SIPS Statement Condemning Racism and Police Brutality

The Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS) condemns racism and police brutality in the United States, where white supremacy and oppressive policing practices threaten the lives and well-being of Black people. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Tony McDade. We mourn their murders and the thousands of lives taken by state violence and police brutality.

The white supremacy at the root of this violence is also present in the world of psychological science – it is deeply ingrained in our admissions and hiring processes, our professional incentive structures, our classrooms, our departments, and our societies. Although academia may seem far removed from police departments and political offices, SIPS members play a role in constructing the community in which we all live. If we continue with ‘business as usual,’ we willperpetually recreate a community that tacitly endorses falsehoods like:

  • Science conducted by wealthy white Americans, on samples of wealthy white Americans, can serve everyone
  • Teaching about psychology means focusing on contributions of white men and women
  • Covert white supremacy is not a problem in academia

If we are more vigilant, we will find ourselves with many opportunities to challenge, question, and undermine those falsehoods.

SIPS was founded on the principle of continuing self-improvement. We cannot do good science without diverse voices, but right now the demographics of SIPS (which can be viewed here) are unrepresentative of the field of psychology, which is in turn unrepresentative of the global population. We have work to do when it comes to better supporting Black scholars and other underrepresented minorities. With this in mind, we are taking the following actions:

  • We will partner with other societies whose mission is to increase the number of Black people and other underrepresented minorities in psychology. As a first step, some of us have applied to join the SPARK Society’s network of volunteers that will provide a “first review” for underrepresented minority trainees, giving rapid and constructive feedback on manuscripts before they are submitted to a journal.
  • At this year’s conference, we will host a hackathon entitled “Attracting and Retaining Members from Regional and Racial/Ethnic Backgrounds that are Underrepresented in SIPS” with the intent of continuing an ongoing conversation about ways to address this problem. We will assign an Executive Committee member to build on this work and conduct a survey aimed at identifying barriers to involvement with SIPS and open science. (Update 6/29/20: Heather Urry is now the Executive Committee managing this effort.)
  • We will introduce a new category for SIPS Mission Awards  that will recognize meta-scientific work addressing inclusivity within academia (nominations can be submitted here).
  • We will post this statement on our website along with this link for submitting suggestions to lengthen and improve this plan of action. We will add updates as we make progress on these items, making ourselves accountable to the SIPS community.

These are small steps in a much longer journey. Lasting change will take the same kind of careful, persistent, and collaborative work that the SIPS community has devoted to advocating for more open and reproducible science. With these steps, we express our commitment to doing this work, and to dismantling systemic racism within the SIPS community and academia.


Alexa Tullett, on behalf of the SIPS Executive Committee
Kimberly Quinn, on behalf of the SIPS Diversity Committee

This statement was written collaboratively by the following individuals (listed alphabetically):

Joanne Chung
Katie Corker
Melissa Kline
Benjamin Le
Hannah Moshontz
Kimberly Quinn
Alexa Tullett
Heather Urry


SIPS Demographics Report

This document reports the collected demographics of the active SIPS membership as well as the registrants for the free online SIPS2020 conference.

Active members

The following report is based on the records retrieved from Wild Apricot of 483 currently-active members (as of May 21, 2020).

Nationality. Active members represent 30 countries. 53% of members are from the USA (44%) or Canada (9%). 32% of members are from Europe: 8% from Germany, 8% from the Netherlands, 5% the UK, and 1% or fewer from each of several other European countries. A further 8% are from East Asia and the Pacific, with 5% from Australia and New Zealand and a combined 3% from China, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, The Philippines, and Hong Kong. Less than 1% are from South Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean, North Africa and the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa combined. 6.5% of members do not have a country listed.

Race and ethnicity. Most active members report being white (68%) or Asian (12%). 2% identify as Middle Eastern or North African, and only 1% identify as Black. 2.5% report being Latino/Hispanic/Chicano/Puerto Rican. Race and ethnicity information was collected via checklist, so any one member might be counted in several of these categories. 11% did not provide race and ethnicity information.

Gender. Membership is 47% male and 43% female, with 10% not reporting their gender. Less than 1% of members reported a gender besides male or female.

Sexual orientation. Regarding sexual orientation, 52% report being heterosexual, 6% bisexual, 4% gay or lesbian, and 1% self-described with another label. Nonresponse is an issue, as 25% did not indicate a sexual orientation, and 12% indicated that they preferred not to report an orientation.

Transgender identity. Less than 1% of members reported transgender status. Nonresponse may be an issue, with 43% of members not indicating cis/transgender identity.

Career stage. 37% are in a faculty position, 15% are postdocs, 33% are graduate students, and 1% are undergraduate students. 8% did not indicate their career stage, and 5% indicated a career stage outside of these categories. Of the faculty positions, 54% are tenured (or equivalent), 20% are tenure-track (or equivalent), and 9% are visiting or adjunct. 16% of faculty reported indicated some other form of position.

SIPS 2020 registrants

The following report is based on the registration information of 1000 registrants for the online SIPS 2020 conference (as of June 15, 2020).

Nationality. Registrants for SIPS2020 represent 49 countries. 36% are from the United States (30%) or Canada (6%). 52% are from Europe and Central Asia (16% UK, 8% Germany, 7% Netherlands, 3% Turkey, 3% Spain, and many more). 8% are from East Asia and the Pacific (3% Australia, 2% New Zealand, and less than 1% from Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore.). 2% are from Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru). 1% is from India. Less than 1% are from the Middle East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa combined.

Gender. Registrants are 32% male and 47% female, with 21% not reporting a gender. 1% of members indicated a gender besides male or female.

Race and ethnicity. 55% of registrants are White, 11% Asian, 3% Middle Eastern and/or North African, and 1% Black. 4% report being Latino/Hispanic/Chicano/Puerto Rican. Again, race and ethnicity information was collected via checklist, so any one member might be counted in several of these categories. 27% of registrants did not provide race and ethnicity information.

Sexual orientation. Regarding sexual orientation, 39% of registrants report being heterosexual, 6% bisexual, 4% gay or lesbian, and 1% self-described with another label. Nonresponse is an issue, as 42% did not indicate a sexual orientation, and 8% indicated that they preferred not to report an orientation.

Transgender identity. Less than 1% of registrants indicated transgender status. 54% did not indicate cis/transgender identity.

Career stage. 22% are in a faculty position, 12% are in postdoctoral training, 36% are graduate students, and 3% are undergraduate students. 22% did not indicate their career stage, and 4% indicated a career stage outside these categories. Of the registrants in faculty positions, 42% indicated being tenured, 22% indicated being tenure track, and 15% indicated being non-tenure-track. A further 21% of faculty indicated having another kind of position (e.g. research scholar in a private corporation or non-profit organization).


repliCATS Pre-SIPS Workshop & Travel Grants

Edit (March 29, 202o): The repliCATS pre-SIPS workshop is cancelled. More information on remote participation coming soon.

The repliCATS project will run a pre-SIPS workshop about evaluating published research claims and predicting the likely outcome of replication studies. 100 travel grants of US$550 are available to those who live outside the immediate area. This is a full (long) day workshop, running the day before SIPS at the SIPS conference venue : 20 June (8:15am-5:30pm) at the Victoria Conference Centre located at 720 Douglas Street, Victoria, British Columbia. Lunch and coffee are included.

Read more about the repliCATS project here. Register your interest in the pre-SIPS workshop here.

Please note: The grants are reimbursements, not upfront payments (sorry, not our fault!). “Outside the immediate area” means more than ~2 hour commute away, but preference may be given to those travelling further. There will also be up to 50 unfunded spots at the workshop—you don’t have to accept money to attend.


SIPS EC signs letter in support of open-access publishing

Last month, several scientific societies signed a letter to President Trump urging him against mandating open-access publication of federally funded research in the United States. Among the signatories of that letter were the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.

Today, the Executive Committee of SIPS has signed a counter-letter arguing in favor of open access. We chose to sign this letter because we see great benefits in open-access publication, which allows researchers and the public greater access to scientific research. Under the current system, publishers use volunteer labor to write, review, and edit articles, but the product of that free labor is sold back to universities and readers at a premium. We need policymakers to understand that open access publication does have advantages and that there are scientists and scientific societies that support it.

We also chose to sign this letter because it emphasizes the importance of sharing scientific findings not just with American taxpayers, who are funders of this work, but with people across the globe. One of the core values of science is universalism, and limiting access to research undercuts the global contribution that can be made by scientific work. 

We recognize that there are possible concerns with this purported executive order. Is an executive order the correct way to direct scientific publishing? How long might be required for such a transition? Will open-access article processing charges be more financially reasonable than subscription fees? Still, on balance, we feel the opportunities of open access outweigh the risks.

We had to make this decision quickly and before the letter could be made public. If you want to share your comments or concerns about this decision, you can reach us at

Committees General

SIPS award committee seeks new member

We are looking for a new member of the SIPS Award committee. Please click here to nominate a candidate. Self-nominations are also welcome. Please make your nominations by midnight, Pacific Standard Time, December 15th.

Collabra General

Collabra seeks new editors

SIPS seeks new editors for its official journal, Collabra: Psychology, a mission-driven Open Access (OA) journal from the University of California Press. Review of applications begins Nov. 15, 2019. Click here for more info.