mwi14450072Thank you for your kind introduction. It’s always a special privilege to speak before this group.

In fact, this occasion sent my thoughts reaching back to my very first SCEH meeting, which was my very first scientific conference. It was 1970, my first year at graduate school, in Philadelphia: Martin Orne organized the local arrangements, and Fred Evans was co-chair (with Erik Wright) of the scientific program. I didn’t present any research — I had only just begun working with Martin, and Fred, and Emily Orne, and even though we had results from our first study of temporal organization during posthypnotic amnesia, the Scientific Program had been set long before. But everybody in Martin’s lab was seconded to help out at the meeting, so I did get to be present for the whole thing.

And what a meeting it was! The research workshop lasted three whole days. The scientific program began, as it always did in those days, with clinical research. Andre Weitzenhoffer discussed the “hypnotic stare”, and Herb Spiegel introduced his eye-roll sign for hypnotizability. Robert W. White, who had been Martin’s dissertation advisor, reflected on the implications of hypnosis for personality, motivation, and social interaction. Perry London discussed the prospects for increasing hypnotizability through EEG alpha training. There was a symposium on antisocial behavior and hypnosis. Ted Barber offered his “new” conceptualization of hypnosis (which turned out to look awfully like the old one). Throughout it all, there was Paul Sacerdote and Erika Fromm in the front row during the research reports, and Jack Hilgard and Ron Shor in the front row during the clinical papers. Clinicians and experimentalists together, just as it says in the name of our Society and the title of our Journal.

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