APA President: Break Down the Silos and Focus on the Public Good

In 2012, when Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, was elected APA’s 2014 president, the APA Monitor on Psychology ran an article announcing the news and providing readers with information on Kaslow’s education, experience and presidential priorities. Her mother, Florence Kaslow, PhD, shared the article with her brother, who called Nadine and told her there was a mistake in the article.

“He said, ‘It says you’re a scientist, but you don’t wear a white coat or work in a lab,” Kaslow recalled during her presidential address Saturday at the APA Convention. “He shared with me how the world views STEM science.”

To improve the public’s understanding of the scientific basis of psychology and promote the applications of psychological science to daily living, Kaslow called on fellow psychologists to band together to advocate for psychology’s recognition as a STEM discipline, and to take part in collaborative work with other STEM disciplines. She pointed to the field’s increasing leadership role in the integrated-care movement as one way to partner with other scientists around a common goal.

“It’s critically important that we take down the silos throughout our profession as well as with other disciplines, to ensure that our activities are focused on the public good,” said Kaslow, professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

Despite some of the field’s ongoing challenges, the future of psychology is bright and full of opportunities, she told attendees: “The work that we do is intrinsic to understanding and improving the human condition around the world.”

One thought on “APA President: Break Down the Silos and Focus on the Public Good

  1. I totally concur, we need to work harder to be included in STEM. We need to break down the barriers between what is deemed “hard” and “soft” sciences.We are trained scientists who understand scientific methodology and contribute to science every day. We need to work together to change perceptions about psychology as a bona fide science. We can all do this in little and big ways; starting at the very beginning with preschoolers all the way through to high school. We also can teach other scientists and medical researchers about what we do and how we do it. There are so many misperceptions about our training and expertise and we just need to go out there and show our stuff through programs like STEM which is far reaching to other science programs that reach out to younger children.

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