To what extent did the events of the Cold War alter the methods, aims and spaces of interrogation? How might this history intersect with developments in the ‘psy’ sciences? In July 2016, the Hidden Persuaders project hosted a workshop on these questions.
Danae Karydaki explains why, in our age of ‘post-truth politics’, George Orwell’s essays are now more relevant than ever.
Can comic books negatively condition children’s behavior? In the 1950s that question provoked a furore, when the psychiatrist Frederic Wertham alleged comics had serious, deleterious effects. Dennis Doyle, who teaches history at St Louis College of Pharmacy, explores the story.
Mary Augusta Brazelton explains how one of the first scandals involving ‘Communist brainwashing’ also serves as an entry point for understanding how the Chinese Communist Party used biomedical expertise to consolidate its political power at home.
Professor Frederic Migrayrou presents a history on the diverse techniques used by psychologists, artists and designers to subvert, excavate, reshape and reformat ‘the mind design.’ Using light, sound, drugs, hypnosis, architecture and psychotherapy, these practitioners concocted a plethora of far-out experiments aimed at altering consciousness. In this lecture Migayrou explores this colourful history and the many objects left behind in its wake.
We interviewed cognitive neuropsychologist Tim Shallice about the ‘Five Techniques’ of enhanced interrogation used by British agents in Northern Ireland during The Troubles, and their association with scientific research on sensory deprivation.
Dr. Albert Mason talks to Marcia Holmes about his career in medical hypnotism and psychoanalysis, and describes his experiences as scientific consultant for The Ipcress File film and testing for ESP with Arthur Koestler.
Earlier this year, Daniel Pick and Paul Preston recorded their conversation about the rediscovery of Alfonso Laurencic, a designer of highly unusual prison cells during the Spanish Civil War. Inspired by their discussion, Carl-Henrik Bjerstrom, delves into the circumstances surrounding the creation of these cells and the scandals that followed.
Maria Hadjiathanasiou explores the little-known propaganda conflict that took place between British imperial powers and insurgent nationalists in post-war Cyprus.
Beginning Monday May 9 at 14:15, BBC Radio 4 will be re-airing In Search of Ourselves: A History of Psychology and the Mind. Executive producer Alan Hall explains the motivation for the series, how it took shape, and why its subject matter continues to be relevant.