APS = GPS: Global Psychological Science, That Is

Twenty years ago, APS was established by a small group of intrepid researchers to advance scientific psychology and its representation in Washington and the public arena.

Over the last two decades, their vision has been realized. Our journals are among the top publications in the field, our convention is a foremost venue for the exchange of scientific ideas and discourse, and we are the leader in bringing psychological science to the public and policy makers. At the start of our 20th anniversary celebration, APS set a goal of reaching 20,000 members in our 20th year. We called it our 20/20 Vision. On August 1, 2008, we met our goal. Today, APS is over 20,000 members strong… and we are worldwide! In 2005, the APS membership voted overwhelmingly to change the name of the organization from the American Psychological Society to the Association for Psychological Science, signaling a renewed focus on supporting psychological science, not just in the United States or North America, but around the globe. And the world’s psychologists have responded. Since the name change, international membership has doubled to almost 18 percent of the total membership of APS. APS is now poised to be the GPS system for the field — Global Psychological Science, that is — bringing together researchers from every corner of the globe. In the two decades since our founding, the world of psychological science has changed dramatically, with an unprecedented pace of discovery and the emergence of exciting new frontiers of research. Here are several ways that APS is helping to navigate the ever-changing, worldwide face of psychological science.

The World of Ideas: APS’s four journals are the top in the field, consistently ranked among the top 10 psychology journals by ISI. Beginning in December 2008, Psychological Science articles will be published online as soon as editorial review has been completed. Members will receive e-mail notifications of the articles published each week.

The World of Scientific Exchange: With a guiding theme of “Crossing Boundaries: Becoming a Cumulative Science,” our 21st Annual Convention in San Francisco, CA, USA, features the world’s top scientists. Thousands of scientists and educators from dozens of countries will be attending, giving you a unique opportunity to connect with current and potential colleagues from around the world. Visit www.psychologicalscience.org/convention for more information.

The World of International Scholarship: APS promotes strong connections among psychological scientists everywhere. As one example, an APS delegation’s trip to China earlier this year resulted in a new Chinese scholar exchange program aimed at providing international training for Chinese scientists while at the same time offering APS members the opportunity to host these highly skilled researchers. Future plans include similar programs in other countries.

The World of Government Funding: Our government relations team works successfully with federal research agencies and Congress to increase support for behavioral science research and training. Visit the advocacy section of our website at www.psychologicalscience.org/advocacy/ for the latest developments.

The World of Public Opinion: APS engages the public in psychological research through the latest social network technologies, our “Day in the Life” interactive web platform (www.meetthemaxwells.com/), the “Mind Matters” column on Newsweek.com, and Wray Herbert’s “We’re Only Human…” weblog (www.psychologicalscience.org/onlyhuman). These efforts are reaching an unprecedented number of people around the world. Annually, research from APS-published journals appears in more than over 5,000 print and web publications with a total circulation of around 200 million people worldwide.

To Infinity and Beyond!

As we head into our 21st year, APS is widely regarded as the strongest and most effective advocate for psychological science, thanks to the productivity and support of our diverse and growing membership. We anticipate a great year in 2009 and for the next twenty years beyond.♦

Observer Vol.21, No.8 September, 2008

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