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Schonemann Papers to be Donated to the ISAR Archives

Roberta Schonemann, editor of the Lafayette Independent, Vice President of Communications at the Indiana Civil Liberties Union and a former mathematics advisor at Purdue University, has decided to donate her late husband's papers to the ISAR Archives.

Peter H. Schonnemann (July 15, 1929-April 7, 2010) was a German-born psychometrician and statistical expert. He was a professor of Psychological Sciences at Purdue for most of his career. His research focus was on test theory and quantitative behavior genetics as well as the use of mathematical tools for social science research. He published around 90 papers, many of them dealing with debunking scientifically sanctioned racist theories of intelligence.

Dr. Barry Mehler and Schonemann were longtime friends and colleagues and served together on a congressional investigation into the National Collegiate Athletic Association's academic standards and policies for student-athletes in 1994. Peter was born under the shadow of Adolf Hitler, survived the fire bombing of Dresden, swam the Elbe River to escape from East Germany and came to the United States where he studied under Raymond B. Cattell. Unlike Cattell's other students, Schonemann became a vocal critique of his mentor, who championed racial theories of intelligence.

Schonemann's papers will be a valuable addition to the ISAR archives and will allow students to do original research into the history of this important academic controversy.

-August 29, 2011

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