BBC presenter chairs 'pioneers' discussion

Four eminent psychologists, including Dr Geoff Bunn of BBC Radio 4's A History of the Brain, will present the case for, who they believe to be pioneers of psychological science.

The symposium, introduced by Dr Bunn of Manchester Metropolitan University, and featuring Dr Peter Lamont of the University of Edinburgh, Dr Alan Collins of the University of Lancaster, and Dr Peter Hegarty of the University of Surrey, takes place today (19 April) at the British Psychological Society (BPS) Annual Conference held at the Grand Connaught Rooms, London (18-20 April).

This session celebrates the launch of the BPS Origins project, a web-based, multimedia timeline charting the development and contributions of psychological science as well as showcasing some of the BPS archive. During the symposium:

Dr Bunn nominates Liam Hudson (1933-2005)
He says: "I will celebrate Hudson's contributions to psychology and argue why he should be regarded as one of the greatest pioneer psychologists of the twentieth century."

Dr Hegarty nominates Michel Foucault (1926-1984)
He says: "Unlike all other contenders for the title 'greatest psychologist' only Michel Foucalt has produced a body of work that can account for human conduct and the means by which it became studied as psychology."

Dr Lamont nominates Edward Cox (1809-79)
He says: "Cox, although not widely known, was the founder of the first British psychological society. I will discuss the relevance Cox has to psychology today."

Dr Collins nominates Kenneth Craik (1914-1945)
He says: "I will examine Craik's reputation and his importance to the history of British psychology."

The BPS Origins timeline begins in the 1840s and ends at the turn of the century. Along the way visitors will learn about the development of intelligence testing in 1904, Harry Harlow's maternal deprivation experiments in 1958, and Philip Zimbardo's controversial Stanford Prison experiment in 1971.

BPS Origins is a joint project between the British Psychological Society's History of Psychology Centre, History and Philosophy of Psychology Section and Psychology Education Board.