Science Governance News
Members of APA Science Governance groups met the 4th weekend of March at the Consolidated Board and Committee meetings in Washington, D.C. Below are summaries of what took place at these meetings.
Board of Scientific Affairs
by Ronald T. Brown
This past March, the Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA) met and discussed a number of issues of relevant to psychological science. BSA is very excited about the Scientific Leadership Conference (SciLC) that will be held in Washington, D.C., October, 2007. The theme of this years meeting will be advocacy at the Congressional level for federal funding of behavioral science research. All conference participants will visit with their members of Congress to advocate for issues important to the psychological sciences. While visits to Capitol Hill have been the standard for other APA leadership conferences, this will be the first time for SciLC attendees to participate in advocacy activities. Many psychological scientists may think that Congressional visits are not important to their work; however, in recent years, psychological science has been threatened many times. There is a history that members of Congress have threatened to rescind research grants, hence lobbying Congress should be a concern for all of us involved in the sciences.
BSA members always receive a briefing from staff in the Science Directorates Government Relations Office and we are always struck by the efforts put into lobbying by the staff. They are very successful at what they do on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies.
The Board of Scientific Affairs was asked to comment on the proposed revisions of the Recommended Guidelines in Postdoctoral Training in Psychopharmacology for Prescription Privileges and Model Legislation. While there has been considerable divide among academic psychologists with regard to prescription privileges for psychologists, there is no doubt that psychologists have made important empirical contributions to the fields of both experimental and clinical psychopharmacology. It was the consensus of BSA that the proposed curriculum was well designed, although the Board would like the Task Force to consider including resistance training to the curriculum, guidance on disclosing financial conflicts of interest with pharmaceutical companies, and a clarification of domains of instruction that include the core content and clinical competencies with regard to differences in drug actions and interactions arising from individual differences including gender, developmental level, comorbidity of disease and concurrent medication use.
We invite you to get in touch with us, provide your expertise and your opinion and apprise us of important developments in the field.
Members are Ronald T. Brown (chair), Toni C. Antonucci, Patricia M. Greenfield, Barbara Landau, Frederick T.L. Leong, Liora P. Schmelkin, Norman E. Spear, Lois E. Tetrick, and Alice M. Young.
APA Science Student Council
The Science Student Council met with the Board of Scientific Affairs several times over the course of the Consolidated Meetings weekend, most particularly to discuss a number of items of interest to the graduate student community.
The SSC made some refinements in the application and review process for the Early Researcher Awards (see APA Awards), put the finishing touches on plans for the three APA Convention programs it is organizing for 2007 (see "Going to the APA Convention?" in the Science Student Council Special Section of this issue for a full listing), and met with the APA Membership Committee to discuss the needs of graduate students in scientific societies. Members also met with gradPsych editorial staff to pass along their ideas for science-relevant articles, and made final revisions in two new documents on the SSC website (statements about peer review and authorship).
Members are Janet Tomiyama (chair), Marc Berman, Marcella Boynton, Jennifer Brielmaier, Suzanne Dean, Kelly Dunn, Camilla Hileman, Paul Poteat, and Felix Thoemmes.
Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment (CPTA)
CPTA welcomed three new members at the spring 2007 meeting. Marcia Andberg, Andberg Associates, LLC., Michael Kolen, University of Iowa, and Frank Worrell, University of California, Berkeley, will serve three year terms on the committee.
During the meeting, members of the Committee continued their work on the revision of two position statements, Observers and Third Parties in Psychological Testing and Assessment, and Disclosure of Test Data and Materials.
The Committee also reviewed the status of the activities of the Task Force for Increasing the Number of Quantitative Psychologists. The Task Force plans to make final a report to the APA Council of Representatives and establish a website devoted to quantitative psychology by late summer.
Wayne Camara, chair of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing management committee, reviewed the timeline for the upcoming revision of the Standards with members of the Committee. In development is a web-based survey which will be designed to capture specific information regarding those areas/topics in the current Standards that are in need of revision. It is anticipated that the survey will be available by early summer.
Members are Antonio E. Puente (chair), Marcia M. Andberg, Madonna G. Constantine, Michael J. Kolen, David F. Lohman, Eric N. Miller, Samuel O. Ortiz, Chockalingam Viswesvaran, and Frank C. Worrell.
Ad hoc Committee to Advance Responsible Research
The BSA Ad Hoc Committee to Advance Research held its third meeting February 2-3 in Washington, DC. At the meeting, the Ad Hoc Committee proposed that BSA approve a slight modification to its name. The Committee deemed the name change necessary so that its mission is not misconstrued as one aimed at advocating for increased funding of behavioral and psychological research. The Committee recommended that BSA consider changing the Committees name to Ad Hoc Committee to Advance Responsible Research (CARR). The name change was approved by BSA at its spring meeting in March.
The Committee discussed the importance of infusing responsible conduct of research (RCR) issues into the psychology curricula at both the undergraduate and graduate school levels. While ensuring that RCR becomes an integral part of education and training in scientific psychology is a long-term goal that the Committee will pursue, in the short-term, the Committee decided to develop a number of different initiatives and projects, all of which were geared towards developing resources on the various aspects of RCR. Some of its proposed projects include developing a statement on psychology participant pools, exploring avenues for introducing graduate students to the peer review process, and collaborating with the Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) on developing an annual RCR summer institute.
Members are Arthur Daniel Fisk (chair), Karen Calhoun, Neil Charness, Thomas Eissenberg, Martha A. Mann, and Diane Scott-Jones.
Committee on Animal Research and Ethics
At its spring meeting, the Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) discussed mechanisms to foster the next generation of non-human animal researchers. The Committee reviewed applications and selected winners for the 2007 CARE Imprinting Awards Program, which is a collaborative effort with Divisions 3, 6, 25, and 28. CARE also explored the feasibility of a broader initiative to introduce high school students to scientific psychology in general and psychological research with nonhuman animals in particular, the details of which will be discussed at its fall meeting. The Committee also reviewed a rough cut of a video on the importance of touch and contact in social behaviors such as attachment and aggression. The final video and study guide is expected to be completed and distributed to high schools by the fall.
CARE will also sponsor a conversation hour at the 2007 Convention during which laboratory animal researchers in psychology will have the opportunity to discuss regulatory and other challenges that they are currently facing and inform CARE about their needs for meeting these challenges.
Members are Steven I. Dworkin (chair), Jennifer Higa, Theresa A. Jones, Robert Lickliter, James K. Rowlett, and Pamela Scott-Jones.