Abstract # 4211 Event # 159:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2012 10:15 AM-12:30 PM: Session 24 (Magnolia) Roundtable


D. M. Fragaszy
University of Georgia, Dept of Psychology, Athens, GA 30602, USA
     Academic societies like the American Society of Primatologists have played a seminal role in science from the period of the Enlightenment. Academic societies embody values and create and communicate goals. They support innovations in method and theory, recognize excellence though awards, and provide a sense of community. They build boundaries defining who is a scientist and what is science, and they connect scientific interests and public interests. They have the ability to look forward into the future and outward to other disciplines. These are roles that governments, universities and research institutions cannot have, or do not have as effectively as scientific societies. Academic societies run largely on the volunteer efforts of their membership. Accordingly, they face several challenges, such as time (or the lack of it) for volunteer service, scrutiny of return on investment for dues, specialization fracturing communities in science, tension between early-career and later-career members about benefits membership should provide, and technological issues concerning service to the membership (such as moving many functions online). Participants in this roundtable will discuss what this society does and could do, how to do it effectively without over-burdening member volunteers, and how to pay for it. How shall the ASP remain an agile, vital, interdisciplinary community and forum for primatology? What’s your vision of the ASP at 50?