The Eliot S. Hearst Memorial Lectureship was established to honor Indiana University Distinguished Professor Eliot S. Hearst, who was a major figure in the experimental science of animal learning. He was widely respected for his research rigor, scholarship, excellent teaching, careful mentoring, as well as for competing internationally as a Chess Master.
The named lectureship series was created and endowed by Drs. Joseph Newman and Alida Evans (who were married here while grad students at IU). Joe was an undergrad at Haverford College (in Pennsylvania) when Eliot visited to give a public lecture and meet with students. Joe saw in Eliot’s ideas some important implications to his own undergraduate honors thesis. They spoke and then struck up a correspondence, leading Eliot to recruit Joe upon his graduation from college to join the Hearst Lab at IU as coordinator of the laboratory. This led Joe to become a grad student in our department, with Alida taking over Joe’s job in the lab until she became an IU grad student in Biology, prior to her becoming a physician.
Throughout their lives, Eliot remained an intellectual, professional, and personal mentor and friend. After his death on January 30, 2018, Joe and Alida sought to create a gift to honor his memory: a vital, rigorous lecture series that brings leading thinkers in the field of psychological and brain sciences to give public lectures and actively engage students. Joe and Alida remain especially interested in opportunities for undergraduate students to become involved and inspired.