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Émigré Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Cognitive Scientists in North America Since the Second World War

Preprint 490 from the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

We received a preprint of Émigré Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Cognitive Scientists in North America Since the Second World War (Frank W. Stahnisch, ed.) from the Max Plack Institute for the History of Science today. No other single migratory event in modern global history has shaped today’s landscape, practice, and system in the neurosciences and the biomedical life sciences as the large-scale forced-migration of approximately 3,000 oppositional scientists and 6,000 physicians and health care researchers — among them approximately 600 in psychiatry and neurology — during the rise of Fascism in Europe starting in the 1920s that resulted in the Nazi regime up to the mid-1940s (Weindling, 1996).

The histories of the émigré psychiatrists, psychologists, and cognitive scientists discussed in this special issue show that ideas, and the development of ideas, are as much shaped by contingency as anything else: the history of ideas - and by extension also the history of intellectual culture - is a history of chance survivals and unexpected and sometimes unknown losses. The histories also offer more specific insights into how these forced migrations altered the development of science both in the contexts from which they were removed, and in the new places and institutions into which they were relocated. We are proud to have been the institutional home for the working group that produced this special issue, as well as hosting Dr. Alexandra Loewenau as a visiting postdoctoral fellow in 2015-16. Each year, the Calgary Institute for the Humanities is home to a number of interdisciplinary working groups that bring scholars from different disciplines to pursue common projects that might otherwise not find support in more defined disciplinary contexts. In the recent past, groups have explored such topics as the societal implications of energy transition, the ethics of genomics research, the digitization of archives, and questions of social justice in 'smart cities.' Our goal is to help foster the creation of research networks and clusters that will bring diverse scholars from our university and beyond, to engage in multidisciplinary research projects and collaborations. 

The interdisciplinary group that investigated the effects of the forced migration on the history of medicine is part of a longer institutional tradition at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities with the history and philosophy of science. The historian of science and University of Calgary professor Margaret J. Osler (1942-2010) was three times a resident fellow at the Institute; in her final resident fellowship, she completed her monograph Reconfiguring the World: Nature, God, and Human Understanding in Early Modern Europe (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010). During an earlier residency, she organized an international conference at the Calgary Institute for the Humanities on the theme of "Epicureanism and Stoicism." This conference resulted in her edited collection Atoms, Pneuma, and Tranquillity: Epicurean and Stoic Themes in European Thought (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1991 ), which explored the influence of Lucretian and Epicurean thinking long before Greenblatt's celebrated volume The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (2011)

These articles in Émigré Psychiatrists, Psychologists, and Cognitive Scientists in North America Since the Second World War will appear in History of Intellectual Culture Issue 12/1 (2017-18). 

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