Dublin 2008; and the lastest news from the Scoiety's Boards and Policy Support Unit
Dublin 2008 Fancy a stimulating Easter break in Dublin? The Society’s 2008 Annual Conference, 2–4 April, is to be held outside the UK for the first time – at the Royal Dublin Society. The Annual Conference is the opportunity for British researchers and practitioners to network across different areas of psychology and to hear and discuss the very latest theoretical and applied research with international figures.

Dublin 2008

Fancy a stimulating Easter break in Dublin? The Society’s 2008 Annual Conference, 2–4 April, is to be held outside the UK for the first time – at the Royal Dublin Society. The Annual Conference is the opportunity for British researchers and practitioners to network across different areas of psychology and to hear and discuss the very latest theoretical and applied research with international figures. And in a change from the last two years, submissions are being sought for oral presentations as well as posters.
The deadline for open submissions is Friday 28 September 2007, with an extended poster deadline of Friday 30 November 2007.

Submitted research will feature alongside skills workshops, professional forums, and keynote and Society Prize Winners’ presentations. There will be keynotes from Professors Daniel Kahneman, Susan Carey, Richard Layard, William Yule, Ian Robertson and Christine Liddell.
For chartered psychologists, the conference provides an opportunity to enhance your CPD Summary Log by taking advantage of the formal and informal learning opportunities available.

The conference is set to be one of biggest events in the Society’s history and is being held in conjunction with the Psychology Society of Ireland (PSI) and the BPS Northern Irish Branch (NIBPS). It promises to be a superb event with high-profile keynote speakers, symposia, workshops, extensive exhibition and poster displays, and a host of other scientific and social events – all in a super venue and fantastic city atmosphere.
Registration fees for Society members are substantially lower than many similar events – only £145 for the full conference, to include entrance to all presentations
and the exhibition, lunches, and our social event on Thursday evening. Single day registration is also available at £75.

Postgraduate and student rates are particularly good value at only £80 for the full conference, or £33 for single day registration. Many other events are planned including a fun-run (or walk for the less energetic), invited symposia, and specialist training workshops. The Conference Gala Dinner is to be held on Wednesday night at the Guinness Storehouse (at an additional cost).

Patrick Leman, Chair of the Standing Conference Committee, said: ‘With such a fantastic venue and new open submissions policy, we expect the conference to be really popular. We’re also expecting to have delegates registering far earlier than normal to take advantage of the many cheap flights from around the UK to Dublin.’

Details of the conference and its social events, along with information on how to submit a poster or symposium presentation, are all available on the conference website at


Presidents’ Award

Professor Susan Gathercole of the University of York has been awarded the 2007 Presidents’ Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychological Knowledge.
The Presidents’ Award is a mid-career recognition of the achievements of psychologists who are currently engaged in research of outstanding quality.

Over the past 25 years as a cognitive psychologist, Professor Gathercole has worked in the field of human memory and in particular on short-term memory in children and adults; the role played by verbal short-term memory in acquiring vocabulary; and the constraints imposed by working memory on children’s classroom functioning and learning.

Professor Gathercole was nominated by her colleagues Professors Andy Ellis, Graham Hitch and Andy Young, who said: ‘Sue has made an outstanding contribution with her empirical research, which has been published in many high-quality international journals, but she has also been strongly committed to translating current research into practical inputs into education and child psychology.’

Professor Gathercole gained her first degree in psychology at the University of York in 1979. This was followed by a PhD at City University, London in 1983. After postdoctoral posts at the University of Oxford and at the MRC Applied Psychology Unit at Cambridge, she took her first lectureship at Lancaster University in 1988. After five years she moved on to the University of Bristol and then the University of Durham in 2001, before completing the circle and returning to the University of York in 2006 as a Professor of Psychology.
Professor Gathercole has written or contributed to more than 100 journal articles, penned several book chapters and seven books, and is the co-founding editor of the journal Memory.

She is a member of the Experimental Psychology Society, and a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. She also received the Society’s Spearman Medal in 1989.

Accepting the accolade, Professor Gathercole said: ‘I am honoured that the Society has recognised my work in this award, and look forward to communicating the ways in which cognitive psychology can be translated into practical application, particularly within education.’


Special General Meeting – change of venue
The SGM on 14 September 2007 at 12 noon will now be
held in the Society’s Leicester office: St. Andrews House, 48 Princess Road East, Leicester LE1 7DR.


Policy Support Unit
July was a relatively quiet month for the PSU with just six consultation responses submitted. Three of these had an academic or research focus. The first, a discussion paper from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) regarding doctoral programmes, was responded to by the Research Board, the Training Committee for Counselling Psychology and the Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group. The response stressed the importance of retaining flexibility on entrance requirements and the need to protect the status of doctoral students as students.

The second academic-related consultation was also from the QAA and related to the section of their draft revised code of practice which concerns academic appeals and student complaints (Section 5). The Psychology Education Board supported the proposals laid out in the consultation paper and had no additional points to raise.

The third consultation concerned the Home Office’s review of its use of science, which is now in its second phase. The response acknowledged the impressive success of the Home Office in utilising science in formulating its policy and noted that this has ensured that, in many arenas, the UK has kept its position as a world leader in developing and implementing policy. Recommendations for the future included: the adoption of a peer-reviewed, open competition, responsive-mode funding model; a greater emphasis on reviewing and harnessing existing research work; and the development of a more effective policy to foster the dissemination of Home Office research through standard academic routes. The response also identified a need for clearer and more effective publication policies to improve the coordination
of knowledge transfer across the various bodies falling within the Home Office’s remit.

The remaining three consultations were from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, and the Department for Education and Skills. These concerned, respectively, the promotion of mental health in the workplace, guidelines for the clinical management of drug misuse, and how best to consult with children. The last of these (Let’s Talk, Let’s Listen), was broadly welcomed by the Division of Educational and Child Psychology. However, an emphasis on ‘making good business sense’ was of some concern since it implied that, were it not for commercial interests, it would not be necessary to consult with children. The adoption of a humanist perspective, considering the importance of consulting with children and young people as a human right in itself, was recommended.

Contact the Policy Support Unit on 0116 252 9926, [email protected].


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