From the President's Desk

APA Div. 28 president's column

Convention highlights from our nation's capital and reflections on the March for Science.

By David S. Festinger

David FestingerHappy summer, everyone. As the weather warms up, so is the excitement for this year's APA convention in our nation's capital. This year marks the 125th Annual APA Convention, and it promises to be a very rewarding event. Thanks to the hard work of Div. 28's stellar convention chair Kelly Dunn, our division's amazing members and our collaborations with other key APA divisions, we are looking at an amazing line-up of innovative, educational and inspirational programming. In addition to our typically outstanding poster session, we are sponsoring several symposia and a host of collaborative sessions that highlight a wide range of research on psychopharmacology, substance use and addictions. In addition, we are continuing to highlight our early career psychologist (ECP) and student members. Together with Div. 50 (Addiction), we are co-sponsoring the early career poster session and social hour that is supported annually by NIDA and NIAAA. This year, the poster session will be preceded by an hour-long addiction and behavioral science data blitz, in which students and ECPs from Divs. 28 and 50 will have two minutes to present two slides covering data from their posters. This innovative program is intended to facilitate interactions between Divs. 28 and 50, provide valuable exposure for our junior members and stimulate discussion at the poster session.

Also as part of the programming, we will be celebrating the achievements of this year's award winners: Dorothy Hatsukami, PhD (MED Associates Brady-Schuster Award), James Mahoney, PhD (Young Psychopharmacologist Award) and Elizabeth Holly, PhD (Outstanding Dissertation Award). Please join us in presenting their awards and hearing about their award-winning research.

I want to also take time to congratulate the newly elected members of our executive committee, including Matthew Johnson as our new president-elect, Bill Stoops as our new council representative and Kelly Dunn as our new member-at-large. I want to thank everyone who ran for these positions and made it a vibrant and meaningful competition. To the very talented competition who did not get elected, I encourage you to run again in future years, as you have much to contribute to our division.

Finally, as the summer heats up and we plan for our trip to D.C., I cannot help but reflect on our monumental March for Science this past April. Despite the damp weather, the ambience was warm, and it was delightful to be surrounded by fellow researchers who all shared an understanding of the importance of science. I was particularly taken by the substantial turn-out of fellow APA and Div. 28 members (see Div. 28 member photos from the March for Science below). The spirit was truly moving.

Nevertheless, our efforts to promote research and maintain the important role that science plays in improving human lives must continue. Important activities that we can all engage in include: dissemination of our research findings through peer-reviewed journals and scientific meetings; sharing our findings in more public forums; contacting our local, state, and national representatives; engaging media to educate the public about our findings and the importance of research; using social media to promote our research and that of our colleagues and continuing to find ways to use our research to promote evidence-based policy.

Members participating in the March for Science Members participating in the March for Science