This Month In Science

Science Programs are in Abundance at the 2009 APA Convention

This year's APA Convention offers many Science programs, including the "Convention within the Convention."

You won’t want to miss the 2009 APA Convention in beautiful Toronto, August 6–9.  The meeting will be packed with presentations from some of the discipline’s most outstanding speakers.

francis-collinsThe Opening Session on Thursday, August 6, will feature the Convention Keynote address by Francis S. Collins, MD.  Collins, who led the effort to map the human genome, is a former director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, and is a world-renowned physician, geneticist, and author.  Also at the Opening Session, APA President James Bray will present Awards for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Alan E. Kazdin and Patrick H. DeLeon.

Among the highlights of the 2009 meeting are the “Convention within the Convention” (featuring cross-divisional programming on topics of broad interest), plenary sessions, and of course, programming sponsored by the Board of Scientific Affairs. 

laura-carstensenPlenary presentations of particular interest to the science community include talks by Laura Carstensen, “A long bright future: Aging in the 21st century;” Dante Cicchetti, “Developmental psychopathology in action;” Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener, “Happiness in turbulent times;” Michelle Fine, “Oil for the lamp of democracy: Participatory action research with youth during politically contentious times;” Ahmad Hariri, “Using imaging, pharmacology and genetics to better understand mechanisms of individual differences in behavior;” Andrew Meltzoff, “Early development of social cognition: A new look;” Jennifer Richeson, “Negotiating interracial interactions: Costs, consequences, and possibilities;” and Martin E. P. Seligman, “Positive education.”

jennifer-richesonThe “Convention within the Convention” includes 77 sessions within ten programming tracks.  Among the outstanding speakers scheduled are Leona S. Aiken and Stephen G. West, “Statistical mediation and moderation analysis: How and for whom do interventions work?” Mahzarin Banaji, “Knowing our minds;” Linda M. Bartoshuk, “Do you taste what I taste: Some lessons about measurement that impact health;” Aaron T. Beck, “Cognitive therapy: A conversation with Aaron T. Beck and Frank Farley;”  Michael Davis, “Neural circuits involved in fear and stress with implications for PTSD;” Adele Diamond, “Strategies and programs that help to improve executive functions in young children;” John F. Dovidio, Crossing the racial divide: Having the difficult discussion about bias and inequality;” Janet S. Hyde, “Men are from Earth, women are from Earth: The gender similarities hypothesis;” Loretta S. Jemmott and John B. Jemmott, “Designing family-based interventions: An effort to empower mothers to reduce their son’s sexual risks;” Terence M. Keane, “Taxonometric and/or clinical implications of neuroscience research;” David A. Kenny, “Introduction to the actor-partner interdependence model for the study of dyads;” Scott E. Maxwell, “Advances in longitudinal mediation analysis;” John Norcross, “Psychotherapy relationships that work: Evidence-based responsiveness;” Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, “Families globally share healthy pathways;” Peter Salovey, “Academic leadership in challenging times;” Mark Snyder, “Working for the common good: Individual and groups address the challenges facing the world;” Jose Szapocznik, “The science and practice of the prevention of risk taking behaviors in Hispanic families,” and a symposium on “Modern technology failures and cognitive engineering successes.” 

One of the featured symposia in the Presidential programming track focuses on The future of psychological science as a STEM discipline.

Talks by Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award recipients include: Nancy Adler, “Eliminating health disparities: What’s psychology got to do with it?” Susan E. Carey, “The origin of concepts;” Alice Eagly, “The his and hers of prosocial behavior;”and Steven F. Maier, “Vulnerability and resilience: Stressor controllability and the medial prefrontal cortex.”

The Neal Miller Lecture will be given by Michael Meaney on “The epigenome: Where nature meets nurture.”

The 2009 Master Lectures include Chris Dunkel-Schetter, “Stress before birth: Immediate and long-term effects;” Howard Eichenbaum, “The neurobiology of recollection;” Eduardo Salas, “Evolution and maturation of the science of team performance: Decades of progress and emerging perspectives;” and Dean Keith Simonton, “Creative scientists, artists, and psychologists: Modeling disposition, development, and achievement.”

The APA Science Student Council is organizing sessions of special interest to graduate students, including: “Achieving balance: Integrating the demands of professional life and personal life,” “Um…Hi… A professional social networking guide for graduate students,” “Psychological science graduate superstars – datablitz,” and “Grants and fellowships for graduate students: Funding and advocacy.”

The APA Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) is sponsoring a second invited address by Michael Meaney, “How social experiences (re)program the brain.”  And the APA Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment is organizing a symposium on “Current issues affecting the disclosure of test data and materials.”

In collaboration with CARE and the APA Ethics Committee, the Board of Scientific Affairs is sponsoring a session on ”Research ethics 101.”

The 2009 Scientist’s Guide to the APA Convention, a listing of all Science Directorate programs, plenary sessions, and selected programs of APA Divisions will be distributed at the Science Directorate’s booth in the Exhibit Hall in Toronto.

Please visit the APA Convention site for registration, housing, and other information.