‘...promotes research on human development all over the world...’
ISSBD - Word from our President

Word from our President

It has been over a year since the current Executive Committee (EC) started to function in Shanghai. The EC, in working with the Awards, Early Career Development, Membership, and other ISSBD committees, has been making progress on conferences and workshops, communication with other societies, membership, and a number of other tasks.

As you may know, more than 550 delegates from approximately 50 countries and regions attended the biennial meeting, andmore than 100 early career scholars attended the preconference workshops, in Shanghai in July, 2014. Again, I would like to thank the Jacobs Foundation for its support for the events. The feedback I received was generally quite positive. A very nice picture and a detailed report about the preconference workshops are posted on the ISSBD website ContentDisplay.aspx?src¼pastmeetings. Congratulations to Professor Biao Sang and his teamfor their success in organizing the biennial meeting and the workshops!

Rita Zukauskiene and her team are working hard for the 2016 biennial meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania. The meeting website has been created to provide up-to-date information, the Program Committee has invited a number of distinguished scholars in different areas to provide invited presentations, and the scientific program looks very exciting. Here are some the presentation titles: ‘‘Identity formation as a core developmental task across the life span,’’ ‘‘Why do we hurry more, now that we’re living longer?’’ ‘‘Dealing with challenges of social and economic change–international comparisons,’’ ‘‘Making and keeping friends,’’ and ‘‘The role of parenting in the diverging destinies of rich and poor children.’’ More information is provided on the website The local organizing team is promoting the meeting and related activities. This will be a great and unique opportunity for developmental scholars and researchers from different countries and regions to engage in intensive and extensive communications. It will also be very interesting to explore the beautiful city of Vilnius and other places in Lithuania.

In the meantime, Melanie Zimmer-Gembeck, Bonnie Barber, and their colleagues in the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University expressed great interest in holding the 2018 biennial meeting in the Gold Coast, Australia. The group had been talking with the university, granting agencies, and other institutes and offices regarding the meeting. A strong proposal was submitted and presented at the last EC meeting in Philadelphia, and it has been approved! Melanie, Bonnie, and their colleagues have now started to prepare for the meeting, and they will make a presentation about it in Vilnius.

The EC approved two regional workshops for 2015. The first one is on ‘‘Behavioral development: A lifespan perspective’’ in Geneva in September, to be organized by Anik de Ribaupierre, Matthias Kliegel, and Nathalie Mella at the University of Geneva. This workshop is co-sponsored by the Jacobs Foundation to provide support for the attendance of the JF/ISSBD fellows and other activities in the workshop. The second workshop is on ‘‘Advancing research on vulnerable populations by earlyto mid-career scholars in Africa’’ (Developmental research on vulnerable populations), in Nairobi, Kenya in November, to be organized by Kofi Marfo and Maureen Mweru at Kenyatta University. We are currently seeking proposals for new regional workshops for the next few years. A call for proposals has been published in the ISSBD E-Newsletter and the website. I would encourage all of you to think about possibilities of organizing regional workshops. Anyone who is interested may contact me or the workshop committee chair, Suman Verma.

I would like to thank Toni Antonucci for her wonderful work in preparing and submitting the report about the JF/ISSBD fellowship for 2014. The Jacobs Foundation Board of Trustees has approved the support for the new cohort of JF/ISSBD Fellows. In addition to funding for the new fellows’ research, the grants will be used to support ISSBD regional workshops in 2015 and 2017 and young scholars’ travel to the 2016 ISSBD biennial meeting. Toni and her fellowship committee have reviewed a number of applications from many countries and regions for the JF/ISSBD fellowship, and have approved 10 of them for the next cohort. Congratulations to all the new fellows for receiving such a prestigious award!

Three new ISSBD Developing Country Fellows (DCF) have been selected from Cuba, Romania, and Zambia. Congratulations to the new DCF fellows! And, many thanks to Peter Smith and the DCF committee for their wonderful work.

At the EC meeting in Philadelphia in March, Tina Malti, on behalf of the Membership Committee, presented a proposal concerning the establishment of a fellow status in ISSBD. The EC has approved the proposal. An ISSBD Fellow status is awarded to members who have made sustained outstanding contributions to the field of lifespan human development in the areas of research and/or application. A major feature of ISSBD Fellows is the inclusion of such a wide range of international scholars and their contributions, facilitating the advancement of the field. The first cohort of fellows includes past ISSBD presidents, IJBD editors, senior award winners, and conference organizers. The Fellows Committee will review nominations and make recommendations to the EC for future cohorts on a regular basis. We think the establishment of the Fellow status will help maintain the stability of membership, encourage the engagement and commitment of outstanding members, and promote the reputation of our society.

Regarding our collaborations with other organizations, we agreed in the Shanghai EC meeting to participate in the International Consortium of Developmental Science Societies (ICDSS). The ICDSS is currently planning a couple of activities including a conference on issues related to migration, disasters, and climate change and human development. Marcel van Aken, representing ISSBD, has been active in the planning. We will continue to observe and work with the Consortium in the near future. In addition, we have been discussing possible joint projects with other societies, such as the European Association for Developmental Psychology (EADP).

Finally, I encourage all of you to actively participate in ISSBD activities. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Xinyin Chen
September 10, 2015



Most Read
Most Cited