Anatol Rapoport’s social responsibility: Science and antiwar activism; 1960–1970

A new piece in History of Psychology will interest AHP readers: “Anatol Rapoport’s social responsibility: Science and antiwar activism; 1960–1970,” by Shayne Sanscartier. Abstract:

Anatol Rapoport’s decision to leave the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor has sometimes been portrayed as an act of protest against United States involvement in the Vietnam War. However, he personally viewed this decision as an “escape from responsibility” (Rapoport, 2000, pp. 145–147). This article reviews his writings before his departure to better understand why he decided to leave. Though he came to see political organization and civil dissidence as the only effective means of opposition, his writings reveal that at one point he felt optimism about a particular form of activism rooted in his scientist role. However, as demonstrated by his debates with the “strategist” community, the limits of the antiwar teach-in movement and the results of the AAAS survey on science and values, his attempts to renegotiate the boundaries between “scientific deterrence” and “moral pacifism” seemingly struggled to overcome the constraints of professional academic discourse.

About Jacy Young

Jacy Young is a professor at Quest University Canada. A critical feminist psychologist and historian of psychology, she is committed to critical pedagogy and public engagement with feminist psychology and the history of the discipline.