Between September 29 and October 1, 2022, SRCD and Co-Organizers Nancy Hill (President of SRCD, Harvard University), Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (University of Southern California), and Shauna Cooper (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) welcomed researchers, policy makers, and transdisciplinary scholars to St. Louis, Missouri for SRCD’s Presidential Special Topic Meeting: Toward a Holistic Developmental Science: Catalyzing Transdisciplinary Multi-Sector Collaborations to Understand and Support Human Development. This special topic meeting was sponsored by the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and SRCD.
The goal of this conference was to create rich collaboration and discussion within the field of developmental science, specifically highlighting the importance of transdisciplinary and multi-sector work.
Program highlights included:
- Keynote speaker: Anthony Burrow (Cornell University) encouraged the audience to think about how purpose in life can be a psychological resource and leads to flourishing in diverse contexts.
- Panel of scholars and program innovators: Barbara Rogoff (University of California Santa Cruz), Andrew Dayton (University of California Santa Cruz), Francisco Rosado-May (Universidad Intercultural Maya de Quintana Roo), and Luis Urrieta, Jr. (University of Texas at Austin) discussed how indigenous knowledge systems serve as a framework for empirical research and align with transnational and transdisciplinary systems.
- Invited Lunch Presentation: Program attendees listened to a fruitful presentation by Abraham Sagi-Schwartz (University of Haifa and Tel-Hai College in Israel), who explained his interdisciplinary journey connecting with child development ambassadors in under-resourced countries.
- Funding panel: Dr. Cooper moderated a discussion with Ulcca Joshi Hansen (Grant Makers for Education), Dr. Immordino-Yang, Sarah Paterson (James S. McDonnell Foundation), and Krystal R. Villanosa (Spencer Foundation). This panel sparked an intriguing discussion about where funding comes from, how to acquire it, and the value of funding transdisciplinary and cross-sector work.
- Invited plenary speaker: Gail Ferguson (University of Minnesota) spoke about Jamaican Black youth acculturating to US culture. Her research team used a transdisciplinary and multisector approach to promote healthy habits, collaborating with community partners both in Jamaica and the United States.
- Invited Lunch Panel: APA partnered with the CDC to speak about vaccine confidence and its relation to cross-sector work. Panelists included Terrie Moffitt (Duke University and King’s College London), Mitch Prinstein (American Psychological Association and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), and Chris Veogeli (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Derek Snyder (American Psychological Association) moderated the discussion.
In addition to the invited panelists and speakers, concurrent sessions of six submitted plenaries, 17 working roundtables, and 34 poster presentations provided a space for scholars to share their own work and foster new collaborations across disciplines and theoretical methodologies. In a brief post-conference evaluation, attendees shared their positive feedback regarding networking opportunities, the invited plenaries and panels, and the benefits of attending a smaller, intimate, and collaborative event.