How many professional or scientific organizations or institutions have been around for 125 years? How many in any field interface with the pedagogic, professional, public service and scientific disciplines, especially for 125 years? How many have represented all aspects of and ways of thinking about psychology for 125 years? As I wrote in my January Monitor column, "in this era of chaos, incivility, decreased focus on diversity and self-centeredness, one has to dig deep to determine what is of value and what has stood the test of time."
Nobody could have imagined what has happened in 2017. With our country's longheld values being challenged, the APA's mission to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives has become more critical than ever. In particular, strong psychological science is paramount. Understanding this core concept is increasingly important as "fake data" and a strong anti-science sentiment is being used in national discussions.
But from such crises, opportunities emerge, and APA is formulating and enacting a new vision. These changes include:
APA has hired a new, visionary chief executive officer, Arthur C. Evans Jr., PhD, to redefine who we are and where we are going. In addition, we are identifying and fortifying the psychologist pipeline, looking at the role master's-level psychologists play, analyzing and reformulating our ethics procedures and standards, developing new products for members, such as StyleCentral and much more. Change is in the air.
APA must continue to diversify itself and expand demographically, intellectually and internationally. All voices must be heard and we must share our ideas and passion with civility and thoughtfulness. To understand and serve the world, we must mirror it with strong leadership.
As our nation faces increasing challenges, we must advocate assertively for psychology and psychologists in an integrated way. One voice speaks louder and carries farther.
We have fought hard on health-care reform and we will continue to do so. We will not lose ground or leave behind those who need us the most.
Let us take this time to celebrate our accomplishments, expand our horizons and ways of thinking. If it is not we who make the changes required in our world, then who?
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