Winter 2013 Family Science update

by Bahira Sherif Trask, Ph.D., section chair
Content Area
Family Science Education

Having just returned from the annual conference, I am delighted to report that we had an excellent discussion at our section meeting about the "identity" of our section with many positive suggestions about future directions, and in particular, a potential name change.

The meeting led to a consensus about the need for a section that focuses on administrative and pedagogical concerns. But there also exists a need for a section that fosters discussions and reflections on the identity and future directions of our field. The group agreed that the Family Science section should be the primary forum where researchers and practitioners can come together and debate core disciplinary concerns.

At virtually every university, Family Science is a discovery major and under constant pressure to, so to speak, prove itself. And yet, Family Science continues to attract large numbers of undergraduate students who are drawn to working with individuals and families in a helping capacity. At the graduate level, Family Science makes unique contributions to understanding families in local, national, and global contexts, and introducing and furthering prevention and intervention approaches to complex societal concerns.

As we turn to next year and the theme of "Families at the Nexus of Global Change," I would like to encourage all of you to think about submitting proposals to our section about the state of Family Science in various settings and other regions of the world. For instance, where in other countries are Family Science type programs located? Are they subsumed under Sociology? Psychology? Anthropology? Behavioral Sciences? What are some of the challenges that are faced by these programs? What kind of research on families is being conducted in these programs? Are they affiliated with nationalMinistries of Families or Ministries of Childrenand Youth? How is the research that is generated on families used to inform public policies?Educational systems? Human services?

These are just some potential topics that we would love to hear about and that would broaden our understanding of the field. We look forward to hearing from the membership and to moving the dialogue on the discipline in a global context forward!