A two day meeting was held at the CBU in Chaucer Road (14th-15th December 2005) to discuss and record the intellectual legacy of the Applied Psychology Unit. Over sixty attendees included past and present members of staff, friends of the Unit and four historians of science. The format was oriented toward wide-ranging discussions with key speakers presenting their views in short talks on three specific periods of APU research activity: the early years directed by Craik, Bartlett and Mackworth (1944-1958); the Broadbent directorship and the Baddeley directorship. All delegates were sent a summary of work conducted in each of those periods prior to the meeting (Briefing notes below). The whole meeting was recorded on video and the full record of the meeting can be accessed by session from the menu below. For the meeting we set out a number of exhibits and created some posters of the early wartime research in a style appropriate to that era.
The video-taped sessions include a number of talks and contributions from prominent researchers who worked at the APU across the post-war years, others who spent a period of time at APU as visiting scientists and historians of science. The Unit bibliography, conference briefing notes and progress reports contain a reasonably full record of the Unit’s research output. The video recordings available here add to that in a unique way. The recordings contain a wide range of substantive comments on contextual, cultural, intellectual, organisational and inter-personal issues. Discussion periods also give an impression of what it was like to work at the APU and, in some instances, the exchanges convey a sense of how attendees as past and present APU researchers debated issues in seminars. Each of the six sessions run for an hour or more. The material is intended to complement what historians might glean from the Unit’s output as represented the content of papers, chapters, applied reports and books. Powerpoint files for a number of the speakers can be viewed from links in the programme of sessions.
We do hold additional archive material including some interviews with staff who were unable to attend the meeting. A few commentaries offered in association with this meeting can also be accessed from the menu below.