AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 56383-385(1981) C. Raymond Carpenter, 1905-1975 GEZA TELEKI Department of Anthropology, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 20052 Fig. 6. C. Raymond Carpenter, 1905-1975. Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State University Archives, University Park,Pennsylvania. 0002-9483/81/5604-0383$01.50 0 1981 ALAN R. LISS, INC. 384 G. TELEKI Born on the 29th of November, 1905, in rural Lincoln County, North Carolina, Clarence Raymond Carpenter was raised and schooled in his native state until he obtained an M.A. degree from Duke University in 1929, four years after John T. Scopes was tried for teaching about monkeys and evolution in the neighboring state of Tennessee. Viewed in retrospect, Ray Carpenter’s subsequent move to Stanford University, where a new liberal outlook in American education was being forged, and which awarded him the Ph.D. in psychology in 1932, may not only have symbolized a major break from a conservative background but also may have launched a professional career devoted to exploring new avenues of behavioral research and instructional methods. For it was probably during these early years that the young Carpenter embraced a wide variety of interests and objectives, from seeking to understand the roots of primate behavior and human evolution to developing mass media techniques of instruction. By the time of his death in 1975, Ray Carpenter was a renowned scientist and scholar, an educator and author of international reputation, an eclectic professional whose vita included at least seven areas of acknowledged expertise. Primatology, the discipline he seemed to favor most but often could practice least during his 44 years of inordinately rich contributions to numerous sciences, was but one of these seven areas; the others ranged from educational technology to comparative psychology, from ethology to curriculum development, from telecommunications to institutional planning. Given such a multitude of activities and achievements, it is no small irony that the discipline now known as field primatology (the study of “the naturalistic behavior of nonhuman primates,” to use a definitive phrase he himself coined) was initially launched and then nurtured for many years -all but single-handedly-by a man for whom this was more an avocation than a subsistence occupation. One can only marvel at the prolific productivity of the mind that yielded several hundred professional lectures, 90 journal reports, 50 special publications, 34 book chapters, 21 films, 4 edited books, and a volume of collected works within the 44-year span bracketed by a 1932 field study of howler monkeys on Barro Colorado Island, Panama and a 1976 photo-essay about a gibbon colony on Hall’s Island, Bermuda. I t is all the more surprising that Ray Carpenter focused his sweeping observational and conceptual talents on primatological research primarily during the early and the late stages of his career. To trace the professional trails in which Ray Carpenter moved with such intellectual grace, even though within the relatively modest maze of the behavioral sciences, is a task for a biographer. I t is therefore more prudent to forgo elaboration on all fronts, and to focus here only on the highlights of his primatological journeys. Between 1931 and 1950, when the seeds of “naturalistic” primatology were being sown by a rather select group of iconoclasts, among whom Ray Carpenter was unquestionably a leading figure, most of his lectures, publications, and films (some 40 in all) dealt with animal behavior, including some work on birds and numerous laboratory and field projects on nonhuman primates. He traveled widely during these decades, lecturing in the United States, Holland, England, and India, and conducted fieldwork on monkeys and apes in Panama, Thailand, Sumatra, and India. In 1938, after collecting breeding specimens in Indochina, Thailand, Malaya, and India, Carpenter established the now-famous research colony of macaques on Cay0 Santiago, Puerto Rico. This was, on the whole, a time of descriptive contribution, a period of personal and professional growth that produced numerous classic documentaries on howler monkeys and lar gibbons. These landmark works were accompanied by a variety of equally concise and precise reports on the red spider monkey, the cebus monkey, the rhesus macaque, the orangutan, and the gorilla. And, nestled among these imposing descriptive reports, appears the first signs of an inquisitive mind reaching toward new horizons: lectures on a training program at Jackson Hole, research on the educational uses of motion picture films, a report on an experiment in card guessing in the Journal of Parapsychology. One of these projects, the foundation in 1944 of the Psychological Cinema Register at Pennsylvania State University (where he started as associate professor in psychology in 1940),is now one of the most extensive international collections of instructional and documentary films in the behavioral sciences. Commenting on this period of pioneering research in his book, The Hunting Hypothesis, Robert Ardrey wrote: “They were contemporary with the Nobel prizewinners’ papers, yet they far exceeded them in terms of truly objective methods of observing animals in an C. RAY CARPENTER, 1905-1975 authentic wild state. His papers, however, vanished from print.” The last remark is perhaps an overstatement, as these contributions continued to circulate among those few who were quietly laying the ground plan of modern primatology: K.R.L. Hall, S.L. Washburn, S.A. Altmann, and others. But neither is the remark entirely false, for Ray Carpenter was, in the early years, not only an oddity among the American “behaviorists” with whom he was frequently lumped but was also unorthodox in that he preferred to observe wild primates. The relevance of his work was therefore not immediately obvious to those who preferred to study primates in captivity. There may be another, more direct reason Ray Carpenter’s early papers missed immediate prominence. During the next decade, 1951-1960, he lectured little and produced only a few reports and films about animal behavior. Most of his energy and labor went into lecturing, film producing, writing, and editing (over 100 items) on such subjects as instructional media, curriculum development, and institutional design. Nonetheless, among the few primatological works produced at this time were his first tentative generalizations about primate social behavior and social organization, papers which stand today as major theoretical contributions. These, more than any other reports published by primatologists during this decade, laid the conceptual foundations of the discipline, foundations that were an essential prelude to the increasingly rapidpace developmental stage that characterized field primatology in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the following decade, 1961-1970, Carpenter’s productivity gradually revived and once again, he became a vital force in the swift expansion that molded primatology into the flourishing multidisciplinary enterprise that it 385 is today. I t seems more than appropriate that this period-in both Carpenter’s career and primatological history -was punctuated in 1964 by the publication of a collection of early works entitled Naturalistic Behavior of Nonhuman Primates. Also at this time came the first official signs of professional recognition, one example being the designation of Hylobates lar carpenteri by the Smithsonian Institution in 1968. Following his retirement from Pennsylvania State University in 1970, as professor emeritus of psychology and anthropology, Ray Carpenter’s last years were spent as research professor of psychology at the University of Georgia, where he orchestrated the formation of a student training program in primatology, and as consultant to the US.-Japan Cooperative Science Program based at the University of Hawaii. The latter post was a capstone on Carpenter’s enthusiastic interest in and sustained collaboration with primatologists at the Japan Monkey Centre between 1964 and 1974. Despite these and many other involvements, Ray Carpenter managed to produce an edited volume and numerous papers and films about nonhuman primates during these final years. In recognition of these achievements in the behavioral sciences, and especially of his passage from a pioneer to a paragon figure in primatology, Bucknell University awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Science degree in 1972. The remaining years of Carpenter’s life were marred by a bitter struggle with cancer.’ He died on the first day of March, 1975, in Athens, Georgia. ‘Shortly before his death, Carpenter bequeathed his primatological collections of personal correspondence, still photographs, books and publications, and sundry professional documents to the Pattee Library of Pennsylvania State University.