Vale Ron Taft 1920-2023

Dear SASP members,

Sadly, Ron Taft, who played a significant and foundational role in Australian Psychology and in particular Social Psychology, has passed away at the age of 103. Ron attended the first precursor to SASP meetings at Flinders University in 1972 (see attached conference program and photos, thanks to Leon Mann for providing). At that conference he presented a paper on culture conflict and marginality. Beyond these meetings, Ron contributed significantly to the field of psychology in a distinguished career spanning 40 years. His teaching and research interests encompassed social values and attitudes, cross-cultural psychology, immigration, ethnic groups and language, creativity, personality and personality assessment, cognitive processes, and education. In 1963 he was president of the Australian Psychological Society, the peak body for psychology in Australia, and from 1966-72 was editor of its flagship journal, The Australian Journal of Psychology.  From 1982-86 he was president of the International Association of Cross-Cultural Psychology, and from 1987-90 was a foundation chair of the National Committee for Psychology in the Australian Academy of Sciences. He was awarded the Royal Society of Victoria Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research in 1975. Ron was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 1962, and was named a Jubilee Fellow in 2014 in honour of his more than 50 years of membership and service. In 2017 he was awarded membership of the Order of Australia (AM). The citation reads: ‘For significant service to education and research in the field of psychology, and to the community’.

More details on Ron’s life and work are in the attached reflections provided by Professor Leon Mann AO.