Four New Programs Recommended for APA Science Initiative

The Subcommittee of the Interim Advisory Committee, charged with making recommendations regarding the $500,000 APA Science Initiative, has completed its work. The Science Initiative was recommended by the APA Presidents and the Board of Directors and approved by the Council of Representatives in August 1994 to further promote scientific psychology at APA. Planning in earnest for the Initiative began in December after a preliminary meeting in Washington of 16 scientists. At the meeting, a Subcommittee of this initial group was appointed. The Subcommittee, consisting of Duncan Luce, PhD, Martin Seligman, PhD, and Denise Park, PhD (Chair), reviewed and developed a range of ideas, which were initially presented at the December meeting by the larger group.

After considering seven major areas for development, the Subcommittee members presented their recommendations on March 19 to Robert Resnick, PhD, APA President, Raymond Fowler, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, and Board of Directors members Robert Brown, PhD, and Kurt Salzinger, PhD (who were present at the initial meeting in December). The Subcommittee recommended that APA develop four specific programs to further science efforts within the organization. The first involves educating science writers at major media outlets by sponsoring fellowships in which the writers would visit major psychological science centers. The second project entails direct presentations to the public about scientific psychology via a nationally syndicated radio show. A third project focuses on electronic exchange of information via the Internet; APA would develop up to 500 special interest groups in scientific psychology (with bulletin boards and real-time conferencing), with divisions and individual scientists chairing the various groups. A plan was also recommended to develop a prototypical model for use of hypertext in electronic journals. Finally, a fourth project involves the development of a Psychological Science Institute for exceptional undergraduates at which they would be exposed to our highest caliber scientific psychologists and their ideas and paradigms.

Details of the exciting and visionary projects recommended for adoption under the Science Initiative, and plans for getting them off the ground, will appear in the next issue of Psychological Science Agenda.

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