Ref NoAUD/002/OHP 24

Ian Oswald 16 10 07  Photo Helen Ross.JPG

TitleOswald, Ian - Recording
SiteInterviewee's sitting room in Innerleithen, Scotland.
Date16 October 2007
Extent1-Audio Cassette
DescriptionAudio cassette sound recording of an interview with Professor Ian Oswald MD (Cantab), DSc (Edin), DPM (Eng), FRCPsych, Edinburgh University for the British Psychological Society's Oral History project.

The interview was conducted by Helen Ross in 2007.

The following summary is by way of introduction to the full recording held at the British Psychological Society's History of Psychology Centre, London.

Ian Oswald (IO)
Helen Ross (HR)


Side A:

HR begins the interview by asking IO what made him want to become a psychologist

IO speaks of his early years at Cambridge as a Medical Student, the influence of perception lectures given by A.T.Welford during his 2nd year and his 3rd year moral sciences tripos in experimental psychology.

IO speaks of his teachers and lecturers at Cambridge including; A.T.Welford, Russell Davies, F.C.Bartlett and his contemporaries including; Michael Argyle, Richard L. Gregory and Margaret Brown (Gregory's first wife).

IO talks of his RAF National Service based at RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire, his EEG research work , his MD degree and talks in detail of his interest in sleep, after images, number forms, individual cases, sleep research, sleeping brain cortex discrimination, name responses in sleep and his work with Anne Taylor ( Treisman).

IO speaks of his move to Edinburgh University (as a Lecturer in Psychological Medicine) and the influence of Alexander Kennedy, David Whitteridge, J.A.Simpson in securing the appointment.

IO speaks of his EEG research at Edinburgh and his appointment as the first Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Western Australia (visiting) and why he declined Solly Zuckerman's offer to take up a Birmingham chair.

HR asks IO if he regrets staying at Edinburgh

IO speaks of changes at Edinburgh after the death of Alexander Kennedy, Michael Swann, IO's readership and personal chair, Morris Carstairs, his experiences as Head of Department, his retirement at 60, the BPS, Ralph McGuire's appointment, clinical psychology and Cyril Burt's legacy, mental testing in clinical psychology , his PhD students Stuart Lewis and Kevin Morgan and the influence of CBT.

IO talks of his membership of other professional bodies such as the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) and his relationships with Oliver Zangwill and R.C.Oldfield.

IO talks of an APA conference held in Philadelphia (1963) and his talk on names during sleep and his subsequent friendship with a member of the audience, David Hawkes a clinical psychologist from Australia.

IO speaks of his sleep research and measures of mood using analogue scales for anxiety, his paper with Kevin Morgan (1982), his views on the sleeping drug Halcion Triazalem, his litigation with Upjohn Co.

Side A ends
c 48 mins

Side B:

IO continues to talk of his litigation with Upjohn Co and the subsequent settlerments.

IO talks of the impact and growth of CBT, mental testing, the impact of psychologists on medicine and extra government funds for CBT therapists.

When asked by HR what IO believes is his significant contribution to psychology/psychiatry IO replies his findings on Halcion Triazalem and his expertise on sleep.

IO talks of ethical standards in the early days of psychology, BPS guidelines and the support of Medical Defence Union.

HR asks IO what is his most important publications

IO mentions his early publishing on words and sleep.

After a short stop IO adds some further thoughts including; the International Congress on Psychoanalysis 1969, the influence of Fairburn, the Head of a Jungean Dream Analysis Clinic in Edinburgh and the Tavistock Clinic.

Side B ends.
c 21 mins

Total Running Time: c 69 mins

Photograph by Helen Ross

Summary by Mike Maskill, BPS Archivist.
RunTimeOn one UR90 cassette, Sides A and B, total running time c 69 minutes
FormatCassette Tapes and text
NotesThe History of Psychology Centre is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all our users. Be aware that our catalogue contains historic terminology relating to mental health which could be considered offensive. The terminology exists within the original record and has been retained to inform users on viewpoints at the time. It in no way reflects the attitudes of the cataloguers or the British Psychological Society.
Photograph taken by Helen Ross
AccessConditionsAuthorised Users. View by Appointment
Location13: BPS History of Psychology Centre, London
AdminHistoryDate of Birth: 04/08/1929
Place of Birth: London

University and Professional Training:
Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. Open Exhibitioner and subsequently Michell Scholar, College prizeman (three times), 1947-1950
Natural Sciences Tripos Part I, 1949
Moral Sciences Tripos Part II, psychology 1950
University of Bristol Medical School (Laby Haberfield Prize in Clinical Medicine), 1950-1953
MB, BChir (Cantab) 1953
MD Cambridge 1958
DPM (England) 1961
DSc University of Edinburgh 1963

Professional career:
House Surgeon, United Bristol Hospitals 1953-1955
House Physician, North Middlesex Hospital, 1953-1955
National Service, with extension, Royal Air Force Medical Branch, majority of service at Neuropsychiatric Centre, PM RAF Hospital, Halton 1955-1957
British Medical Association Research Scholarship 1956-1957
Beit Memorial Fellowship for Medical Research, Institute of Experimental Psychology and Laboratory of Physiology, University of Oxford 1957-1959
Lecturer in Psychological Medicine, University of Edinburgh 1959
Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh 1965
Reader in Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh 1971
Professor, Department of Psychiatry University of Edinburgh 1977
Chair, Dept.of Psychiatry, University of Edinburgh 1977 until 1989
Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist of the National Health Service 1968-1989

Involvement with BPS and/or other societies and organisations:
Member of the Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 1965
Chair, medical Subcommittee and member of Management Committee, Carstairs State Hospital until 1986
Foundation Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1971
President, European Sleep Research Society until 1984
Examiner in psychiatry for Edinburgh and for RCP 1968-1969
Examiner, RCP for its Gaskell Gold Medal in Clinical Psychiatry 1989-1990
RulesDescription compiled in line with the following: ISAD (G) General International Standard Archival Description MAD3 Third Edition 2000
ArchNoteCompiled by Mike Maskill BPS Archivist for the History of Psychology Centre.

Show related Persons records.

BPS/GB/171Oswald; Ian (1929-2012); Professor; MD (Cantab), DSc (Edin), DPM (Eng), FRCPsych.1929-2012
BPS/GB/132Argyle; Michael (1925-2002); Professor; FBPsS1925-2002
BPS/GB/64Zangwill; Oliver Louis (1913-1987); Professor; FRS1913-1987
BPS/GB/374Royal College of Psychiatrists; 1841-1841-
BPS/GB/01Burt; Sir; Cyril Lodowic (1883-1971); Professor1883-1971
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