International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

​Note from the President June 2018

Note to Membership

1st June 2018

I write to bring your attention to an issue we all need to think about. As scientists, most of us tend to stick to whatever problem we have decided to spend our time producing science. We build on science coming from work that preceded ours and try to answer whatever question follows from that work. But there are times we have to speak out and become advocates to assure that science informs health, educational and social policymaking. At the beginning of my term as your President, I asked Ivan Brown to chair a new committee that would review and recommend policy statements on issues of relevance to our field. Our first initiate was a statement on the zika virus, which was developed by the Health SIRG and which we disseminated in partnership with AAIDD. It is posted on our website. Now, the Ethics SIRG, working with Inclusion International is now working on a background paper and advocacy statement pertinent to the potential resurgence of eugenics, made achievable by advances in human molecular genetics. I believe we should discuss issues like these at our Congresses and other IASSIDD events and speak out when necessary. This is what will define us in the long run. And this is what we owe to people with IDD worldwide.

I encourage you all to think about this issue and if you have ideas for other communications that may help us bridge science and policymaking, please let Ivan or me know.

Best wishes,

Philip W. Davidson, Ph.D., IASSIDD President