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Washington Goes to SIOP

Heather Kelly, from Science's Public Policy Office, led an invited Continuing Education workshop at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference in Dallas on May 6th.

By Heather O'Beirne Kelly

Heather Kelly, from Science's Public Policy Office, led an invited Continuing Education workshop at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference in Dallas on May 6th. In "SIOP Goes to Washington: Advocating for I-O Psychology," Kelly gave participants a broad overview of how and when I-O psychologists can weigh in on relevant issues within their own organizations (including APA, universities, corporations and other workplace settings), local communities, and state and federal government. This included interactive discussions about Science PPO's engagement with APA divisions around policy issues, the federal legislative process, strategies and concrete skills for I-O psychologists to use in advocating for their science, and short- and long-term opportunities for putting these advocacy skills into practice.

Little did participants know that they would be pressed into service so quickly! Kelly sent them and the larger APA science community an urgent action alert on May 17th requesting that those living in states with Senators on the Commerce Subcommittee on Science and Space call immediately to block a troublesome legislative amendment proposed by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison [(R-TX), see Executive Director's column.] Sen. Hutchison planned to introduce the amendment on May 18th to a Senate bill being drafted (S. 2802) on the topic of American competitiveness and innovation, and the amendment included language excluding social and behavioral science from any increased funding directed to the National Science Foundation (NSF). New SIOP advocacy workshop "alumni" were quick to respond, and a compromise amendment was worked out with Democratic Senators making clear that all sciences should continue to receive strong support at NSF.