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The AMI Program
There was no organization devoted to building upon the scientific foundation for societal improvement laid during the last seven decades by Ashley Montagu.  So, in 1997, we created AMI.

The program of The Ashley Montagu Institute incorporates dissemination, extension, and application of the lifework of its namesake, Ashley Montagu.

Dissemination demands education.  This website is one modality for making knowledge of Ashley's work widely available and for distributing the ideas themselves.  From time to time, it will feature reviews of his books, reports of his perspectives on vital topics, news of his current activities and those of others involved in related work or in the Institute.  Other means of dissemination will be electronic and print publication, broadcasting, and course offerings.

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Extension of Montagu's lifework requires adoption of his method of  rigorously disciplined generalist/specialist investigation to find new knowledge for its own sake that might or might not carry practical utility.   An example is the pure research he did long ago on the embryology of the maxilla (upper jaw) --  which unforeseen turned out decades later to hold the key surgeons needed to make possible effective repair of cleft lip and palate.  Our predicament as a species demands that, within the boundaries of care for ourselves, other organisms, and the environment, we continue to invest in acquiring knowledge for its own sake.  We hope to reinforce the benefits of this perspective not just to schools, colleges, universities, many of which already support it, but also to government, private industry, religious and other community organizations, first in this country, and then around the globe, that sometimes do not.

Application involves identifying a significant  problem, studying it enthusiastically with generalist/specialist expertise, and then designing a suitable solution ---  that is, one which is consonant with both the scientific evidence concerning the problem itself and the needs and potentials of ourselves, other organisms, and the planet.  The final step, after thorough evaluation of costs, benefits, and side-effects, is fostering implementation.

A successful example from the past in which Ashley participated is the finding of proof of the terrible toxicity of plutonium in air and  the successful campaign to ban testing of nuclear bombs in the atmosphere.   Current possibilities AMI is exploring are:

1)  the grinding poverty of half the Earth's human population, and the precise utility of methods of providing them   better access to credit such as microbanks;

2)  the unthinking waste that threatens our planet, and more effective means of inculcating recycling and voluntary simplicity living patterns;

3)  the blighting of myriad lives by the lack of education for fulfilled living  or skilled employment even in wealthy lands, and means of helping local leadership sparkplug remedial action in their own people's behalf;

4)  the urgent need to bring computer literacy to all children, and the possible utility of special training for school teachers in humane ways of utilizing computers in the classroom;

5)  the enormous need of poor people for equality of opportunity in education and the efficacy of philanthropic guaranteed scholarships;

6)  the discouraging lack of effective treatments in touch-deprived elderly psychiatric patients, and the promising efficacy of therapeutic massage;

7)  the widspread inefficacy of current education to counter advertising that promotes addictions to smoking, gambling, drugs, entertainment, or luxuries, and the most powerful means of employing  advertising and entertainment themselves to do so;

8)  the urgent need not only to resolve conflict, but to prevent it, and the potential for benefit in our “advanced?societies of strategies to do so that are of proven effectiveness in less complex ones.

9)  the all too common "hit him back first" ethic of large societies, spuriously rationalized as innate aggression, and strategies that might help adoption of the substitute "soothe him first" ethic.

10)  the all too common refusal to help people in danger, and the behavior-changing power of “duty to rescue?laws now in effect in many countries;

11)  the epidemic levels of mental disorders, and the power of loving nurturance to forestall the pathology, criminality, and suffering they cause.

For current AMI endeavors, please click on the link entitled AMI Program Plan for August, 2007
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The Ashley Montagu Institute encourages its own staff to develop  into researchers and implementers of his wisdom.  In addition, it  welcomes association with others who want to help realize our goals.


What is The Ashley Montagu Institute (AMI)

Who is Ashley Montagu

The AMI Bulletin

Program of The Ashley Montagu Institute

If You Want to Help

AMI Friends

A Tribute To Ashley Montagu

Books by Ashley Montagu

E-mail: AMI

©The Ashley Montagu Institute, Roderic Gorney M.D., 760 Westwood Plaza 90095-1759

Phone: (310)  476-3099 or (310)  472-7631