Year-End Message from President Cooper

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Publish Date:
18 Dec, 2017


To view the videocast of the year-end message, see:

This is my sixth and last end-of-year message as President of the International Union of Psychological Science.

In the various formal and informal interactions that I have had with our National Member representatives, I’ve been struck by the warmth and openness of communications, and the willingness to share views on how the Union can better serve not only our membership, but also how the Union may impact the larger society, that we are all indelibly a part of. In particular, the quest for Psychology Serving all of Humanity has been a leit motif that national and regional psychology leadership has repeatedly underscored.      

I am especially pleased that the vast majority of our national membership has eagerly participated in the first-ever external review of the Union’s operations so that we may together craft a more appropriate Vision and Mission of the Union as we jointly enter the next exciting phase of the Union’s development. A critical development that has its origins in the very first International Congress of Psychology that was held during the centennial celebrations of the French Revolution in 1889 in Paris.

As you know, the next ICP will be held in Prague in July 2020 and the 33rd ICP will be hosted in Rio de Janeiro. ICPs remain the flagship event in international psychology and continue to attract emerging and established scientists and practitioners from all over the world, reflecting on every field of psychology, which was described 136 years ago as “the nicest and the most worthy of man” (Julian Ochorowicz, quoted in Sabourin, M. & Cooper, S. (2014). The First International Congress of Physiological Psychology (Paris, August 1889): The birth of the International Union of Psychological Science. International Journal of Psychology, 49 (3), 222-232.  DOI: 10.1002/ijop.12071).

Sadly, this past year we lost Czech colleague Miloslav Solc, the Union’s 2012 distinguished Awardee Annette Karmiloff-Smith and long-standing Executive Committee Member Çiğdem Kağıtçıbaşı. The Union acknowledges their sterling contributions.

Abigail Gerwitz has fully assumed her role as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Psychology (IJP), from which we can expect new heights. The IJP is the only international scholarly publication that is open to all fields of psychology everywhere.

Our 2016 Young Investigator Award (Applied Science) Awardee, Brian Hall, has assumed the Global Mental Health Fellowship at the World Health Organisation (WHO), where the Union is fully engaged in the Mental Health Gap Action Programme.

We eagerly anticipate the 6th ARUPS and the 4th CANPA conferences and the Asia Pacific Psychology Alliance confirming its statutes. The Union celebrates the more than 90% support by the ICSU and ISSC membership to merge. The Union will be as active in the inauguration and future trajectory of the new International Science Council, as it was in the merger process.

I look forward to welcoming you to the next Union Assembly in Montreal on 30 June 2018, where we will, inter alia, engage with the Union’s Strategic Plan, that has been directly informed by your critical input.

It has been my honour to serve you as President of the International Union of Psychological Science since July 2012. Allow me on behalf of the Union’s Executive Committee, to wish you and yours the very best for a productive and peaceful 2018.

Prof Saths Cooper, PhD

IUPsyS President