Alison Ledgerwood: Statement

As a Member-at-Large, I would continue to pursue the same three goals that have characterized much of my service over the last decade.

  1. Identify common ground. Debates about important issues in the field often highlight areas of disagreement, but I look for—and therefore tend to spot—the numerous places where people agree. For example, as the Associate Editor in charge of methods and practices submissions to Perspectives, I sought to move beyond the debate about whether our field is in crisis to focus instead on a goal that I thought most of us could readily agree on: how to maximize what we learn from the work that we do. As a Member-at-Large, I would seek out and advocate for opportunities that serve this shared goal (e.g., clear and simple guidance to authors on how to discuss statistical power in an informative way).
  2. Create inclusive conversations. How do we talk about a given issue in a way that invites and includes the voices of all stakeholders, rather than just a privileged few? When I founded PsychMAP (an online discussion group for constructive conversations about methods) in 2015, my goal was to design a new kind of space for discussing and debating often contentious ideas about improving our science—one that focused on ideas rather than individuals and that made room for a variety of voices. Over the last several years, our moderating team, community board, and the community itself have worked together to realize this goal; PsychMAP conversations now involve a wide variety of people with different opinions discussing methodological issues in respectful and inclusive ways. In 2017, I curated an article for the Observer that leveraged the diversity of PsychMAP to gather opinions on what we want our scientific discourse to look like. What I liked most about this article was that rather than highlighting only one scholar’s viewpoint on an important topic, it showcased opinions gathered from scholars across a range of institution types, countries, and levels of seniority. As a Member-at-Large, I’d continue to seek out opportunities to bring more voices to the table (e.g., more inclusive editorial boards).
  3. Start small and start today. There is always room for improvement, in every aspect of our science. I look for concrete actions that we can take to improve a given issue for the field, focusing on practical next steps to move in the desired direction. For example, I have a longstanding interest in identifying analytic approaches that help researchers improve the informational value of their research (e.g., Ledgerwood & Shrout, 2011 JPSP), and I often talk about improving scientific practices via cumulative baby steps. As Member-at-Large for Science Publishing, I’d encourage journals to review current policies and identify next steps toward improvement (e.g., what’s the best next step to improve transparency at this particular journal?) and provide support for thinking through the pros and cons of various possibilities.