What Does it Mean to Be a SPR Member?

“One of the primary goals of SPR is to create a scientific, multidisciplinary forum for prevention science, and a concerted effort is being made to invite investigators to join SPR whose research specialities are not represented in the current membership.”

SPR members view prevention science as an emerging discipline that brings together the strengths and unique contributions of many traditional academic disciplines.

This view of prevention science is summarized nicely by Cates (1995)1:

“The new term ‘prevention science’ may allow us all to get under the same semantic umbrella. Although the techniques of descriptive, analytic, and experimental epidemiology provide the conceptual etiological backbone for this umbrella, its inclusive nature is defined by the myriad of complementary fields composing the breadth of the ‘Prevention Science Umbrella’ (i.e., anthropology, sociology, political science, communications, epidemiology, economics, statistics, managerial science, laboratory science, preventive medicine). Whether we deal with the most qualitative of public health methods (for example, the ethnographic research of anthropologists) or the most quantitative mathematical models of economists, the intent of using the term prevention science is to show its inclusive, rather than exclusive nature.

Some of the disciplines under the prevention science umbrella may not be intuitively obvious. For example, political science is essential to set policy and garner resources necessary for prevention programs. Communication science represents the final common pathway for public health leaders to influence both their scientific colleagues and the general public. Managerial science allows us to define practical problems within organizations and devise methods to evaluate solutions. Finally, laboratory science, even at the molecular level, plays a key role in our etiologic investigations and our screening of populations.

‘Prevention science’ is a collection of diverse fields that, when used together, creates a whole of prevention knowledge greater than the sum of its component parts. If all our disciplines get under the umbrella, we can act as better scientific advocates for our prevention causes.”

To be a SPR member means that you support this broad and interactive view of prevention science. Membership is open to qualified professionals engaged in multifaceted research on health and social problems and interested in multidisciplinary interactions. At the annual meeting of the Society, formal presentations, workshops and informal discussions afford the opportunities for the advancement of new methods and theories relevant to prevention research as well as the dissemination of new findings relevant to the improvement of prevention practice.

1Cates, W. (1995). Prevention science: The umbrella discipline. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 11 (4), 211.

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