Professor Trevor L. Montgomery and his Theoretical Beaver

The 2001 Spring line-up at Cornell University's prestigious series of psychology lectures included a talk by Professor Trevor L Montgomery. The CV Montgomery sent Cornell in anticipation of the talk advertised that he had "developed a neo-Husserlian critique of the conceptual failings of contemporary consciousness theory." It went on:

In order to gnaw through this Husserlian 'logjam' in the flow of (un)consciousness science, Dr Montgomery has recently unleashed his theoretical beaver: the concept of 'deconsciousness'.

The CV also noted that Montgomery had studied "comparative brain homology in Oxpeckers, Great Tits and London cab drivers."

On the day of the talk, a bearded Professor Montgomery got up to speak. But it soon became clear to the sixty people in attendance that something was not quite right, as no one could understand anything Montgomery was saying. Some audience members walked out. Eventually the audience realized the talk was a farce.

Professor Trevor L. Montgomery was really James Cronin, an executive at Sparza, a British internet company. He had conceived the hoax with the help of two fellow graduates of Oxford, Jim Adams and Daniel Richardson. According to Cronin, the majority of the crowd at Cornell who stayed to listen to Professor Montgomery explain his theoretical beaver found it quite entertaining, once they realized it was a joke.
Links and References
"Academica don't mind brain theory hoax." (Aug 23, 2001).


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