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PSY21: A New Science Initiative

PSY21 is an important set of activities that will be spearheaded by the Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) and the Science Directorate to help psychology meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century.

Robyn Fivush and Peter A. Ornstein (Division 7) at the 2004 APA Annual Convention in Hawaii.

The APA Council of Representatives came through again for the psychological science community by approving a significant new initiative as part of the Association's 2005 budget. Psychological Science for the 21st Century (PSY21) will begin activities officially in January 2005.

You may already have heard about PSY21, an important set of activities that will be spearheaded by the Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) and the Science Directorate to help psychology meet the opportunities and challenges of the 21st Century. The three major areas of attention in PSY21 are promoting and recognizing service to the discipline, advancing the infrastructure requirements for scientific psychology, and supporting the responsible conduct of research.

Along with new opportunities, psychology also faces new challenges. These include developing skills and mechanisms for trans-disciplinary, problem-based research approaches; balancing increasing specialization while maintaining the unity of the discipline; building a pipeline to assure a strong next generation of psychological scientists; and working within increasingly complex regulatory systems. APA is uniquely positioned to champion and broadcast the opportunities and to provide tools to the discipline to tackle the challenges. "PSY21 represents a new day for science at APA," stated Steve Breckler, Executive Director for Science. "It will allow us to build on already-strong programs, and to significantly expand and enhance our service to the science of psychology."

A number of activities will begin in 2005, among them a Science Leadership Conference, task force on the responsible conduct of research, and the initial stages of an awards program for service to the discipline. Other important programs will be added as PSY21 develops. BSA and Directorate staff are making concerted efforts to give members opportunities for direct involvement in several of these activities.

PSY21 creates a solid foundation on which the APA Science Directorate will build an ambitious and effective agenda to support, promote, and advance the science of psychology. At the same time, these activities will be important in APA's efforts to provide value to its membership, and to attract new members. For more information on PSY21's planned activities, visit APA's PSY website.