APA Sponsors Second Science Advocacy Workshop

Nine psychologists came to Washington, DC, December 9-11, 1995, to learn how they could advocate more effectively for psychological science. The APA Public Policy Office (PPO) and Science Directorate held their second-ever Science Advocacy Workshop to teach interested psychologists about congressional policy-making, how the legislative process affects funding for psychological research, and how constituents can maximize their advocacy efforts.

The workshop participants used the recently released Human Capital Initiative (HCI) report, 'Doing the Right Thing: A Research Plan for Healthy Living,' as the focus of their advocacy efforts (the first workshop focused on basic research sponsored by the Department of Defense). After a briefing by APA staff, the workshop participants visited the offices of their Washington representatives, advocating for the adoption of the proposed HCI research agenda and for FY 1996 funding for the National Institutes of Health.

The Science Directorate and PPO sponsored two workshops in 1995 and plan another two or three in 1996. The goal of the workshops is to engage psychological scientists in the policy process because policy decisions are so critical to research funding decisions.

Michael Roberts, PhD, in the Clinical Child Psychology Program at the University of Kansas, said 'I thought the workshop was a very worthwhile experience. I learned a great deal, got to practice what I learned, and came away with some skills I can apply to other situations.' Workshop participants are chosen based on their stated interest in advocacy, their research area, and the district and state in which they live.

The Science Advocacy Workshops are part of APA's effort to build a strong network to advocate for psychological science. In addition to the more intensive workshops, PPO also maintains the Science Advocate Network (SAN), a mostly electronic network that provides current information on pending legislative and regulatory issues of interest to psychologists. To join, send an e-mail message to


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