Just to let interested parties know my plans for the forthcoming week…
On Monday 15th, apart from a BPS (British Psychological Society) teleconference at 9am, I’ll be concentrating on University business.
It’s worth noting that a main topic of concern for the leadership of the BPS is the consequence of the Government’s comprehensive spending review on the funding and commissioning of applied psychology training… we’re on the case.
On Tuesday, I’ll be attending a regular meeting of the Science Council as a BPS representative.
I originally studied ‘natural sciences’ – including physics – at university, so I felt surprisingly at home in this meeting. There were several points of contact with the BPS (which I hope colleagues will be able to follow up):
The Science Council encourages people to register as ‘chartered scientists’, and promotes professional science as a career choice. That sounds great to me, and I think there may be mileage in encouraging psychologists to register as chartered scientists, and for the two bodies to discuss the relationship between the BPS ‘chartered psychologist’ and Science Council’s ‘chartered scientist’ initiatives.
The Science Council also promotes science, and – since psychology is indeed a science – we should join in with this.
The Science Council meeting heard from a range of experts about how both charities and professional bodies can ensure that their investments are ethically invested – a matter of great interest to me in the case of the BPS.
Finally, I had interesting conversations with colleagues about – to imitate the new economics foundation – “science as if people mattered’, that is, a values-based consideration of professional science.
On Wednesday 17th, I’m due to be on the BBC Radio Merseyside breakfast show to talk about recent research into the care for people- especially children and adolescents – who are depressed. The rest of the day will be devoted to University business.
You can hear the interview here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03gy9df – and decide for yourself if I did a good job.
On Thursday, I’ll be travelling up to Edinburgh (hopefully doing some work on the train), to attend, on Friday the 19th, the BPS Scotland Scientific Meeting, a “Cafe Psychologique”, and the AGMs of BPS Scotland as well as the Scottish branches of the Divisions of Occupational and Counselling Psychology.
A fascinating day – so much vibrancy and enthusiasm in psychology and in Scotland. Our day started with a discussion about psychologists in independent practice; the ethical issues (should we offer our services through the state’s health and social care system, or privately?), the practical issues (the definitions of ‘sole trader’, ‘self-employed’, ‘independent practitioner’ etc) and the business of informing the public and employers of our skills and services.
We also heard from Ros Searle on the effects of trust in public and private organisations, especially in times of recession and austerity, when difficult decisions have to be made. Ros also discussed the tyranny of target-driven cultures and zero-hours contracts, and suggested that psychologists should be prepared to speak out about these harmful practices.
We also heard from Annie Douglas, talking about clinical psychology's response to the dispersal of asylum seekers to Glasgow – and "the pivotal role of Clinical Psychology as a discipline in designing, managing and evaluating an NHS mental health whole system response for asylum seekers and refugees of all ages in Glasgow". This is a matter of significant concern to the BPS, especially as we’ve recently established a taskforce on force on refugees and migrants (of which Annie is a member).