Aims and Principles of the society by I. P. Stolerman and F. Colpaert, (1990)
The European Behavioural Pharmacology Society. Psychopharmacology 101, 289-291. (Springer Verlag owns the copyright to this article - used with permission)
The society aims to advance the development of behavioural pharmacology primarily through the organisation of international scientific meetings.
The main purpose of the meeting is to disseminate the latest results of research, both by members and non-members. It is of the utmost importance that the scientific standard of these meetings is of the highest possible level, and the organisers have therefore always tried to obtain the very best speakers on its selected topics, regardless of where in the world they are based.
A secondary aim of the meetings is to assist practitioners of behavioural pharmacology in obtaining an adequate breadth of knowledge, extending into related disciplines. To this end, the programmes of the main meetings feature invited talks by lecturers of international renown on topics in experimental psychology, psychiatry, biochemistry, and other pertinent areas. We hope that it will be possible to further develop this aim in the future, by holding meetings of a primarily educational nature that will be particularly suitable for younger members, although we may all benefit from them given the quantity and diversity of research output now.
In establishing EBPS, the founders took care to avoid favouring any one scientific approach unduly. Advocates of ethological approaches are as welcome as those of the Harvard school of operant behavioural pharmacology. Behavioural toxicology, for example, has always been considered within the remit of the society. We must retain an open mind on the areas and approaches to be covered to ensure the future unity of the subject and the capacity of the society to adequately serve it. It is hoped that the meetings will increasingly revolve around problems attacked by behavioural pharmacologists, and that there will be a decline in special pleading for the merits of one theoretical viewpoint rather than another.
From the outset, EBPS was established as a partnership between academia and industry. There has been no discrimination in favour of, or against, the inclusion of workers based in industry in any aspect of the society's activities, including criteria for membership, subscription rates, membership of the Committee and Organising Committees for meetings, and participation in meetings. EBPS is, like many other scientific societies, a beneficiary of support from industry; this sponsorship has been generously given and gratefully received. The EBPS reserve fund is intended to ensure that the need for sponsorship will decline rather than increase as time goes by.
Thus, while EBPS was formed as a society for advancing the subject in Europe, it is not a society purely of and for Europeans. It has been an aim of the society to enhance the status of the subject within the scientific community rather than through seeking publicity for it in the public media. However, we should consider carefully whether this is the best approach to ensure that behavioural pharmacology has an adequate voice when important decisions are taken on, for example, the marketing of novel pharmaceuticals, the regulation of the availability of abused drugs, and the adequacy of professional qualifications. If the European Community starts to take such decisions, should it not turn to the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society to provide expert advice?