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Scientific Affairs Committee Year End Report


Steve W. J. Kozlowski, Chair

21 March 2008
o Progress Report
(1) Science Forum. This is an ongoing activity carrying over from the prior Chair of the Committee as part of a broader effort to promote science advocacy by SIOP. In April 2007, the EC voted a budget to support a “Science Forum” that would be conducted with the organizational assistance of the Federation.  The first goal will be to execute a Science Forum.
Time Frame: Science Forum is planned for March 2008.
Action Steps: Select a topic (two topics were proposed); appoint a liaison from Scientific Affairs; identify scientific speakers, Federal funding panelists, and participants; conduct the forum; gauge impact.
Status of the Effort: 
  • Topic: Work and Aging: Psychological-Organizational Science Contributions to the Management of an Aging and Age-Diverse Workforce
  • SA Liaison: Ruth Kanfer
  • SA Local coordinator: Seth Kaplan
  • A description of the forum has been crafted by Ruth that will be used by the Federation for their organizing efforts.
  • A call to SIOP members conducting research in the area (to be distributed at the forum) appeared in the October TIP and generated 50 abstracts that are being compiled for distribution at the forum.
  • Speakers and Topics:  
Janet Barnes-Farrell
University of Connecticut 
Managing Team Diversity, Knowledge Transfer, Retirement
Jeanette Cleveland
Pennsylvania State University
Aging and Human Resources Practices
Ruth Kanfer
Georgia Institute of Technology
Introduction and Overview
Elissa Perry
Columbia University
Managing Inter-generational differences 
  • Report:

Report by Ruth Kanfer

Scientific Affairs Liaison and Organizer for the SIOP Science Forum
The first SIOP Science Forum, co-sponsored by SIOP and FBPCS, was held on Friday, March 14, 2008 at Union Station in Washington, D.C.  Approximately 4000 invitations were mailed to relevant government agency personnel and organizations.  Approximately 60 persons made reservations for the event, and about 30 attended the event. SIOP President-Elect, Kurt Kraiger, introduced the event and set the stage for the event.  SIOP members Ruth Kanfer, Jan Cleveland, Elissa Perry, and Janet Barnes-Farrell made research presentations in the morning. Three agency presentations, by Jonathan King (NIA), Deborah Russell (AARP), and Amber Story (NSF) were made in the afternoon session, followed by a general discussion involving research speakers, agency presenters, and audience members. There was good dialogue among participants and speakers throughout the day.  A compendium of materials containing info on SIOP, relevant research abstracts and researcher contact info for approximately 60 SIOP members doing work in the area was distributed to all participants.  Summaries of each talk and the compendium will be put up on the SIOP and Federation event websites. 
The audience was a varied lot, including reps from the FAA, the Institute on Aging, the Council on Aging, and someone from HR magazine.  Don Elders did a great job of getting around to various folks to encourage follow-up stories.  I spoke with him today and he is planning to pursue getting a piece in the APA Monitor, APS Observer, and the Chronicle of Higher Education. He also will distribute his media summary to relevant legislative offices on the Hill with the Federation’s assistance.  HR Magazine is doing a story on age discrimination and will interview Jan Cleveland shortly for this. 
I don't have the evaluations back yet from Federation, but I believe that most folks in attendance found the event informative and useful. (Follow up info: we got 11 completed surveys. On a scale of 1 (poor) to 7 (excellent) everyone rated 6 or 7when asked "How would you rate your overall experience at this event?" The average was 6.3).
I also think that we did impress the NIA officer with the breadth of work being done by SIOP members relevant to their mission (the AARP and NSF reps were not there for the morning sessions by SIOP members).  Unfortunately, the attendance was less than hoped, particularly given the absence of any legislator reps., though a good-sized number of persons did reserve space in advance to attend the event (suggesting the topic garners strong interest in the community). 
Based on our experience, SIOP might want to consider the following for future events like this: 
1.  Targeted, direct, and more intense solicitation for participation of high-level funding agency personnel and key legislative staff members.  The competition for these folks' time makes it hard to get these people on-board, but it would be worth the effort.  For example, it would have been nice to have the BSE officer from NSF attend, rather than a single program officer.  To get this person to attend, we might need to make additional efforts.
Expected Results: Greater awareness among Federal funding agencies for the expertise of SIOP members regarding the targeted topic of the Science Forum. Possible research initiatives arising from the Forum. Possible research funding opportunities (SIOP Goals 1 and 2).
Action Item: Scientific Affairs to organize a Taskforce to consider the effectiveness of the Science Forum experience and to generate alternative options to facilitate science advocacy by SIOP.
(2) Scientist-Practitioner Model. There was an initial effort by Jeff McHenry to organize an ad hoc panel to examine the Scientist-Practitioner Model to be headed by Wally Borman. It was to consist of Jeff, Rob Silzer (Practice Affairs), Steve Kozlowski (Scientific Affairs), and possibly representation by Eric Heggestad (E & T). The goal will be to represent the scientific interests on the panel and the plan it develops.
Time Frame: TBD.
Action Steps: TBD.
Status of the Effort: Unknown…no subsequent communication.
Expected Results: A plan to guide data collection and analysis for the Scientist-Practitioner Model (SIOP Goal 4).
Committee Members:
Bradford S. Bell, Cornell University
Jay Goodwin, U. S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences
Ruth Kanfer, Georgia Tech
Seth Kaplan, George Mason University