Rick was born in the now infamous town of Walkerton, Ontario long before the water crisis. He did most of his elementary and secondary schooling in St. Catharines, Ontario where he also played high school football and rowed on the famous Henley Regatta course located there. He spent his high school summers working for an industrial fence installation company, putting chain link fences along highways and around factories in the Niagara Peninsula region. Those youthful summer days were a long time ago!
Vern Quinsey was born in Flin Flon Manitoba in 1944 and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario (formerly the city of Port Arthur). He majored in Psychology and minored in Zoology at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks from which he graduated summa cum laude with a BSc in 1966.
Vern received a University Fellowship from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and entered the Biopsychology program under the supervision of Dr. Joe Ayres, receiving his Ph.D. in 1970. He then returned to Canada, very glad to escape the political sequelae of the Vietnam War, and accepted a Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship at Dalhousie University under the supervision of Dr. Charlie Brimer.
He was a psychologist at the maximum security Oak Ridge Division of the Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene, Ontario, where he founded the Research Department and became its first Director in 1976. From 1984 to 1986 he was an invited researcher at the Phillippe Pinel Institute in Montreal. In 1988, he moved to Queen's University as a Queen's National Scholar and Professor of Psychology. Vern was subsequently cross-appointed in Biology and Psychiatry and served as Head of the Psychology Department from 2004-2008.
He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and has been on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Sexual Abuse, the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, and Aggression and Violent Behavior, among others. He has chaired research review panels of the National Institute of Mental Health and the Ontario Mental Health Foundation.
Vern was awarded a Significant Achievement Award of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers in 1994, a Career Contribution Award from the Criminal Justice Section of the Canadian Psychological Association in 2005, and the Hebb Award from the Canadian Psychological Association for contributions to psychology as a science in 2008. He held a Senior Research Fellowship from the Ontario Mental Health Foundation from 1997 to 2003.
His research interests include the prediction, modification, and management of antisocial and violent behavior, applied decision making, program development and evaluation, sexual deviance, and evolutionary explanations of sexual and aggressive behaviors. As of 2008, he had published eight books, 130 papers in refereed journals, and 25 chapters in edited books on these topics. More detail is presented in his intellectual autobiography: http://psyc.queensu.ca/faculty/quinsey/darkside2008.pdf
Merlin Donald was born and raised in Montreal. After completing a BA at Loyola College (now Concordia University) in Montreal, he went on to obtain a PhD in Neuropsychology from McGill University, where he also carried out Graduate Studies in Philosophy. He spent two years as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the West Haven Veterans Administration Medical Center, followed by three years as a Research Neuropsychologist, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine.
Merlin came to Queen’s in 1972, and progressed through the ranks to become a Professor in the Department of Psychology, with adjunct appointments in the Faculty of Education and Department of Psychiatry. He became Head of the Department of Psychology in 2002, and retired from Queen’s in 2005, to become Professor and Founding Chair of the Department of Cognitive Science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
He is the author of many scientific papers, and two influential books: Origins of the Modern Mind: Three stages in the evolution of culture and cognition (Harvard, 1991), and A Mind So Rare: The evolution of human consciousness (Norton, 2001). His work has been translated into seven languages. He has been a visiting professor or scholar at University College London, Harvard, Stanford, UCSD, and elsewhere, as well as a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, at Stanford, and a Killam Research Fellow. He was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association in 1984, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1995. His work has been widely debated in various academic disciplines, including linguistics, archaeology, biology, cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience, and in many high-profile general periodicals such as Science, Nature, and The Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
Merlin has a strong interest in the cognitive study of the arts, and the cultural impact of new media, and his academic work continues to be focused on human cognitive evolution, and especially on the complex interactions between mind, technology and culture. He is also a published poet. He and his wife Thais have two sons, Peter and Julian.
Dr. MacLean, a graduate of the University of Aberdeen, came to Queen's as a Commonwealth Scholar and completed his PhD here in 1969. He returned to Queen's in 1971 following a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Edinburgh. Alistair is a psychologist whose researches aspects of the psychology of sleep. His current focus is on the effects of sleep loss and sleep disorder on performance such as driving. He is a former Head of the Department of Psychology at Queen's University and a past President of the Canadian Sleep Society.
Before becoming Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen's in July, 2006, Dr. MacLean served as Associate Dean and Vice Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science.
Rudy Kalin was born in Einsiedeln, Switzerland, a year before the beginning of WWII. He grew up there, but got his first opportunity to experience North America when he spent a year as a high school exchange student in New Jersey. After enjoying an eye-opening year in the States, he returned to Switzerland to finish the gymnasium run by Benedictine monks, and served his obligatory military service in the Swiss army.
A desire to study psychology and to return to the opportunities of the New World prompted him to apply to American universities. In 1958, he accepted an offer to attend Wesleyan University in Connecticut as a foreign scholar. There he had the privilege of studying under W. R. Thompson and work as his research assistant. He was awarded a B. A. degree with high honors in 1960. He also earned the Thorndike Prize in Psychology and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1926, the son of the managing director of a construction company who had been promoted from the shop floor, Andrew received his education at John Glenn’s School, a noted private school in Glasgow. Drafted into the British Army in 1944, he was posted to a Scottish infantry regiment and took part in the invasion of Sumatra, then occupied by the Japanese, in 1945. After demobilization he went up to Glasgow University where he took a double first in Psychology and Economics. He then undertook post-graduate studies under the supervision of Thomas Freeman, a distinguished psychoanalytic psychiatrist who was editor of the British Journal of Medical Psychology.
Peter was born in India, raised and educated in England, and graduated from Oxford University with degrees in Philosophy and Psychology. Scholar, writer, musician, artist, avid gardener and sportsman; he lived an active and varied life –– at times rather on the edge, but his natural charm helped him through a few awkward situations.
Dictated by Peter in Victoria, B.C., on May 4, 2006, four months before his death
In 1948-49 the Department of Philosophy had become the Department of Philosophy and Psychology. The faculty were divided under these two headings. William Thompson was one of the Instructors for Psychology. There was, between 1949 and 1959, for the academic ranks above Lecturer, a very rapid turnover of faculty in the Department. Thompson had left and returned to Queen's in 1954 to spend two years as Lecturer in Psychology. He came at that time from McGill, where he had carried out some of the pioneering studies of the effects of early environmental restriction on later development in animals. He left in 1956 to take up a position at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. In 1966, William Robert Thompson returned once again to Queen’s, this time as Head of Department of Psychology. Born in 1924 of Canadian parents in Toulon, France, and a graduate of the Universities of Toronto (BA, 1945; MA, 1947) and Chicago (Ph.D., 1951), he had worked in many university departments of psychology in Canada, the United States, and in Australia. An authority in the fields of developmental psychology and behaviour genetics (see, for example, Fuller and Thompson, 1960; 1978), he had held a Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship in the Behavioral Sciences at Palo Alto in 1963-64. He came to Queen’s, on this occasion, just as George Humphrey had done, from Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
Julian Murray Blackburn was born in Hove, England, in 1903. An old Wykehamist, he was a graduate of both the London School of Economics (B.Sc. Econ., 1928) and of Cambridge University (Ph.D., 1933). While he was at Cambridge he had worked, under F.C. Bartlett, with the Industrial Health Research Board (1928-33). After holding a Rockefeller Fellowship at Yale University in 1933-34, he was then employed by the Medical Research Council (and also worked as a clinical psychologist at the Maudsley Hospital) over the years 1935-38. He became a Lecturer in Social Psychology at L.S.E. in 1939, where he remained until he emigrated to Canada in 1948. For one year he was an Associate Professor at McGill University, and was called to the Chair at Queen’s in 1949. While he was still at L.S.E. he had published two brief texts, Psychology and the Social Pattern (1945) and The Framework of Human Behaviour (1947). He was a man who had, when he chose, great power to charm, together with a ready wit (which was, however, not always without its own barbed edge).
George Humphrey was born in Broughton, England in 1889, and took his degree in Greats in Oxford in 1912. He then studied psychology at Leipzig in Wundt’s laboratory as a Cassel Scholar. After that he came to Canada and spent two years as Professor of Classics at St. Francis Xavier University. He then went on to Harvard as Townsend Scholar and gained his Ph. D. there in 1920. After his doctorate he went on to work with Raymond Dodge at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. While he was still at Wesleyan he published his first book, the Story of Man’s Mind (1923), which was a popular psychology text; its contents were described on it dust cover as, “The psychology of business, home and school, with its thousand uses and applications explained for everyone.”
Humphrey’s name first appears in the Queen’s University Calendar for 1925-26 as Charlton Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Mental and Moral Philosophy; his only colleague in that Department for the next three years being H. Reid MacCallum. Humphrey was, as later described by Bartlett (1966), “A man above normal height, neat, active, very friendly; but also on occasion, unyielding, and a good companion.” He is now portrayed in a place of honour in Humphrey Hall, the present home of the Department of Psychology at Queen’s University, as he is shown in the accompanying photograph.
When he was called to Queen’s, he had been asked by the Dean of Arts, Oscar Skelton, to build up the psychological side of the Philosophy Department (Blackburn, 1957) and this he began at once to do, with very great energy and effect.
In terms of undergraduate work, there was a sharp and dramatic change in course content just as soon as Humphrey took over. From a heavy concentration on the Greek and German philosophers, the Department changed to a broad offering of courses in psychology, as well as in philosophy.
By 1930, Humphrey and his new Associate Professor, Reginald Jackson, between them gave ten intramural courses in philosophy, of which five were actually courses in psychology.
By the year 1931-32, Jackson had left the Department , and Humphrey was running his courses with the aid of but one Lecturer, Dr. Gregory Vlastos. Nevertheless, a new course, Philosophy 98. Problems in Psychology, was that year introduced, with the following intent. “A specific problem of a minor character is taken up experimentally. A comprehensive report will be required, which will exhibit the results of the experimental work and give an account of the previous literature. The course is open for advanced students only, and by permission of the instructor.” This certainly reads as if Professor Humphrey had begun in earnest to produce psychologists under cover of his Department of Philosophy!
At the same time as George Humphrey was so radically changing the undergraduate curriculum of his Department he was, of course, also engaged in many other tasks of fundamental importance to the development of psychology in Canada.
In the early years of his appointment he had to beg or borrow laboratory space for his own investigative work wherever he could find it (how, at that time, would a Professor of Philosophy justify his need for a laboratory?).
Only the hospitality of the Department of Biology enabled him to carry out his classical work on conditioning effects using pure tones and arpeggios (Humphrey, 1927), and his studies of habituation in snails (Humphrey, 1930). It was, it will be recalled, Humphrey’s so-called discussion of the patterning of stimulus compounds as part of his influential Principles of Behavior (1943). Humphrey himself put his work on conditioning and learning together in his best book, The Nature of Learning (1933). The year before that he had, with his first wife, published a translation of Itard’s Wild Boy of Averyon (1932), to which he had also added a scholarly introduction.
In his time at Queen’s, Humphrey also wrote the chapter on “Thought” for his first edition of Boring, Langfeld and Weld’s Psychology: a factual textbook (1935). His book Directed Thinking (1948), although it was not published until he had left Canada, was written at Queen’s and in it he acknowledges the help of, “My Friends Gregory Vlastos, who critically read many of the chapters, Martyn Estall, and R.O. Earl, each of whom gave me expert advice.”
Humphrey was also active in the application of psychology to military purposes, especially personnel selection, in the Second World War (Blair, 1966). He joined with other psychologists at that time as a founder-member of the Canadian Psychological Association (Myers, 1965). He was Secretary of the Association for the first three years of its existence, and then followed E.A. Bott as its second elected President. In his spare time he wrote two novels!
In 1947, St. John’s College invited Humphrey over to Cambridge for a year as a Dominion Fellow. That same year, the University of Oxford, defying William McDougall’s (1926) sarcastic prediction, managed to create a Chair to which Humphrey was called, and thus lost to Queen’s.
Inglis, J. (1982). Psychology at Queen's. In M. J. Wright & C.R. Myers (Eds.), History of academic psychology in Canada (pp. 100-115). Toronto Hogrefe (reprinted with permission of publisher).