Board of Scientific Affairs (BSA): 2010 Annual Report

Leona S. Aiken, Ph.D., Co-Chair 
Jennifer J. Manly, Ph.D., Co-Chair

The Board of Scientific Affairs held two meetings in 2010, on March 19-21 and October 22-24.  The following report summarizes the major issues that were of concern to the Board over the past year.

Science Leadership Conference (SciLC)

BSA worked with Science Directorate staff in planning the sixth annual Science Leadership Conference that took place November 2010.  The goal of the annual conference is to bring together key leaders to develop a common agenda that will advance psychological science and help secure its future.  The theme of this year’s conference focused on Strengthening Our Science: Enhancing the Status of Psychology as a STEM Discipline.  Participants developed proposals for activities that APA and other organizations and individuals can undertake to increase recognition of psychology as a core STEM discipline.  In 2011, BSA will review the proposals and recommend which ones to take action on.

Culture of Service Awards

These awards presented at the Science Leadership Conference, and established by BSA, honor both individuals and Departments of Psychology.   The individual Award for Distinguished Service to Psychological Science was presented to Mark Appelbaum who is at the University of California, San Diego, Morton Ann Gernsbacher who is at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and John Hagen who is at the University of Michigan.  These awards, established by BSA, recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to psychological science through their commitment to a culture of service and recognize departments of psychology who instill a culture of service in their training of students and mentoring of faculty.  No Departmental Award for Culture of Service in the Psychological Sciences was presented this year.

Advanced Training Institute (ATI)

ATIs provide training in cutting-edge methods and technologies to psychological scientists.   Four ATIs took place in 2010. 

  • Non-Linear Methods for Psychological Science , at the University of Cincinnati, from June 21-25, 2010.  Organized by Guy Van Orden, this ATI provided a thorough introduction to a variety of non-linear and dynamical methods.  Such methods are becoming increasingly prominent within psychology and related disciplines.  Specific topics included time series analysis, recurrence quantification analysis, fractal analysis, and dispersion analysis.  In addition to lectures and discussion, there was ample hands-on computer time with software for non-linear analysis. 

  • Research Methods with Diverse Racial & Ethnic Groups , at Michigan State University from June 21-25, 2010.  Frederick Leong led this ATI, which included sessions on methods for investigating treatment outcomes in diverse populations, quantitative and qualitative methods, the why’s and why-not’s of web-based data collection, measurement equivalence and invariance across diverse groups, and methods for work in areas ranging from genomics to HIV prevention.  

  • Structural Equation Modeling in Longitudinal Research , at the University of Virginia, May 25-29, 2010.  John McArdle, a University of Southern California faculty member, and John Nesselroade of the University of Virginia, led this course, which featured a series of lectures and hands-on computer workshops on longitudinal methods, modeling, and measurement in contemporary psychological research using SEM.  

  • Exploratory Data Mining in Behavioral Research , at the University of Southern California from June 14-18, 2010.  John McArdle led this course, which provided an overview of recent methodological advances in this topic.  The ATI covered the conceptual bases and strategies of exploratory data mining, and reviewed current techniques and software.  Participants gained hands-on experience with the techniques and were invited to bring their own data and research problems to work on in consultation with the course instructors.

Meritorious Research Service Commendation

BSA developed the Meritorious Research Service Commendation to recognize outstanding psychologists in the federal government and nonprofit organizations who help foster psychological science through their work in planning, promoting, and managing funding programs for research and research training.  2010 is the ninth year in which the citation was given.  BSA selected W. Rodney Hammond, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, C. Tracy Orleans, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Nancy M. Ostrove, Food and Drug Administration, and Philip E. Rubin, Haskins Laboratory to each receive a commendation for 2010.

Summer Science Fellowship

The Summer Science Fellowship is a modification of the Summer Science Institute.  Twelve upper-level undergraduates were selected to take part in this 6-week intensive research experience.  Faculty members from George Mason University agreed to mentor the SSF students over the summer.  In some cases, the students were able to propose research studies, have it approved by the university IRB, and complete the study in the summer.  Others were able to make substantive contributions to ongoing research projects in the labs.  The SSF students also spent a number of days at the APA headquarters building, learning about careers in psychological science, the importance of science advocacy, and how to gain entrance to graduate school.

Science at the APA Convention

The 2010 Convention was organized into plenary sessions, substantive division programming, topical track programming, board/committee programs, awards addresses, and an opening and closing session.  The science programs sponsored by BSA included the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award addresses, the Neal Miller Lecture, the Master Lectures, and BSA, CPTA, CARE, and Science Student Council programs.

Lecture Programs

Master Lecture Program :  BSA selected the following speakers to participate in the 2011 Master Lecture Program at the 2011 convention: Gary Klein in the applied psychology area, Kent Berridge in the biopsychology area, Marcia Johnson in the cognition and perception area, Douglas Massey in the health psychology and behavioral medicine area, and Sam Gosling in the personality and individual differences area.

Distinguished Scientist Lecturer Program : BSA selected the following speakers to deliver Distinguished Lectures at regional psychology conferences:   Robert F. Krueger, PhD and Timothy A. Salthouse, PhD.

Neal Miller Lecture : BSA selected Michael Fanselow, PhD as the Neal Miller Lecturer at the 2011 APA convention.

BSA Committees

The work of the committees constitutes a large part of science governance as summarized below:

The Committee on Scientific Awards (COSA) continues to recognize important scientific achievement in psychology through prestigious national awards.  The Committee also serves as a resource for APA nominations for other scientific awards not conferred by APA for which members may be eligible. 

2010 COSA members: Monica R. Biernat, Ph.D., Marvin Chun, Ph.D., Michael Davis, Ph.D., Jill Hooley, Ph.D., David Lubinski, Ph.D., and Robert Siegler, Ph.D.

The Committee on Animal Research and Ethics (CARE) worked on projects that focused on educating the public about the nature of nonhuman animal research, in general, and in psychology in particular.  The Committee revised its Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Animals in Research.

2010 CARE members: Jennifer J. Higa, Ph.D., Theresa A. Jones, Ph.D., Barbara J. Kaminski, Ph.D., Scott R. Robinson, Ph.D., Pamela Scott-Johnson, Ph.D., and Eric P. Wiertelak, Ph.D.

The newly established Committee on Human Research (CHR) developed a plan for disseminating information on current issues in the responsible conduct of research, including human research participant protections.

2010 CHR members: Thomas E. Eissenberg, Ph.D., Miriam F. Kelty, Ph.D., Daniel C. Marson, Ph.D., Vivian Ota Wang, Ph.D., Barbara H. Stanley, Ph.D., Mieke H. Verfaellie, Ph.D., and Frank Y. Wong, Ph.D.

The Committee on Psychological Tests and Assessment (CPTA) began work on the revision of the Guidelines for Test User Qualifications.  The Committee continues to participate in the revision of the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing

2010 CPTA members: Marcia M. Andberg, Ph.D., Ron K. Hambleton, Ph.D., Robert K. Heaton, Ph.D., Jerard F. Kehoe, Ph.D., Michael J. Kolen, Ph.D., Bernice A. Marcopulos, Ph.D., Robert J. McCaffrey, Ph.D., Samuel O. Ortiz, Ph.D., and Beverly Jean Vandiver, Ph.D.

The Science Student Council advises BSA and the Science Directorate on student-related issues, including awards and programming at the APA Convention.  The Science Student Council has developed a cadre of programs that are helpful to science-oriented graduate students, including oversight of the Early Graduate Student Researcher Award, which recognizes pre-doctoral level research; preparation of information pieces aimed at graduate students on a wide variety of topics; and development of Convention programming, some in collaboration with APAGS, to highlight graduate student research. 

2010 SSC members: Gabriel Lazaro-Munoz, Abby Adler, Azuril Collier, Nisha Gottfredson, Stanley King, Gloria Luong, Tara Queen, and Winny Shen

BSA members elected Dr. Nora Newcombe as Chair for 2011.

The 2010 membership of BSA included two African Americans, and seven white/Caucasian members.  There were six women and three men.   BSA solicited nominations from the ethnic minority psychological associations, APA Division 45, and CEMA to enhance the ethnic diversity of the candidate pool for 2011.  BSA did not have board specific diversity training during 2010.

2010 BSA members: Leona S. Aiken, PhD and Jennifer Manly, PhD (Co-Chairs), Robert L. Balster, PhD, M. Lynne Cooper, PhD,  Robyn Fivush, PhD, Vickie M. Mays, PhD, Nora S. Newcombe, PhD, Kenneth J. Sher, PhD, and Sheldon Zedeck, PhD.