In October 2013 a major conference was held at Yale Law School to reflect on the legacy of Stanley Milgram. It was Yale where, in 1961, Milgram conducted his famous ‘obedience’ studies and its Sterling Library is still home to an extensive Milgram archive. The event commemorated the 50th anniversary of the publication of Milgram's most influential paper in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology.
The event provided an opportunity for a range of scholars to reflect on the multi-faceted nature of Milgram’s contribution to a range of different fields: not just psychology, but also law, criminology, history, and film. Speakers included Milgram’s biographer, Thomas Blass, as well as Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Saul Kassin, and the Professor of Film and Creative Arts at Macquarie University, Kathryn Millard.
The conference was organized by Yale Professor of Law, Tom Tyler, and opened by the Yale President, Peter Salovey — himself a distinguised social psychologist.
The conference was also attended by Alex Haslam and Steve Reicher, and the former presented a paper on the pair’s recent work in which they argue that Milgram’s participants displayed ‘engaged followership’ rather than obedience. The researchers also spent time before the conference working with Millard in the Yale archive to complete a new research paper — soon to be published in the British Journal of Social Psychology — in which they substantiate this analysis through detailed examination of the responses of Milgram’s participants.