In 1985 five leading figures in the field of Cognitive Psychology founded ‘ESCoP’ – the European Society for Cognitive Psychology – as a means to communicate with others working in their chosen fields. As these things invariably do, ESCoP started relatively small. In the first two years of its existence two conferences were held, of which the first (in Nijmegen, the Netherlands) was on an invitation only basis. Now, some twenty-nine years later, after the eighteenth conference has come and gone and with the next already on the horizon, ESCoP is a flourishing, large Society with over 650 members across a large range of European countries – and beyond.
Twenty-nine years is a long time in any society, but in the fast-paced world of a blossoming scientific community, twenty-nine years can almost seem like an eternity. Already some information about the early years has become lost to the current active society members, veiled behind the mists of history. It is this veil that the website you’re currently reading, strives to lift. Listen to the stories of the remaining members of the so-called “gang of five” in our video interviews and relive the history of the ESCoP society by clicking on the categories in the menu on the left.
The ESCoP Museum was created by Bernhard Hommel and his team. They divided the rich twenty-year legacy of ESCoP into four defining time-periods. The period during which ESCoP was founded (1984 - 1985) was described in 'Founding ESCoP' and the early years (1985-1990) during which ESCoP found its feet and transformed from a more autocratic foundation into a democratic society were described in 'The Early Years'. The next period of ESCoP's lifetime was described in 'The Nineties' (1990 -2000). The last section was 'ESCoP Today' (2000 - 2008).
In 2013 the ESCoP Museum website was updated, with new sections added, each containing a ten-year period. There are chapters for “1990-1999”, “2000-2009” and the last one so far is “ESCoP Today”, where we find out more about the current state of affairs.
This website serves as an online museum to preserve the legacy those five scientist created in 1985, and which continues today. It is a place to look back with a healthy dose of nostalgia, but it is certainly not the conclusion to a scientific story. That story will continue to be written by current and future scientists, who work hard to gather new knowledge by doing exciting research in the ever-expanding field of cognitive psychology. But for now: enjoy what went before!
The museum.escop.eu team, 2014
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