Monday, August 17, 2009

Breaking: Ludy Benjamin resigns from the APA

The Advances in the History of Psychology blog is breaking the news this evening that Texas A&M professor Dr. Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. has resigned from the APA. In an e-mail to the listserv of the Society for the History of Psychology, Benjamin indicated that his concerns with APA began when the APA Council began "passing resolutions on the involvement of psychologists in torture and interrogations that were opposite to positions taken by other national associations" (some background here) but those concerns were intensified during recent discussions to cut funding to the Archives of the History of American Psychology. Benjamin indicated that it was not the decision to cut the funding but the "subterfuge" that involved both the cuts and the debate about the cuts at the APA convention that outraged him. The full AHP story with more details can be found here.

In addition to his work as an outstanding scholar in and professor of the history of psychology, Dr. Benjamin has been one of the most powerful advocates for high school psychology for more than thirty years. He was one of the driving forces behind getting psychology added to the stable of approved courses by ETS/AP and led a number of NSF workshops for high school teachers at College Station in the '80s. His activity books for introductory psychology remain essential for any psych teacher and his drive to keep helping high school psychology teachers (as evident at the recent workshop at Clark) has been unwavering. Regardless of agendas, biases or ideology, Dr. Benjamin's contributions to our field have been enormous, and I hope this does not in any way tarnish his work.

1 comment:

Rob Mc said...

I encourage anyone reading about Dr. Benjamin's principled stand to write him a note of congratulations (and forward a copy to the APA?). As Steve said, Dr. Benjamin has been helping high school psychology teachers for decades and I admire his ethical stance. I hope this is a wake up call for some of the APA board members.