APA Releases Report on Psychology as a STEM Discipline

At its Annual Convention last week, the American Psychological Association released a report, Psychology as a Core Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Discipline, prepared by a 2009 Presidential Task Force (one of three established by James Bray during his presidency).

The task force was chaired by John Dovidio (Yale University) and involved a collaboration of APA’s Science and Education Directorates. In releasing the report, the task force acknowledged the inconsistent recognition of psychology as a STEM discipline and proposed recommendations to address the problem. Indeed, most or all behavioral and social science disciplines face the same hurdle, and scientific societies across these sciences have been working together to raise awareness among policymakers, science agencies, and the broader scientific community. According to APA representatives, this will remain a focus for the next 3-5 years.

Cora Marrett, Acting Director of NSF, was invited to join the panel discussion. Dr. Marrett has held numerous positions at NSF and has led NSF’s effort to improve STEM education at all levels. She stated that “science does not equate with the phenomena under study, but is a process.” Thus, the framing of science should include all sciences, and science must help to  “unravel the complexities of the universe.” 

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