APA President Jennifer F. Kelly, PhD, ABPP, and APA Chief Science Officer Mitch Prinstein, PhD, welcomed advocates to the summit. Kelly emphasized that events such as the summit, where participants are trained to advocate for psychological science and meet with congressional representatives and staff, are “critical” for the goals APA aims to accomplish. She reminded participants that “we as constituents have the most powerful voice to remind our elected officials about why psychological science is so important. And it needs to be supported.”
Prinstein thanked the summit participants for attending, noting that it was a “great opportunity to teach people how important it is that we invest in psychological science and protect the integrity of the work we do, using it to inform policy.” He gave a special welcome to members of state psychological associations and advocacy coordinators participating in the summit, noting that they “deeply understand the importance of science advocacy.”
Prinstein also highlighted his five priorities for APA Science.
First, in a world where science is changing rapidly, APA will focus on ensuring that psychological science is in “front of the cycle of scientific innovations.” Second, addressing racial and ethnic disparities in the way we conduct our science is more than overdue. “It’s time to eliminate White supremacy and serve as a model for all scientific disciplines,” said Prinstein. By doing so, he said, the work of all scholars is elevated, and psychological science will be broadly applicable to the theories, methods, approaches, and dissemination tactics that are best to help everybody.
Third, APA science will facilitate ways to cut across subdisciplines, methodologies, and voices within psychological science to permit psychology to serve as a hub science that can speak with one voice. This effort will allow psychological science to have the most significant impact for other types of scientists who could benefit from knowing what psychology offers. Fourth, “psychology is the only scientific discipline that has something to say about every thought and feeling and behavior that every human has every hour.” Science will consider ways psychology can help the public recognize that. This effort includes training scientists to think about public dissemination of their work.
Fifth, at this stage, APA Science will work to convince thought leaders outside of the scientific circles in corporate and workplace contexts and education and health settings, as well as policymakers, to recognize that they need psychological science to guide them in their work. Prinstein concluded by encouraging participants to sign up for APA’s new science newsletter Science Spotlight to keep abreast of Science’s progress in achieving these goals.
APA’s Chief Advocacy Officer Katherine McGuire, MS, emphasized that it was critical that participants attended the summit to “represent the voice of psychology and psychological science with Congress and find ways to keep engaging in advocacy and standing for science after the summit is over.” McGuire echoed Prinstein, noting the breadth of psychological science represented at the summit, which included research on AI, jury decision-making, new technology to preserve independence among older adults, building resilience in children, and the future of the workplace.
“Your work is critical to so many of our nation’s challenges,” said McGuire. APA Advocacy wants to ensure that psychological science is part of any new investments in research agencies. APA’s broad advocacy agenda “is only as strong as the science that it rests upon, and APA is committed to expanding opportunities for all psychologists to keep expanding the frontiers of research,” McGuire said.