Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Kenneth ClarkKenneth Clark
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 763


OK -- I wasn't nervous about the presiding responsibility. I mean, what the hell. To me, the most important thing about presiding is listening to people, and when you think that they've talked long enough, you find some gracious way of changing the topic or getting somebody else on the floor. So that didn't bother me.

Let's see-- What did bother me, after I became president? Time, I guess. I knew I would have to spend the time, and I couldn't give it the back of my hand. Once I was in that position, I would have to be at the meetings. I'd have to seem interested. And I had a hidden agenda.

My hidden agenda was to find some acceptable way of communicating to my colleagues my ideas about social responsibility of the discipline, and I knew I couldn't do it by haranguing, you know, or soap-boxing or what not; that I had to communicate it in ways that would be consistent with their image of a professional and scientific approach to what seemed to me a very serious problem.

So the first substantive thing I did as president was to ask for a subcommittee on social responsibility of psychology, and to my surprise, my colleagues agreed unanimously that this was an important thing for us to address ourselves to, systematically. And I was given the power to appoint the subcommittee.

I deliberately appointed individuals who, I thought, were going to be most conservative about this-- and by the way, I was pleasantly surprised, as it turned out. Gardner Lindsay, chairman of the department of psychology at University of Texas in Austin,

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help