APS Reissues Call for Inclusion of Psychological Science Expertise on COVID Advisory Board

New letter urges that behavioral science be added to the table

Psychological science expertise is critical to the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic response, argues APS in a new letter to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board. As this important board grows, APS repeats a call that a research psychologist be considered for membership.

In November, Biden announced a Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board, which is aimed at helping the president-elect, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and future U.S. leaders address the coronavirus pandemic. Seeing that no psychological scientists were represented among the eminent group of advisers originally named, APS President Shinobu Kitayama penned an open letter to the advisory board co-chairs recommending that a psychological scientist be added to the board.

“I genuinely believe that psychological scientists possess tools to help the country overcome the current pandemic crisis,” wrote Kitayama.

On the heels of the November 28 news that Biden added three more experts to the advisory board—none psychological scientists—APS reiterated Kitayama’s call stressing the value of psychological science in understanding COVID-related behaviors.

“I commend you and President-elect Biden for the establishment of the COVID-19 Advisory Board,” wrote APS Executive Director Robert Gropp in a letter dated December 4. “Please act now to add additional needed expertise in the psychological sciences.”

Gropp’s letter mentions a recent New York Times article noting the view that behavioral scientists, including research psychologists, can help fight rumors related to COVID-19.

Click here to read APS’s letter to President-elect Biden’s Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.

Read APS President Shinobu Kitayama’s December 2020 Observer Presidential Column, “What is Systemic About Systemic Racism?” which touches on the intersection of inequality and COVID-19.