Keene, Charles Samuel

Keene, Charles Samuel

Keene, Charles Samuel, 1823-91, English pen-and-ink artist and caricaturist. In 1851 he began his long association with Punch, where the bulk of his work appeared. His drawings ranged from interesting vignettes of the contemporary scene to tidy landscapes and interiors.
Charles Samuel Myers (1873 – 1946) was a significant English psychologist.


Family background

Charles Samuel Myers was born in Kensington, London on 13 March 1873 , the eldest son of Wolf Myers, merchant, and his wife, Esther Eugenie Moses .

In the 1881 census he is an 8-year-old scholar living at 27 Arundel Gardens, Kensington, London with his parents, 4 brothers and 4 servants

In the 1891 census he is a scholar, aged 18 living at 49 Leinster Gardens, Paddington, London, with his parents, 4 brothers, a visitor, and 4 servants (cook, housemaid, parlourmaid, and ladies maid) .


He attended the City of London School where he studied sciences.

My science master at school knew little biology and less physiology, and in the private tuition which he gave me I used to find him reading my textbook in physiology [Michael Foster’s] so as to keep just ahead of me. I left school in 1890 and joined a year’s course in elementary biology, chemistry, and physics at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Thus, hurriedly and poorly equipped, I gained an entrance exhibition, and soon after a foundation scholarship at Caius.

He attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, where he took a first in each part of the Natural Sciences tripos (1893, 1895). He was Arnold Gerstenberg student in 1896. This fund was set up in 1892 for the promotion of the study of Moral Philosophy and Metaphysics among students of Natural Sciences He also trained at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London.

Travels and Study of Ethnic Music

In 1898 he joined W.H.R. Rivers and William McDougall on the Cambridge anthropological expedition organised by Mr Alfred Cort Haddon to the Torres Straits and Sarawak. Here he studied ethnic music.

Myers carried out research on rhythm in Borneo

Early Career

On his return he was appointed house physician at St Bartholomew's.

In 1902 Myers returned to Cambridge to help Rivers teach the physiology of the special senses.

In 1904 Myers married Edith Babette, youngest daughter of Isaac Seligman, merchant, of London; they had three daughters and two sons. Myers remained in Cambridge to become, in succession, demonstrator, lecturer, and, in 1921, reader in experimental psychology. From 1906 to 1909 he was also professor in experimental psychology at King's College, London.

In 1909, when W. H. R. Rivers resigned a part of his Lectureship, C. S. Myers became the first University Lecturer in Cambridge University whose whole duty was to teach Experimental psychology. For this he received a stipend of £50 a year.

From 1911 Myers co-edited the British Journal of Psychology with W.H.R. Rivers. In 1914 he took over as sole editor. He continued in this post until 1924. - OBITUARY AND EDGELL

In 1912, Myers used his enthusiasm and ability to raise funds to establish the first English experimental laboratory especially designed for psychology at Cambridge (The Cambridge Laboratory of Experimental Psychology ).

First World War

In 1915 Myers was given a commission in the Royal Army Medical Corpsand in 1916 he was appointed Consultant Psychologist to the British armies in France with a staff of psychotherapists at Le Touquet . In 1915 Myers coined the term "shell shock" in an article in the Lancet He tried to save shell-shocked soldiers from execution . In the last year of the war he devised tests and supervised their application for the selection of men suited to hydrophone work for detecting enemy submarines. He became frustrated with opposition to his views during his time in the military , particularly the view that shell-shock was a treatable condition. His efforts have been called "a pioneering but frustrating struggle to get psychological evidence and applied psychology accepted" He was so upset by the rejection of his ideas by the military authorities that he refused to give evidence to the Southborough Committee on shell-shock because, as he wrote in 1940 , "the recall of my past five years' work proved too painful for me"

Post-War Career

After the war, Myers returned to his Cambridge position. But here too he was deeply dissatisfied, wanting wider opportunities for the development of his more practical interests, and feeling that official and academic circles showed little genuine interest in psychology. In 1922 he left Cambridge for London, thereafter devoting himself to the development of the National Institute of Industrial Psychology (NIIP) which he had founded with Henry John Welch in 1921. He was also involved in what became the industrial health research board.

Later, when the advisory committee on personnel selection was set up by the War Office, he was appointed a member.

Myers and the British Psychological Society

Myers was one of the ten founding members of The Psychological Society in 1901 which would later become the British Psychological Society in 1906. In January 1904, Myers became the first Secretary of the Society. In 1919 Myers suggested that membership should be opened up to "all those interested in various branches of psychology" .

He was elected as the first President of the British Psychological Society, following the enlargement on the Society in 1920. He held this position between 1920 and 1923

In 1920, Myers, represented the BPS on the board of management of a new journal, Discovery, which dealt with the recent advances in scientifc knowledge.- EDGELL

Dr Myers was also the Society’s representative on the committee formed to consider a memorial to the late Dr W. H. R. Rivers. A fund was raised for the furtherance of the sciences to which Dr Rivers had been interested, in particularly anthropology and psychology. - EDGELL

Published Works


  • Text-Book of Experimental Psychology (1909) Read 1911 version online at
  • Introduction to Experimental Psychology (1911) went through several editions.
  • Present-day applications of Psychology (1919). Methuen. Read online at
  • Mind and work, the psychologial factors in industry and commerce (1920), University of London Press ltd.
  • Mind and work (1921) G.P. Putman's sons
  • Industrial Psychology in Great Britain (1926) J Cape Ltd.
  • Industrial Psychology (1929) T. Butterworth ltd.
  • Psychological conceptions in other sciences (1929) Clarendon Press.
  • Ten Years of Industrial Psychology (with H. J. Welch, 1932)
  • The absurdity of any mind-body relation (1932) Oxford University Press, H. Milford Series: L.T. Hobhouse memorial trust lectures,, no. 2
  • A Psychologist's Point of View (1933)
  • In the Realm of Mind (1937). The University Press.

Anthropology (Ethnic music)

  • Myers, C.S. (1904). A study of rhythm in primitive peoples. British Journal of Psychology, 1, p. 397.


In 1915 Myers was elected FRS; he was appointed CBE in 1919, and received honorary degrees from the universities of Manchester (DSc, 1927), Calcutta (LLD), and Pennsylvania (DSc). He was a fellow (1919) and later an honorary fellow (1935) of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, a foreign associate of the French Société de Psychologie, twice president of the psychology section of the British Association (1922, 1931), president of the International Congress of Psychology in 1923, and editor of the British Journal of Psychology (1911–24).

Myers was rather above medium height, well built, and remembered for his smile. He made friends readily, but had a tendency to imagine enemies. He enjoyed mountain climbing and lawn tennis, and was a talented violinist. He combined freemasonry with philanthropic activity for the Jewish community. Students and visitors from every part of the world were always welcome at his home. Myers died at his home at Winsford Glebe, near Minehead, Somerset, on 12 October 1946. He was survived by his wife.

Myers undertook more laboratory experimental work than his publications would suggest, but his greatest contributions to the emergent science of psychology in Britain were in establishing many of its pioneering institutions, and promoting it internationally.

See also


External Links

Photograph at the National Portrait Gallery

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