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Presidential

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Psychology is a discipline and profession that spans the whole range of human experience. Members of the Society are experts in things that really matter to people: relationships, education and learning, mental health, health, politics, sport, crime, work, how organisations function, prejudice and intercultural understanding, and more.

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All stereotypes are in the mind of the observer, but I do now think I could reliably identify the satellites and acolytes of the three main political parties in the UK.

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This week’s blog bisects a busy week for me, with BPS business taking me to Brighton, London, Edinburgh, back to London and Llandudno, and extending from Sunday morning to Saturday afternoon.

My first appointments were at the Liberal Democrat Conference. I believe it is important for us, and indeed our colleagues in the other medical Royal Colleges, to be present at these events, even if little material work is done.

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I'll start today with the fact that this may well be one of the last presidential blogs in the current format.

Because, after investing a significant amount of money, effort, and time, the British Psychological Society will soon start to roll out a brand new website.

The new website will be much more engaging and accessible, and is particularly designed to help members of the public to access the work of the society.

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A woman high jumper

The Paralympics begin today. And I loved an article by John Head, senior lecturer in prosthetics and biomechanics at the University of Salford, celebrating the fact that

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I have to confess a personal interest. In a few days time, my son, like many thousands of others, will be going to university. Distressingly, this means beginning what may well be a lifetime of debt. The psychological consequences are potentially serious.

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As I’m technically on holiday, I’m cheating very slightly this week, with an edited snippet from my book.

I commute to work by car and unfortunately drive for quite long distances on motorways. So my journey to work (like, I suppose, everything else in life) depends on the operation of the laws of physics.

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We have inherited a great deal from early medieval scholars, including the way we refer to the work of other scientists in our writing. The hegemony of privileged men crediting the work of other privileged men started in the academies and cloisters – “secundum quod Averroes dicit...” or “as Averroes* said…”  – but we can see the echoes today, and not only in standard APA citation systems.

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Promoting “the advancement and diffusion of a knowledge of psychology pure and applied” and “the efficiency and usefulness of members” are core to the charitable aims of the Society. Members expect the Society to represent their views and defend their profession. And that means, in part, discussing the distinctive contribution of psychology and psychologists.

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The current edition of Private Eye (publication date 4th August 2016) outlines concerns about the regulation of psychologists. In particular, the journalists comment that; “providing psychologists don’t use one of the … so-called protected titles … any can offer their services without the need to be registered and regulated by the UK’s watchdog the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Even if serious concerns or complaints are raised about them, they remain immune from investigation because they’re not registered”.

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I thought, last week, that the political world could not get any more turbulent. But events in the South of France, in the USA, in Turkey, and even here in the UK, proved me wrong.

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The British Psychological Society is actively engaged in several important policy issues, but two are particularly contentious. They are technically complex and they are personally challenging.

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The Chilcot Report into the decision to go to war in Iraq has highlighted the irrationality and psychological vulnerability of our leaders, and how disastrous the consequences can be.

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Last night I attended the Gala Dinner of the Royal College of Psychiatrists held in the magnificent Painted Hall of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich. It followed the college’s annual congress in the huge ExCeL centre, with an estimated 3000 delegates. It offers an ambitious goal for what the BPS should aim for.

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The world is still in shock after the horrific events in Orlando last weekend, which left many peop

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A great deal of my time is devoted either to asking other people to do things for us or, occasional

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Thank you for all your many positive comments on my first presidential blog… and thank you, too, for the (many fewer) negative comments. It’s always good to learn from constructive criticism.

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Professor Peter KindermanSucceeding Jamie Hacker Hughes as President of the British Psychological Society will be both a

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