RECENT POSITIONS, PUBLIC COMMENTS, AND OPEN LETTERS
SPSSI issued a statement of its own and added its name to several sign-on letters in response to this executive order. The statement by SPSSI was drafted by SPSSI UN/NGO Committee Member David Livert, Ph.D., and SPSSI UN/NGO Committee Interns Michelle Herrera, Ph.D. student, and Gina Roussos, Ph.D. student, in collaboration with SPSSI UN/NGO Committee Member Corann Okorodudu, Ph.D., SPSSI Policy Committee Chair Linda Silka, Ph.D., and SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll, M.S.
In light of the Pulse nightclub shootings of June 2016, SPSSI leadership urged national lawmakers to reinvest in federally funded gun violence research, including within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This letter was authored by SPSSI member Dr. Arie Kruglanski, a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland-College Park, in collaboration with SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll.
In an open letter addressed to Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), SPSSI's leaders stated that "Now is the time to choose a woman as Secretary-General."
In May of 2016, the Tennessee General Assembly voted to reallocate all funds in the budget of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for fiscal year 2016-17, and banned the university from spending state funds to carry out a number of programs organized by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. The Governor allowed the bill to become law. In an open letter, SPSSI leaders urged Tennessee policymakers to reconsider their decision. This letter was authored in collaboration with SPSSI member Dr. Kim A. Case, a UTK alumna.
The Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects or the “Common Rule” was published in 1991 and codified in separate regulations by 15 Federal departments and agencies. In 2015, the Federal government announced proposed revisions to the Common Rule. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was published in the Federal Register, seeking comment. In January of 2016, SPSSI leadership issued a comment on behalf of the organization, articulating that, “As scientists, we share the desire to reduce delay or burdens associated with research administration to facilitate promising research that offers considerable benefits for society at large. As professionals who conduct research on issues of human rights and social justice, we share concerns to provide better protection of human subjects.” The public comment identifies proposed revisions that improve on the 1991 regulations and also identifies areas where the proposed revisions might be improved.
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