The Englishman: Memoirs of a Psychobiologist

John Staddon
University of Buckingham Press
2016

Although I have been basically an academic for most of my life, the way I got there has taken some surprising turns. The first four chapters of this memoir describe what I can remember and discover about my early life: an unsuspected ancestry, fun in WW2 London, comical schooldays, and a spell in colonial Africa interrupting a wobbly college career at the end of which I left England for America. In the U.S. I followed again a slightly erratic graduate-school trajectory that ended up in a Harvard basement. The main part of the book is about science, my efforts to understand the world opened up for me by biology, Darwin, the evolving cybernetic revolution and the experimental methods of influential and opinionated behaviorist B. F. Skinner. I have tried to make this part as simple and nontechnical as possible, although a couple of graphs have intruded.

The Englishman: Memoirs of a Psychobiologist