The Drs. Nicholas and Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology at the University of Akron is launching a Kickstarter campaign on April 13th at 3 p.m. to build the first ever National Museum of Psychology. The project is spearheaded by APS Fellow David Baker, the center’s Margaret Clark Morgan Executive Director. It will feature an interactive 6,000 square ft. multimedia museum that will exhibit items from both the Cummings Center and the Smithsonian Institution. According to the press release, home movies from Sigmund Freud, an original Bobo doll used by Albert Bandura (an APS William James Fellow and APS James McKeen Cattell Fellow), and Stanley Milgram’s original shock box are a few of the planned exhibits.
The museum hopes to engage audiences on a personal, intellectual, and scientific level. “We have the unique ability and responsibility to tell the story of what it means to be human, through the acquisition, preservation, and presentation of iconic objects, manuscripts, and media,” said Baker. “As a Smithsonian Affiliate, we are honored to take part in the long-standing tradition of insuring that our nation’s history remains relevant and is preserved with the utmost respect to the bold men and women who were pioneers of this exciting discipline.”
Ludy Benjamin wrote, “One can easily argue that the science of psychology has never been more important in the world than it is today. The principal causes of death in the United States, once bacterial and viral infections such as tuberculosis and pneumonia have been replaced by heart disease, cancer, and stroke, all have significant behavioral causes. Other major social issues today, such as prejudice and discrimination, violence, alcoholism, other drug addictions, divorce, environmental degradation, and obesity, all will require behavioral solutions. Despite the importance of psychology as the principal behavioral science, it is also one of the most poorly understood sciences as has been shown in many surveys.” Benjamin noted, “[The museum] will offer the public a rare and valuable display of the impact of the science and practice of psychology on our everyday lives.”
According to the press release, the crowdsourcing project plans to reward donors with autographed copies of APS Fellow Philip Zimbardo’s The Lucifer Effect, naming opportunities in the museum’s reading room, a trip to the museum’s grand opening, and more.
David Baker will be leading a symposium, “Living History: Allen Gardner on the Legacy of Washoe,” at the 2016 APS Annual Convention, May 26–29, Chicago, Illinois.