Psychobiology Section Annual Review 2013

The Psychobiology Section of the BPS provides a forum for discussion concerning academic and professional issues for people with interests in the more biological aspects of Psychology. The present membership includes individuals active in the fields of Psychopharmacology, Psychophysiology, Physiological Psychology, Animal Behaviour, Behavioural Genetics, Learning Theory, Neuropsychology, Psychoneuroimmunology and Psychoneuroendocrinology. The Section’s aim is to complement the functions of the specialised research groups within these various areas.

The Section’s Annual Scientific Meeting took place 3-5 September 2013 at Low Wood, Windermere. Some 40 delegates attended. The calibre of all our presenters was excellent as ever, particularly our two guest speakers, Professor Sophie Scott and Professor David Nutt. Both have been in the media since the meeting. Professor Scott appeared on BBC Radio 4’s The Life Scientific last September - you can listen to the programme on its website.

More recently in November Professor Nutt was the winner of the 2013 John Maddox Prize. This annual prize recognises courage in promoting science and evidence on a matter of public interest, despite facing difficulty and hostility in doing so. It’s fantastic that our Section attracts such high calibre speakers and these will be a tough act to follow for the 2014 ASM.

In addition the Section sponsored the Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group (PsyPag) 2013 Annual Conference 17-19 July at Lancaster University. The Psychobiology Section provided one of the conference lunches and additionally had a stand at the meeting. This recognises the important contribution that career young psychologists will make as they develop and is something that the Psychobiology Section is very keen to support.

There were several changes on the committee in 2013. Professor Philip Murphy stepped down as Chair, and Dr Anna Scarnà stepped down as Treasurer. It’s my great honour to have been elected as Chair of the Psychobiology Section of the British Psychological Society and I’d like to thank Philip and Anna for all they have done for the Section as well as all other committee members without whose effort the Section would not exist. The committee warmly welcomes our new Treasurer, Dr Michael Smith.

Dr Richard Stephens, Chair