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Sandy's Commitment to Advancing Science

Question: How will you advance science if elected?

As candidate for APA President, I am committed to fortifying and advancing psychology as a science, as the foundation for knowledge, action and practice. There are several approaches I want to pursue with the support and help of our science community:

  1. Advance psychological science as both basic and applied science. The scope of our scientific work is under-recognized and misunderstood. Applied psychological science, in particular, is central to the fundamental connection between psychological science and practice.

  2. Psychological science, coupled with a sound moral and ethical compass, should be the foundation for our training, practice, policies, and advocacy.

  3. Science is under severe attack in the current US political environment. We must devote substantial effort to fortifying our current support and resources and creating an ongoing, enhanced advocacy structure for psychological science. I am particularly concerned that we establish our science as a critical part of the emerging healthcare system. Our scientifically-based approaches to human behavior, cognition, and emotion in cultural context creates unique roles for psychologists in healthcare.

  4. The emerging C3C6 structure, presented as an integrated model, can best leverage an integrated approach to building a strong foundation for expanded advocacy for psychological science. This means regular, ongoing targeted advocacy for increased research funding, e.g., NIH dollars, as well as advocacy for our scientists and their scientific careers.

  5. We must return to the basic notion of the C3 APA as a scientific society established for the public good. We need continued efforts to be recognized by the public as a STEM science with a rigorous and robust foundation. That foundation will facilitate advancing a stronger practice community as well. I will establish a blue-ribbon group of scientists and practitioners (along the science-practice continuum) to focus on creative ways to bring the value of psychological science to the public. Clarifying the multiple skills and roles of psychologists and psychology’s societal contributions is key to our future.

  6. Our advocacy and leadership development efforts and leadership conferences need to broaden to include the full spectrum of psychologists. Building joint leadership conference and leadership development experiences across the continuum of psychology can help build stronger bridges, networks and a more robust discipline. Such arenas can also be regular sources of innovative ideas, policies and initiatives for APA.

  7. It is way past time that APA finds a common platform for work with APS. Psychology as a whole and psychological science, in particular, need increased support and advocacy, especially in the current funding and political climate. We need to work with APS to generate the broader, longer vision of the future of scientific psychology and how we can all contribute to common policy goals for future success. We are much stronger collectively than we are apart with public policy makers. Surely, we can find new ways to establish a policy coalition for psychological science and psychology nationally.

  8. We must continue our efforts as an effective global learning partner in psychology. APA brings great capacity to collect, organize, share and distribute scientific knowledge and information. We can expand the future depth and breadth of psychological science by partnering to create the scientific networks and data bases for international psychology of the future.

  9. The age of digitization is transforming much of how we process information, generate data and access knowledge. We must bring evidence-based, culturally inclusive skills and substantial ethical resources to emerging human-technology interaction. Scientific methods will be transformed, data will change in scale and scope, and policy decisions will be made that have the potential to be fraught with unconscious bias, discrimination and loss of privacy. Simultaneously, opportunities will also exist to target scientific questions and explore the relevance of our findings more precisely with more enhanced individual sensitivity and multi-cultural integrity than ever before. We need to affirmatively address these issues as a premier behavioral science and prepare our psychological scientists and practitioners for a very different tomorrow.

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