Up Front

Looking Forward: Letter from the New APS Executive Director

As APS’s newly appointed executive director, I have been focused on new beginnings—new information, new partnerships, new ideas, and new perspectives on persistent problems. Interestingly, my thoughts have coincided with the end to what nearly everyone around the world will look back at as a remarkably long and stressful year. As we continue to work to resolve the myriad challenges that surfaced in 2020, we must also recognize that life has changed. How we do business, learn, collaborate, communicate, and interact has changed. Our organizations must also change. Successful and sustainable institutions must embody innovation, flexibility, inclusivity, and resilience. 

One of the many ways that APS is embracing change is highlighted in this issue of the Observer. This year, the Observer becomes a bimonthly print publication featuring important new content that will provide APS members with even more cutting-edge information needed to advance your careers and shape the future of psychological science and society.  

Our changes do not stop with the Observer. In 2021, APS will launch a strategic planning process that will empower the organization to better serve members, catalyze new scientific advances, and further promote the application of psychological science for the public benefit. This process will be iterative, transparent, and inclusive. We will look internally to identify how we can more efficiently serve the APS community. We will listen to you for information about how we can better serve your needs. We will listen to other scientific fields and the public to identify ways that we can ensure that psychological expertise contributes to new scientific discoveries and solutions for problems of concern to people and governments around the world. 

APS members will have many ways to participate in the development of our strategic plan. We will host a series of interactive discussions throughout the year. These programs will provide an opportunity for you to discuss new ideas and to explore the frontiers of psychological science with APS. You will also be asked to respond to surveys and to provide comments on draft documents.  

While we work to develop our strategic plan, APS will continue to provide innovative ways to help our members share their science with each other, with policymakers, and with the public. One of these new programs is our podcast series, Under the Cortex. Another important opportunity for sharing your science and expanding your professional network is the 2021 APS Virtual Convention, May 26-27, 2021. You can learn more, submit your abstract, and register here

I look forward to meeting you soon—whether virtually, through one of our online discussions or events, or in person.