute of Human Relations at Yale University. She was president of the American Orthopsychiatric Association in 1932.

Karl Menninger

Karl Augustus Menninger (22 July 1893 to 18 July 1990) was an American psychiatrist and a member of the Menninger family of psychiatrists who founded the Menninger Foundation and the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.

Beginning with an internship in Kansas City, Menninger worked at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital and taught at Harvard Medical School. In 1919, he returned to Topeka where, together with his father, he founded the Menninger Clinic. By 1925, they had attracted enough investors, including brother William C. Menninger, to build the Menninger Sanitarium. His book, The Human Mind, which explained the science of psychiatry, was published in 1930.

The Menninger Foundation was established in 1941. After World War II, Karl Menninger was instrumental in founding the Winter Veterans Administration Hospital, in Topeka. It became the largest psychiatric training centre in the world. He was among the first members of the Society for General Systems Research.

In 1946 he founded the Menninger School of Psychiatry. It was renamed in his honour in 1985 as the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry and Mental Health Science. In 1952, Karl Targownik, who would become one of his closest friends, joined the Clinic.

George Armitage Miller

George Armitage Miller (03 February 1920 to 22 July 2012) was an American psychologist who was one of the founders of cognitive psychology, and more broadly, of cognitive science. He also contributed to the birth of psycholinguistics. Miller wrote several books and directed the development of WordNet, an online word-linkage database usable by computer programmes. He authored the paper, “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two,” in which he observed that many different experimental findings considered together reveal the presence of an average limit of seven for human short-term memory capacity. This paper is frequently cited by psychologists and in the wider culture. Miller won numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science.

Miller began his career when the reigning theory in psychology was behaviourism, which eschewed the study of mental processes and focused on observable behaviour. Rejecting this approach, Miller devised experimental techniques and mathematical methods to analyse mental processes, focusing particularly on speech and language. Working mostly at Harvard University, MIT and Princeton University, he went on to become one of the founders of psycholinguistics and was one of the key figures in founding the broader new field of cognitive science, circa 1978. He collaborated and co-authored work with other figures in cognitive science and psycholinguistics, such as Noam Chomsky. For moving psychology into the realm of mental processes and for aligning that move with information theory, computation theory, and linguistics, Miller is considered one of the great twentieth-century psychologists. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Miller as the 20th most cited psychologist of that era.

On This Day … 20 July

People (Births)

  • 1925 – Frantz Fanon, French-Algerian psychiatrist and philosopher (d. 1961).
  • 1927 – Ian P. Howard, English-Canadian psychologist and academic (d. 2013).

People (Deaths)

  • 2009 – Mark Rosenzweig, American psychologist and academic (b. 1922).

Frantz Fanon

Frantz Omar Fanon (20 July 1925 to 06 December 1961), also known as Ibrahim Frantz Fanon, was a French West Indian psychiatrist and political philosopher from the French colony of Martinique (today a French department). His works have become influential in the fields of post-colonial studies, critical theory and Marxism. As well as being an intellectual, Fanon was a political radical, Pan-Africanist, and Marxist humanist concerned with the psychopathology of colonisation and the human, social, and cultural consequences of decolonisation.

In the course of his work as a physician and psychiatrist, Fanon supported Algeria’s War of independence from France and was a member of the Algerian National Liberation Front.

For more than five decades, the life and works of Frantz Fanon have inspired national-liberation movements and other radical political organisations in Palestine, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the United States. He formulated a model for community psychology, believing that many mental-health patients would do better if they were integrated into their family and community instead of being treated with institutionalised care. He also helped found the field of institutional psychotherapy while working at Saint-Alban under Francois Tosquelles and Jean Oury.

Fanon published numerous books, including The Wretched of the Earth (1961). This influential work focuses on what he believed is the necessary role of violence by activists in conducting decolonisation struggles.

Ian P. Howard

Ian Porteus Howard (20 July 1927 to 01 June 2013) was a Canadian psychologist and researcher in visual perception at York University in Toronto.

He studied for a BSc at Manchester University, graduating in 1952. Howard held academic positions in Departments of Psychology at Durham University (1953-1964) (from which he obtained his PhD in 1965), at New York University (1965), and at York University in Toronto (1966-2013). At York University, he contributed to the development of the Department of Psychology and, in 1992 founded the Centre for Vision Research (CVR).

While at York, Howard became full professor. Upon retirement in 1993, he became Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, a position he held until his death.

Mark Rosenzweig

Mark Richard Rosenzweig (12 September 1922 to 20 July 2009) was an American research psychologist whose research on neuroplasticity in animals indicated that the adult brain remains capable of anatomical remodelling and reorganisation based on life experiences, overturning the conventional wisdom that the brain reached full maturity in childhood.

He attended the University of Rochester planning to major in history, but ended up switching to psychology and receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1943 and a master’s degrees in 1944 with a focus on auditory perception.

Following the completion of his studies in 1944, he enlisted in the United States Navy, initially serving as a radar technician at the Anacostia Naval Station. He was later relocated to Tsingtao in China, where he was stationed on the seaplane tender USS Chincoteague.

He attended Harvard University after completing his military service in 1946, and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1949. His thesis showed that the connections between the cochlea and the cerebral cortex could be monitored using electrodes placed on the scalp, without requiring cranial surgery.

On This Day … 18 July

People (Births)

People (Deaths)

  • 1990 – Karl Menninger, American psychiatrist and author (b. 1896).

Aaron T. Beck

Aaron Temkin Beck is an American psychiatrist who is professor emeritus in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania. He is regarded as the father of both cognitive therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. His pioneering theories are widely used in the treatment of clinical depression and various anxiety disorders. Beck also developed self-report measures of depression and anxiety, notably the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) which became one of the most widely used instruments for measuring depression severity. In 1994, he and his daughter, psychologist Judith S. Beck, founded the non-profit Beck Institute for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy providing CBT treatment, training, and research. Beck currently serves as President Emeritus of the organisation.

Beck is noted for his research in psychotherapy, psychopathology, suicide, and psychometrics. He has published more than 600 professional journal articles, and authored or co-authored 25 books. He has been named one of the “Americans in history who shaped the face of American Psychiatry”, and one of the “five most influential psychotherapists of all time” by The American Psychologist in July 1989. His work at the University of Pennsylvania inspired Martin Seligman to refine his own cognitive techniques and later work on learned helplessness.

Karl Menninger

Karl Augustus Menninger (22 July 1893 to 18 July 1990) was an American psychiatrist and a member of the Menninger family of psychiatrists who founded the Menninger Foundation and the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.

Beginning with an internship in Kansas City, Menninger worked at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital and taught at Harvard Medical School. In 1919, he returned to Topeka where, together with his father, he founded the Menninger Clinic. By 1925, they had attracted enough investors, including brother William C. Menninger, to build the Menninger Sanitarium. His book, The Human Mind, which explained the science of psychiatry, was published in 1930.

The Menninger Foundation was established in 1941. After World War II, Karl Menninger was instrumental in founding the Winter Veterans Administration Hospital, in Topeka. It became the largest psychiatric training centre in the world. He was among the first members of the Society for General Systems Research.

In 1946 he founded the Menninger School of Psychiatry. It was renamed in his honour in 1985 as the Karl Menninger School of Psychiatry and Mental Health Science. In 1952, Karl Targownik, who would become one of his closest friends, joined the Clinic.

On This Day … 17 July

People (Births)

  • 1911 – Heinz Lehmann, German-Canadian psychiatrist and academic (d. 1999).
  • 1923 – Jeanne Block, American psychologist (d. 1981).

People (Deaths)

  • 1991 – John Patrick Spiegel, American psychiatrist and academic (b. 1911).

Heinz Lehmann

Heinz Edgar Lehmann OC FRSC (17 July 1911 to 07 April 1999) was a German-born Canadian psychiatrist best known for his use of chlorpromazine for the treatment of schizophrenia in 1950s and “truly the father of modern psychopharmacology.”

Early Life

Born in Berlin, Germany, he was educated at the University of Freiburg, the University of Marburg, the University of Vienna, and the University of Berlin. He emigrated to Canada in 1937.

Hospital Work in Canada

In 1947, he was appointed the clinical director of Montreal’s Douglas Hospital. From 1971 to 1975, he was the chair of the McGill University Department of Psychiatry. He was also a humane lecturer in psychiatry in 1952, and was able to give empathetic lectures on the plight of people suffering from anxiety, depression obsessions, paranoia etc. No one to that time had been able to understand or help schizophrenic patients, who filled mental hospitals around the world, so when chlorpromazine showed some promise he helped to promote it in North America and start the drug revolution. He was ahead of his time in that he supported research in the use of the active ingredient psilocybin to alleviate anxiety.

Le Dain Commission

From 1969 to 1972, he was one of the five members of the Le Dain Commission, a royal commission appointed in Canada to study the non-medical use of drugs. He was an advocate for decriminalisation of marijuana.

DSM Work

In 1973, he was a member of the Nomenclature Committee of the American Psychiatric Association that decided to drop homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, i.e. to depathologise it.

Honours and Awards

In 1970 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and, in 1976, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in 1998.

Heinz Lehmann Award

In 1999, the Canadian College of Neuropsychopharmacology established the Heinz Lehmann Award in his honour, given in recognition of outstanding contributions to research in neuropsychopharmacology in Canada.

Jeanne Block

Jeanne Lavonne Humphrey Block (17 July 1923 to 04 December 1981) was an American psychologist and expert on child development. She conducted research into sex-role socialisation and, with her husband Jack Block, created a person-centred personality framework. Block was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and conducted her research with the National Institute of Mental Health and the University of California, Berkeley. She was an active researcher when she was diagnosed with cancer in 1981.

Early Life and Education

Block was born in 1923 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was raised in a small town in Oregon. After graduating from high school, she entered Oregon State University as a home economics major, but she was dissatisfied with her education. She joined SPARS, the women’s branch of the United States Coast Guard, in 1944. While serving in World War II, Block was badly burned and nearly died. She was treated with skin grafts, and she was able to return to military service until 1946.

In 1947, after completing a psychology degree at Reed College, she attended graduate school at Stanford University. At Stanford, Block met two mentors, Ernest Hilgard and Maud Merrill James. Hilgard wrote a popular general psychology textbook and co-wrote a textbook on learning theories, and he became president of the American Psychological Association. James had been an associate of intelligence researcher Lewis Terman. Block also met her future husband and research collaborator, Jack Block, during her time at Stanford.


Pregnant at the time she finished her Ph.D. at Stanford in 1951, Block worked mostly part-time in the 1950s while she raised four children. Block and her husband created a person-centred personality theory that became popular among personality researchers. The theory examined personality in terms of two variables, ego-resiliency (the ability to respond flexibly to changing situations) and ego-control (the ability to suppress impulses). In 1963, she was awarded a National Institute of Mental Health fellowship and she moved with her family to Norway for a year. She joined the faculty as a research psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute of Human Development in 1965. She became a professor-in-residence in the department of psychology in 1979.

In the 1970s, Block published an analysis the sex-role socialisation occurring in several groups of children in the United States and Northern Europe. Even across countries, boys were typically raised to be independent, high-achieving and unemotional, and girls were generally encouraged to express feelings, to foster close relationships and to pursue typical feminine ideals.

Block was made a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1980 and received the Lester N. Hofheimer Prize for outstanding psychiatric research from the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1979. She was elected president of the APA Division of Developmental Psychology.

In 1984 her book, Sex Role Identity and Ego Development was published posthumously.

John Patrick Spiegel

John Paul Spiegel (17 March 1911 to 17 July 1991) was an American psychiatrist, and expert on violence and combat stress and the 103rd President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). As president-elect of the APA in 1973, he helped to change the definition of homosexuality in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) which had previously described homosexuality as sexual deviance and that homosexuals were pathological.

Spiegel was born in Chicago, Illinois, attended Dartmouth College and graduated in 1934. He received his medical degree in 1938 from Northwestern University School of Medicine. He later taught at the University of Chicago and Harvard University, and practiced medicine at Michael Reese Hospital.

During World War II, he served as a medical officer in the Army Air Corps. He joined the faculty of Brandeis University, where he headed the Lemberg Centre for the Study of Violence from 1966 to 1979.

On This Day … 16 July

People (Births)

  • 1902 – Alexander Luria, Russian psychologist and physician (d. 1977).
  • 1923 – Chris Argyris, American psychologist, theorist, and academic (d. 2013).

Alexander Luria

Alexander Romanovich Luria (Russian: Алекса́ндр Рома́нович Лу́рия; 16 July 1902 to 14 August 1977) was a Soviet Russian neuropsychologist, often credited as a father of modern neuropsychological assessment. He developed an extensive and original battery of neuropsychological tests during his clinical work with brain-injured victims of World War II, which are still used in various forms. He made an in-depth analysis of the functioning of various brain regions and integrative processes of the brain in general. Luria’s magnum opus, Higher Cortical Functions in Man (1962), is a much-used psychological textbook which has been translated into many languages and which he supplemented with The Working Brain in 1973.

It is less known that Luria’s main interests, before the war, were in the field of psycho-semantics (that is, research into how people attribute meaning to words and instructions). He became famous for his studies of low-educated populations in the south of the Soviet Union showing that they use different categorisation than the educated world (determined by functionality of their tools). He was one of the founders of Cultural-Historical Psychology, and a leader of the Vygotsky Circle, also known as “Vygotsky-Luria Circle”. Apart from his work with Vygotsky, Luria is widely known for two extraordinary psychological case studies: The Mind of a Mnemonist, about Solomon Shereshevsky, who had highly advanced memory; and The Man with a Shattered World, about Lev Zasetsky, a man with a severe traumatic brain injury.

During his career Luria worked in a wide range of scientific fields at such institutions as the Academy of Communist Education (1920-1930s), Experimental Defectological Institute (1920-1930s, 1950-1960s, both in Moscow), Ukrainian Psychoneurological Academy (Kharkiv, early 1930s), All-Union Institute of Experimental Medicine, and the Burdenko Institute of Neurosurgery (late 1930s). A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Luria as the 69th most cited psychologist of the 20th century.

Chris Argyris

Chris Argyris (16 July 1923 to 16 November 2013) was an American (of Greek ancestry) business theorist and professor emeritus at Harvard Business School. Argyris, like Richard Beckhard, Edgar Schein and Warren Bennis, is known as a co-founder of organisation development, and known for seminal work on learning organisations.

In World War II he served in the US Army Signal Corps. After his service he studied psychology at Clark University, where he met Kurt Lewin. He obtained his MA in 1947, and joined the Kansas University, where he obtained his MSc in Psychology and Economics in 1949. In 1951 received his PhD from Cornell University, with a thesis under the supervision of William F. Whyte on organisational behaviour.

In 1951 Argyris started his academic career at Yale University as part of the Yale Labour and Management Centre where he worked under its director and an early influence, E. Wight Bakke. At Yale he subsequently became appointed Professor of Management science. In 1971 he moved to Harvard University, where he was Professor of Education and Organisational Behaviour, until his retirement. Argyris was active as director of the consulting firm Monitor in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Argyris received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Toronto in 2006 and a Doctor of Science award from Yale University in 2011.

On This Day … 15 July

People (Births)

  • 1904 – Rudolf Arnheim, German-American psychologist and author (d. 2007).
  • 1918 – Brenda Milner, English-Canadian neuropsychologist and academic.

People (Deaths)

  • 1940 – Eugen Bleuler, Swiss psychiatrist and physician (b. 1857).

Rudolf Arnheim

Rudolf Arnheim (15 July 1904 to 09 June 2007) was a German-born author, art and film theorist, and perceptual psychologist. He learned Gestalt psychology from studying under Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Köhler at the University of Berlin and applied it to art. His magnum opus was his book Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye (1954). Other major books by Arnheim have included Visual Thinking (1969), and The Power of the Center: A Study of Composition in the Visual Arts (1982). Art and Visual Perception was revised, enlarged and published as a new version in 1974, and it has been translated into fourteen languages. He lived in Germany, Italy, England, and America where he taught at Sarah Lawrence College, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan. He has greatly influenced art history and psychology in America.

In Art and Visual Perception, Arnheim tries to use science to better understand art. In his later book Visual Thinking (1969), Arnheim critiques the assumption that language goes before perception. For Arnheim, the only access to reality we have is through our senses. Arnheim also argues that perception is strongly identified with thinking, and that artistic expression is another way of reasoning. In The Power of the Centre, Arnheim addresses the interaction of art and architecture on concentric and grid spatial patterns. He argues that form and content are indivisible, and that the patterns created by artists reveal the nature of human experience.

Brenda Milner

Brenda Milner CC GOQ FRS FRSC (née Langford; 15 July 1918) is a British-Canadian neuropsychologist who has contributed extensively to the research literature on various topics in the field of clinical neuropsychology. As of 2010, Milner is a professor in the Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery at McGill University and a professor of Psychology at the Montreal Neurological Institute. As of 2005, she holds more than 20 degrees and continues to work in her nineties. Her current work covers many aspects of neuropsychology including her lifelong interest in the involvement of the temporal lobes in episodic memory. She is sometimes referred to as “the founder of neuropsychology” and has proven to be an essential key in its development. She received the Balzan Prize for Cognitive Neuroscience, in 2009, and the Kavli Prize in Neuroscience, together with John O’Keefe, and Marcus E. Raichle, in 2014. She turned 100 in July 2018 and at the time was still overseeing the work of researchers.

Eugen Bleuler

Paul Eugen Bleuler (30 April 1857 to 15 July 1939) was a Swiss psychiatrist and eugenicist most notable for his contributions to the understanding of mental illness. He coined many psychiatric terms, such as “schizophrenia”, “schizoid”, “autism”, depth psychology and what Sigmund Freud called “Bleuler’s happily chosen term ambivalence”.

Bleuler studied medicine in Zürich. He trained for his psychiatric residency at Waldau Hospital under Gottileb Burckhardt, a Swiss psychiatrist, from 1881-1884. He left his job in 1884 and spent one year on medical study trips with Jean-Martin Charcot, a French neurologist in Paris, Bernhard von Gudden, a German psychiatrist in Munich, and to London. After these trips, he returned to Zürich to briefly work as assistant to Auguste Forel while completing his psychiatric residency at the Burghölzli, a university hospital.

Bleuler became the director of a psychiatric clinic in Rheinau, a hospital located in an old monastery on an island in the Rhine. At the time, the clinic was known for being functionally backward and largely ineffective. Because of this, Bleuler set about improving conditions for the patients residing there.

In the year 1898, Bleuler returned to the Burghölzli and became a psychiatry professor at Burghölzli, the same university hospital he completed his residency. He was also appointed director of the mental asylum in Rheinau. He served as the director from the years 1898 to 1927. While working at this asylum, Bleuler cared for long-term psychiatric patients. He also implemented both psychoanalytic treatment and research, and was influenced by Sigmund Freud.

During his time as the director of psychiatry at Burghölzli, Bleuler made great contributions to the field of psychiatry and psychology that made him known today. Because of these findings, Bleuler has been described as one of the most influential Swiss psychiatrists.

On This Day … 12 July

People (Births)

  • 1947 – Richard C. McCarty, American psychologist and academic.
  • 1959 – Karl J. Friston, English psychiatrist and neuroscientist.

Richard C. McCarthy

Richard C. McCarty (born 12 July 1947) is a professor of psychology and the former provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to serving as provost, he was dean of Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science.

McCarty grew up in Portsmouth, Virginia, and earned both his bachelor’s and his master’s degrees from Old Dominion University. He earned his Ph.D. in pathobiology from what is now the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland in 1976.

McCarty began his career at the National Institute of Mental Health, where he worked as a research associate in pharmacology. He also served as a lieutenant commander in the US Public Health Service. In 1978, he was appointed assistant professor of psychology at the University of Virginia, where he remained until 1998. During his time at Virginia, he served as chair of the Department of Psychology from 1990-1998.

In 1998, McCarty was named Executive Director for Science at the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C., where he helped the APA launch the “Decade of Behaviour”. The Decade of Behaviour, a nickname for the 2000s and successor to the 1990s’ “Decade of the Brain”, was a public education campaign – endorsed by more than 70 professional associations across a variety of disciplines – to bring attention to the importance of behavioural and social science research. McCarty also spent time visiting universities and regional psychological associations to discuss how the APA might better represent psychologists nationally.

Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science named McCarty as its new dean in 2001. In addition to his decanal duties, McCarty taught a psychology seminar for first-year undergraduate students entitled “Stress, Health, and Behaviour” and had a dual appointment in the Department of Pharmacology in the School of Medicine. On 06 May 2008, McCarty was elevated to the university provostship, replacing Nicholas S. Zeppos, who was himself elevated to the university chancery. McCarty stepped down from the position of provost on 30 June 2014; he joined the Vanderbilt Psychology Department faculty after a yearlong leave.

Much of McCarty’s research has centred on behavioural and physiological adaptations to stress, and he has written more than 30 chapters and 150 articles for various publications. In addition, McCarty served as the editor of American Psychologist and was the founding editor-in-chief of Stress. In 2020, his monograph, Stress and Mental Disorders: Insights From Animal Models, was published by Oxford University Press. He is currently working on a textbook, Stress, Health, and Disease, which is under contract with Guilford Press and has an expected publication date of 2022.

Karl J. Friston

Karl John Friston FRS, FMedSci, FRSB, is a British neuroscientist at University College London and an authority on brain imaging. He gained reputation as the main proponent of the free energy principle and predictive coding theory.

Friston studied natural sciences (physics and psychology) at the University of Cambridge in 1980, and completed his medical studies at King’s College Hospital, London.

Friston subsequently qualified under the Oxford University Rotational Training Scheme in Psychiatry, and is now a Professor of Neuroscience at University College London. He is currently a Wellcome Trust Principal Fellow and Scientific Director of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. He also holds an honorary consultant post at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He invented statistical parametric mapping: SPM is an international standard for analysing imaging data and rests on the general linear model and random field theory (developed with Keith Worsley). In 1994 his group developed voxel-based morphometry. VBM detects differences in neuroanatomy and is used clinically and as a surrogate in genetic studies.

These technical contributions were motivated by schizophrenia research and theoretical studies of value-learning (with Gerry Edelman). In 1995, this work was formulated as the disconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia (with Chris Frith). In 2003, he invented dynamic causal modelling (DCM), which is used to infer the architecture of distributed systems like the brain. Mathematical contributions include variational (generalised) filtering and dynamic expectation maximisation (DEM), which are Variational Bayesian methods for time-series analysis. Friston currently works on models of functional integration in the human brain and the principles that underlie neuronal interactions. His main contribution to theoretical neurobiology is a variational free energy principle (active inference in the Bayesian brain). According to Google Scholar Karl Friston’s h-index is 232.

In 2020 he became a member of Independent SAGE, an independent alternative to the official COVID-19 pandemic government advisory body Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies. He has worked on applying his dynamic causal modelling technique and an alternative approach to modelling the pandemic. On 07 April 2021 The Daily Telegraph publicised his work as predicting the United Kingdom would reach herd immunity on 12 April 2021, with a significantly different outcome to other academic pandemic models.

In 1996, Friston received the first Young Investigators Award in Human Brain Mapping, and was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (1999) in recognition of contributions to the bio-medical sciences. In 2000 he was President of the international Organisation for Human Brain Mapping. In 2003 he was awarded the Minerva Golden Brain Award and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006 and received a Collège de France Medal in 2008. In 2011 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of York and became a Fellow of the Society of Biology.

On This Day … 11 July

People (Births)

  • 1943 – Howard Gardner, American psychologist and academic.

Howard Gardener

Howard Earl Gardner (born 11 July 1943) is an American developmental psychologist and the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He is currently the senior director of Harvard Project Zero, and since 1995, he has been the co-director of The Good Project.

Gardner has written hundreds of research articles and thirty books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. He is best known for his theory of multiple intelligences, as outlined in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

Gardner retired from teaching in 2019. In 2020, he published his intellectual memoir A Synthesizing Mind.


Gardner graduated from Harvard College in 1965 with an BA in social relations, and studied under the renowned Erik Erikson. After spending one year at the London School of Economics, he went on to obtain his PhD in developmental psychology at Harvard while working with psychologists Roger Brown and Jerome Bruner, and philosopher Nelson Goodman.

For his postdoctoral fellowship, Gardner worked alongside Norman Geschwind at Boston Veterans Administration Hospital and continued his work there for another 20 years. In 1986, Gardner became a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Since 1995, much of the focus of his work has been on The GoodWork Project, now part of a larger initiative known as The Good Project that encourages excellence, ethics, and engagement in work, digital life, and beyond.

In 2000, Gardner, Kurt Fischer, and their colleagues at the Harvard Graduate School of Education established the master’s degree program in Mind, Brain and Education. This program was thought to be the first of its kind around the world. Many universities in both the United States and abroad have since developed similar programs. Since then, Gardner has published books on a number of topics including Changing Minds: The Art and Science of Changing Our Own and Other People’s Minds, Five Minds for the Future, Truth, Beauty and Goodness Reframed, and The App Generation (written with Katie Davis).

On This Day … 09 July

People (Births)

  • 1940 – Eugene Victor Wolfenstein, American psychoanalyst and theorist (d. 2010).

Eugene Victor Wolfenstein

Eugene Victor Wolfenstein (09 July 1940 to 15 December 2010) was an American social theorist, practicing psychoanalyst, and a professor of political science at University of California, Los Angeles.

Wolfenstein graduated with his Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Columbia College in 1962. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Wolfenstein received his Master of Arts in political science in 1964 and his Ph.D. in political science in 1965 from Princeton University. Wolfenstein became a professor of political science at UCLA.

He also completed a Ph.D. in psychoanalysis from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute in 1984. He was the member of the faculty of the institute from 1988 to 2004. Moreover, he was in private practice from the time he received his degree up to the time of his death.


Wolfenstein worked in the critical theory tradition, with a focus on African American culture and social movements. In his book The Victims of Democracy: Malcolm X and the Black Revolution, he used a theory of the interaction between social classes and psychological groups to analyse white racism and the black liberation struggle. He developed a more general version of this theory in Psychoanalytic-Marxism: Groundwork (1993) and refined it further through engagement with Nietzsche’s philosophy in Inside/Outside Nietzsche: Psychoanalytic Explorations (2000). These later works add a concern with gender identity to the earlier agenda. His research is in the area of African-American narrative. A Gift of the Spirit: Reading THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK (2007) offered a sustained reconstruction of W.E.B. Du Bois’s canonical text. A further study entitled “Talking Books: Toni Morrison Among the Ancestors” was published right before his death.

He was a professor at UCLA. At the undergraduate level, he taught the lower division Introduction to Political Theory, along with Ancient Political Theory, African-American Freedom Narratives, Malcolm X and Black Liberation, Marxist Political Theory, and an occasional seminar on Platonic Dialectic and Spiritual Liberation. At the graduate level, he focused on major works of Du Bois, Foucault, Freud, Hegel, Marx, and Nietzsche, along with the related critical literatures.

His main interests were History of Political Theory, Psychoanalytic Theory and Practice, Critical Theory, Critical Race Theory and Feminist Theory.

On This Day … 08 July

People (Births)

  • 1857 – Alfred Binet, French psychologist and graphologist (d. 1911).
  • 1921 – John Money, New Zealand psychologist and sexologist, responsible for controversial sexual identity study on David Reimer (d. 2006).
  • 1926 – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Swiss-American psychiatrist and author (d. 2004).

People (Deaths)

  • 1939 – Havelock Ellis, English psychologist and author (b. 1859).

Alfred Binet

Alfred Binet (08 July 1857 to 18 October 1911), born Alfredo Binetti, was a French psychologist who invented the first practical IQ test, the Binet–Simon test. In 1904, the French Ministry of Education asked psychologist Alfred Binet to devise a method that would determine which students did not learn effectively from regular classroom instruction so they could be given remedial work. Along with his collaborator Théodore Simon, Binet published revisions of his test in 1908 and 1911, the last of which appeared just before his death.

John Money

John William Money (08 July 1921 to 07 July 2006) was a New Zealand psychologist, sexologist and author known for his research into sexual identity and biology of gender and his conduct towards vulnerable patients. He was one of the first researchers to publish theories on the influence of societal constructs of gender on individual formation of gender identity. Money introduced the terms gender identity, gender role and sexual orientation and popularised the term paraphilia. He spent a considerable amount of his career in America.

Recent academic studies have criticized Money’s work in many respects, particularly in regard to his involvement with the involuntary sex-reassignment of the child David Reimer, his forcing this child and his brother to simulate sex acts which Money photographed and the adult suicides of both brothers.

Money’s writing has been translated into many languages and includes around 2,000 articles, books, chapters and reviews. He received around 65 honours, awards and degrees in his lifetime. He was also a patron of many famous New Zealand artists, such as Rita Angus and Theo Schoon.

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.

Havelock Ellis

Henry Havelock Ellis (02 February 1859 to 08 July 1939) was an English physician, eugenicist, writer, progressive intellectual and social reformer who studied human sexuality. He co-wrote the first medical textbook in English on homosexuality in 1897, and also published works on a variety of sexual practices and inclinations, as well as on transgender psychology. He is credited with introducing the notions of narcissism and autoeroticism, later adopted by psychoanalysis.

Ellis was among the pioneering investigators of psychedelic drugs and the author of one of the first written reports to the public about an experience with mescaline, which he conducted on himself in 1896. He supported eugenics and served as one of 16 Vice-Presidents of the Eugenics Society from 1909 to 1912.