New Leaders Elected to FABBS Board

September 15, 2011

by Paula Skedsvold

The FABBS Council of Representatives, consisting of scientists from the twenty-two scientific societies represented by FABBS, has elected four new members to serve on the FABBS board. Susan Fiske, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology at Princeton University, will serve as President –Elect beginning in January 2012. Fiske previously served on the FABBS board and helped launch the FABBS Foundation in 2004, later serving as its President.  "The FABBS mission-to advance our sciences-is crucial, especially during these times. In partnership with other science association advocates, we bring a set of voices on critical issues that represent the entire federation of member societies." said Fiske.

The FABBS Council also elected David Dunning, Professor of Psychology at Cornell University, to serve as Treasurer.  In this role, Dunning will also oversee the finances of the FABBS Foundation. In a statement, Dunning commented: "It is my belief that representing our science to the Washington community, and to the general public, is an activity that all of us must approach with more dedication and energy. Whatever number of hands on deck we have for this purpose, we could still use more." 

Dunning added: "Often the crucial knowledge that behavioral and brain sciences have developed remains unknown to government representatives and to taxpayers, and so it is incumbent on us to explain more forcefully-and frequently-that value that our science has created. By listening to the outside public, we can also learn what they find to be valuable, and so can refine and enhance the contributions we make to societal well-being."

Two Members-at-Large were elected for three-year terms. Diane Halpern, Trustee Professor of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College, is a past-president of the American Psychological Association and The Society for the Teaching of Psychology and co-chaired the Association for Psychological Science’s taskforce on the science of learning. Halpern stated that "Research into the brain and behavioral sciences has been increasing at an unprecedented rate, and along with the advancement of knowledge is a phenomenal growth in the misuse and misunderstanding of the relationship between the structure and function of the brain and its relationship to behavior.... One of the most important tasks for FABBS is the translation of the vast array of scientific findings so that they can be understood and used by the general public, and most importantly, by policy makers." 

Bruce Overmier, a behavioral neuroscientist at the University of Minnesota, has previously served both FABBS and the FABBS Foundation, as well as APA, APS, and The Psychonomic Society.  Overmier hopes to see FABBS promote the interdependence of basic and applied science, the critical need for modest grants to early career individuals, and a partnership between government and university educators to support research-based training that is less directed, allows science to flourish, and which ultimately serves the public. 

Congratulations to these new FABBS board members!