Jubilee Fellow – 2015

Emeritus Professor Ray Over

BA, PhD (Sydney)

2015 Reflections

I completed my PhD degree at the University of Sydney between 1958 and 1960 under the joint supervision of Bill O’Neil (President of ASSA from 1964-1966) and Ross Day (FAA as well as FASSA).  Both provided wonderful mentorship to a young man very uncertain as to whether he could meet PhD requirements, let alone pursue a career as an academic.

My election to ASSA in 1975 was based on research in visual perception completed at the University of Otago, Dalhousie University, and the University of Queensland between 1966 and 1974.  I had hoped to continue research in perception on moving to La Trobe University in 1976.  However, rapid changes in research paradigms and technologies were making my skills obsolete.  Also Ross Day’s, as well as my own, PhD graduates were themselves supervising PhD candidates in visual perception.  It thus seemed sensible to shift my interests into fields where there was much greater need for PhD supervision.  Although I greatly enjoyed research and supervision across a wide range of topics during my 18 years at La Trobe University, my record since 1975 would not have led to election to ASSA!

In looking through the 2014 ASSA Annual Report to identify the 25 Fellows elected in or before 1975, it rather horrified me to find all 25 were men.  Can I please offer three suggestions to ASSA:

First, identify the 25 women who are longest standing Fellows of ASSA, and invite each such woman to prepare a 750 word summary along the lines of the summaries prepared in 2015 by the 25 longest standing men.

Second, identify women, such as Fay Gale (President of ASSA, 1997-2000) and Jacqueline Goodnow (elected as FASSA in 1976) who would have been among the 25 longest standing women Fellows if still alive, and identify their contributions.

Third, have as a topic for the ASSA Annual Symposium in 2016 “Gender Issues in Research Achievement and Recognition in Social Sciences in Australia.”