You are here: Books / First hand accounts / An Oral History of Neuropsychopharmacology

An Oral History of Neuropsychopharmacology


Peer Interviews

Edited by Thomas A. Ban


  • Volume 1:   Starting Up - Edward Shorter
  • Volume 2:   Neurophysiology - Max Fink
  • Volume 3:   Neuropharmacology - Fridolin Sulser
  • Volume 4:   Psychopharmacology - Jerome Levine
  • Volume 5:   Neuropsychopharmacology - Samuel Gershon
  • Volume 6:   Addiction - Herbert D. Kleber
  • Volume 7:   Special Areas - Barry Blackwell
  • Volume 8:   Diverse Topics - Carl Salzman
  • Volume 9:   Update - Barry Blackwell
  • Volume 10: History of the ACNP – Martin M. Katz


By the mid-1990s the pioneer generation of psychopharmacologists was fading away. To preserve their memory and contributions, Oakley Ray ACNP’s secretary, raised funds from Solway Pharmaceuticals to found the ACNP-Solway Archives of Neuropsychopharmacology. He also arranged for videotaping peer interviews with the pioneers at annual meetings of the ACNP to be stored in the archives. The project known as the “oral history project” was gradually extended to include newer members of the College, and later non-members, who made outstanding contributions to the field.

In 2005 Thomas Ban, in collaboration with Jonathan Cole and George Gardos, began editing the transcripts of the interviews, and in 2006, with ACNP’s Fiftieth Anniversary approaching (in December 2011), he proposed to prepare a collection of edited interviews for the Anniversary. With the approval of Ronnie Wilkins, ACNP’s Executive Director he was helped by ACNP staff members first by Kay White, then by     Nicole Greer and ultimately by Laura Bersacola Hill, to get the videotapes transcribed, and then after dividing the material into ten volumes, he was joined by ten distinguished colleagues to become his coeditors. Eight were responsible for editing a  single volume (Edward Shorter, Max Fink, Fridolin Sulser, Jerome Levine, Samuel Gershon, Herbert Kleber, Carl Salzman and Martin Katz) and a ninth editor was responsible for two volumes (Barry Blackwell). From the ten volumes the first deals with the state of the art of psychiatry and pharmacology at the time of the emergence of neuropsychopharmacology; five (Two to Six) cover the story of a single area of research, clinical activity and education; two (Seven and Eight) cover more than one area; Volume Nine is focused on the changes over the years and Volume 10 examines the role of ACNP during the fifty year span.         .

    Altogether the 10 volumes record the first fifty years in the history of neuropsychopharmacology told by 213 clinicians and basic scientists in 235 videotaped interviews conducted by 66 colleagues between 1994 and 2008. Each volume includes an introduction to its themes and a biography of each contributor’s career by the volume editor. The volumes are connected by prefaces, written by the series editor, in which the research contributions are placed in their historical context. The entire series has an Overview at the beginning and a Postscript at the end, supplemented with a chronological list of key publications and selected quotations from each interview.

            The series was published by the ACNP with Laura Bersacola Hill preparing the material to be released at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the College. Each volume is available separately from Amazon and, since the ten volumes represent an entity, the publisher has been requested to make them available as a series.