Leonard Carmichael

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Leonard Carmichael

Leonard B. Carmichael (born November 9, 1898 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania , † September 16, 1973 in Washington, DC ) was an American psychologist , professor and university president, who in particular through his manual Carmichael's manual of child psychology in the field of Child Psychology became known and from 1953 to 1964 was Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution . In 1973 the crater of the Earth's moon, Carmichael, was named in his honor .


Studies and university professor

Carmichael, son of a doctor, completed an undergraduate degree at Tufts College after attending Germantown Friends School and graduated in 1920 with a Bachelor of Science (BS). He then began studying psychology at Harvard University and graduated in 1924 with a Doctor of Philosophy ( Ph.D. ). During his studies he joined the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa and in 1921 the triad Theta Delta Chi .

After completing his studies, he accepted a professorship in psychology at Princeton University in 1924 and then in 1926 at Brown University , where he taught until 1936. In 1936 Carmichael, who had become a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1932, took over a professorship in psychology at the University of Rochester and taught there until 1938.

President of Tufts College and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution

In 1938 he took over the leadership of Tufts College as President, succeeding George Stewart Miller , who held this office for a year after the death of John Albert Cousens . He remained President of Tufts College until 1952, when he was replaced by Nils Yngve Wessell . During this time he was also President of the American Psychological Association in 1940 and also became a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1942, and of the National Academy of Sciences in 1943 . His work Carmichael's manual of child psychology , first published in 1946 , became a standard work in the field of child psychology.

After completing his presidency at Tufts College, Carmichael succeeded Alexander Wetmore as secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1953 and remained in this office until he was replaced by Sidney Dillon Ripley in 1964. He then briefly served as Vice President of the National Geographic Society for research and exploration in 1964 .

Most recently, Carmichael, who was also involved in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), was President of the American Philosophical Society from 1970 until his death in 1973.

His marriage to Pearl L. Kidston on June 30, 1932 had a daughter. After his death in 1973, the earth's moon crater Carmichael was named in his honor .


  • An experimental study in the prenatal guinea-pig of the origin and development of reflexes and patterns of behavior. In relation to the stimulation of specific receptor areas during the period of active fetal life. From the psychological laboratories of Brown university , 1934
  • Intelligence: its nature and nurture , Associate Editor Guy Montrose Whipple, 1940
  • Carmichael's manual of child psychology , 1946, reissued 1970
  • Reading and visual fatigue , co-author Walter F. Dearborn, 1947, new edition 1972
  • The selection of military manpower. A symposium , co-authored by Lawrence C. Mead, 1951
  • Tufts College, its science & technology. A centennial view (1852-1952) , 1952
  • Psychology, the machine, and society , 1953
  • The making of modern mind , 1954
  • Joseph Henry, 1797-1878, and his Smithsonian Institution , 1956
  • Basic psychology. A study of the modern healthy mind , 1957
  • Reading and education reevaluated , 1960
  • James Smithson and the Smithsonian story , co-author JC Long, 1965

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