2022 Presidential Address by Jan De Houwer
Dear BAPS supporters,
As psychologists, we know that the whole can be more than the sum of the parts. We know that collaboration can lead to increased benefits for all involved. We realize that people have a strong need to affiliate. Yet as researchers, we often work in isolation, focusing on the tasks that are relevant for us, right here, right now. Sometimes it is good to step out of our scientific isolation, to share with other researchers our aspirations, achievements, and concerns, to inspire and to learn from others, to be part of something bigger. Not just because it is beneficial for what is relevant for us right here, right now but also for the unknown future benefits that it can bring, for us and for others. Scientific meetings are an ideal opportunity to step out of our scientific isolation. You can present and listen. You can say hi to that hero you always wanted to meet or that stranger whose research is unexpectedly similar to yours. To be inspired by research that seemed so different from yours but that suddenly sheds new light on what you are doing or would like to do. This can be fun in the virtual world. It is more fun in the real world.
For the above reasons, our annual meeting is so important for BAPS. The 2022 meeting is, however, particularly important for us because it marks the 75th anniversary of BAPS. We are extremely grateful that the local organizing committee put together such a wonderful and festive two-day program to celebrate this milestone event! Being 75 years old, BAPS is one of the oldest psychological associations worldwide. In those 75 years, our association has changed considerably. Some of that history can be found in two papers by Marc Brysbaert, one that he wrote 25 years ago for the 50th anniversary of BAPS and a second one that he completed recently for the 75th anniversary ( https://www.psychologicabelgica.com/articles/10.5334/pb.1140/ ). In those papers, you can see that BAPS is much more than its annual meeting. Our continuing aim is to support and promote psychological science in Belgium. We do so not only via our annual meeting but also via the awards that we provide, via our journal Psychologica Belgica, the mailing list, newsletter, and so on. One of the biggest innovations in recent years was the introduction of the junior board. An incredibly active group of young researchers have made it their mission to identify and satisfy the scientific needs of young psychological scientists in Belgium. The success of the Junior Day that complements the annual meeting shows how much the efforts of the BAPS Junior Board are needed and appreciated.
I also want to highlight some of the less visible work that BAPS members perform in service of psychological science and psychology in general. Via the Belgian Federation of Psychologists (www.bfp-fbp.be ) BAPS is actively involved in Compsy (www.compsy.be ), the organization that protects the title of psychologist in Belgium. You can read more about BAPS’ position toward Compsy on our completely revamped website (www.baps.be ) including advice on whether you should register at Compsy (https://www.baps.be/news/ ). Via the Belgian Federation of Psychologists, BAPS is also represented at the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (www.efpa.eu ), an organization that works hard at promoting and representing psychology in Europe. BAPS also represents psychology in Belgium within the International Union of Psychological Science (https://www.iupsys.net/ ) of which BAPS is a founding member. Finally BAPS members took the lead in forming the expert group on Psychology & Corona that advised the government during the Corona crisis (sorry that I could not avoid using the C-word). Our BAPS members perform all of this work despite the fact that it is not directly relevant for the research that they conduct right here, right now. Instead, they act on their belief that the whole can be more than the sum of their parts, that collaboration increases benefits for all, that we desire to affiliate. BAPS is a community. Thank you for being a part of it.
Jan De Houwer
22 May 2022