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Psychonomic Society Carbon Neutrality Task Force
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Psychonomic Society Carbon Neutrality Task Force


The Psychonomic Society has announced the establishment of a Task Force charged with drafting recommendations to make us more eco-friendly and carbon neutral. Their recommendations should also make our society more international and more inclusive by opening up our activities to those who are unable or unwilling to participate in-person due to concerns about the environment, travel bans, disabilities, family needs, health risks, or lack of funds. The recent spread of the coronavirus and the resulting quarantines will also be addressed. We anticipate that the Task Force will carry on its work during the 2020-2024 time period.

Planning for Remote Participation in our November 2020 Annual Meeting
Prior to the outreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Carbon Neutrality Task Force had already been planning to move our November annual meeting to a hybrid in-person/online event. Our initial goals were to reduce the Society's carbon footprint and to increase our international reach and inclusivity. In light of the pandemic, we are redoubling our efforts and considering that our entire November conference may have to be held virtually. Some members of our Task Force participated in a fully remote conference on March 19-20, and one of our embers took a lead role in running its livestreaming technology. All reports suggest that this virtual conference was a great success. We will soon be conducting a follow-up of our own, a virtual dress rehearsal for a November symposium.  

Providing the Public with Expert Advice on Achieving Behavior Change

We know that the novel coronavirus is transmitted primarily through human behavior, such as shaking hands, touching our faces, and failing to socially distance. Members of the Psychonomic Society are experts on human behavior and how it can be modified. Jonathon Crystal, editor of Learning & Behavior, is leading the Behavioral Science Response to COVID-19 Working Group to develop expert recommendations on behavior change. These recommendations will be distributed to the general public, to news media, to medical teams, and to government officials, as well as posted on social media.

Now Available:

We hope our membership will help distribute these messages on social media to the public as soon as they begin to appear on our blog and in our Psychonomic Scientist newsletter.

Ongoing Plans to Reduce our Society's Carbon Footprint

The Task Force on Carbon Neutrality was established early this year, before the coronavirus outbreak became a pandemic. It grew out of a set of overlapping concerns, starting with climate change and our collective carbon footprint. Its scope soon expanded, however, to include our desire to expand our Society’s international reach as well as to expand our inclusivity by opening up our activities to those who are unable or unwilling to participate in-person due to concerns about the environment, travel bans, disabilities, family needs, health risks, or lack of funds. Moving our conference quickly toward a hybrid event (part physical, part virtual) has now become more urgent. If you have suggestions for the Task Force, please email

Volunteer with the Task Force
Our Task Force needs help getting us prepared to go virtual with our November conference. Our working group on applying our science to changing behaviors that spread the virus will be looking for people whose research can be applied to flattening the curve and containing COVID-19. We are also looking for people with skills in graphic design, who can assist in creating visuals and disseminating messages structured to reach various audiences, such as children, adults, seniors, those with disabilities, and health care professionals. We also hope to join forces with other societies to develop tools to help graduate students and postdocs through this difficult period. If you have both the skills and time, please volunteer by completing this form.

Questions? Contact Member Services at or +1 847-375-3696.

Carbon Neutrality
Task Force

James Pomerantz
Rice University, USA

Suparna Rajaram
Stony Brook University, USA

Jon Burnsky
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, USA

Laura Carlson
University of Notre Dame, USA

Morton Ann Gernsbacher
University of Wisconsin-
Madison, USA

Michael J. Kane
University of North Carolina
at Greensboro, USA

Stephan Lewandowsky
University of Bristol, UK

Alice Mason
University of Warwick, UK

Ben Newell
University of New South
Wales, Australia

Eleonora Rossi
University of Florida, USA 

Louis Shomette
Psychonomic Society

Duane Watson
Vanderbilt University, USA

  8735 W. Higgins Road, Suite 300 • Chicago, IL 60631 USA
Phone: +1 847-375-3696 • Fax: +1 847-375-6449 • Email:

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