Candidates for APA President
Nora S. Newcombe is a professor of psychology and James H. Glackin Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Temple University. She received her PhD from Harvard in 1976 and was formerly on the faculty of Pennsylvania State University. Her research on cognitive development is widely recognized as innovative work that is integrative across different theoretical viewpoints, methodologies and age groups and that has launched new ways of thinking about spatial and memory development. She is the author of numerous scholarly chapters, articles and books, including "Making Space: The Development of Spatial Representation and Reasoning" (with Janellen Huttenlocher, MIT Press, 2000). Her research has been supported by a consistent record of federal support and has been recognized by a Cattell Fellowship, an invitation to the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the George A. Miller Award for Outstanding Recent Article in General Psychology from 'APA Div. 1 (Society for General Psychology), the G. Stanley Hall Lectureship from APA's Div. 2 (Society for the Teaching of Psychology), a Master Lectureship for the Society for Research in Child Development for 2005, and the Paul W. Eberman Faculty Research Award from Temple University. She is a fellow of Divs. 1, 3 (Experimental), 7 (Developmental) and 35 (Society for the Psychology of Women) of APA, as well as a fellow of the American Psychological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dr. Newcombe has a distinguished record of professional service, including serving on many grant review panels at NSF and NIH, numerous editorial boards and on the boards of various professional societies, including the Psychonomic Society, the Cognitive Development Society and Section J (Psychology) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Within APA, she has served as Div. 7's representative on the Council of Representatives, president of Div. 7 of APA, editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General and associate editor of Psychological Bulletin, chair of the Council of Editors, and member and chair of the Committee on Scientific Awards. She has given APA testimony to Congress, as well as engaged in congressional visits and briefings on issues of funding, representation of women in science and preschool assessment.
Newcombe's candidate statement
The existence of a discipline called psychology is widely taken for granted. At some level, most of us assume that the organization of the world of knowledge will remain as we have always known it. We also believe, without too much reflection, that the relation of practice and science will continue in the traditional way, a strained yet long-term marriage that both partners have doubts about. But actually there is good reason to believe that revolutionary changes are underway. Managing these changes represents an exciting challenge that APA is uniquely well-situated to address. First, in an era of translational research, scientists must clarify the relation of their work to questions that concern policy-makers and the public. The best way to accomplish this goal is by forging dynamic new connections between science and practice. The linkages between the two communities can become more intimate than they have previously been, and more clearly mutually beneficial. APA must provide the contexts in which dialogue can occur and productive partnerships can be formed. Second, knowledge is simultaneously becoming more specialized and more interdisciplinary. Therefore, many scientists' allegiance is no longer to the traditional discipline of psychology, and therefore not to APA. APA must seek new ways to connect to its science constituency, leading the way to a transformed psychology by organizing the "big picture" activities that only an overarching organization can offer. Third, in an increasingly evidence-based environment, for both practice and education, APA must build on what it has done recently, to delineate the most appropriate ways in which to generate new kinds of evidence and evidence on uncharted areas, as well as addressing what is best done when evidence is unavailable yet decisions must nevertheless be made.
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