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Message from the Dean

Once again, the present session has reflected, along with multiple scientific and cultural events, the characteristic path from the ISPA- University Institute of Applied Psychology. Reflections from its already long story and memory; reflections the memory seeks to capture, for certain, but also and especially the openness to new challenges.


Internal challenges, related to the arrangement of the academic teaching, and the central role of the scientific research (incompatible within the floating and precarious body of lecturers); external challenges, that social life and human development are offered to all institutions, in particular to those who move within the field of Psychology.


Concerning the internal challenges, ISPA, has been giving significant and sustainable answers, as one can see through the dynamics of the Investigation Units (Unidades de Investigação-ISPA) – Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) – through the increase of research and intervening projects, and through the constant internationalisation of its scientific initiatives. However, and still concerning its internal activity, ISPA has equally given significant answers to those challenges, namely in the field of Culture and Arts.


In fact, it’s not only a close formation that it is here at stake, but also more like a general educational process that, it can be said, is organised, bearing a wider education for Citizenship.


Concerning the external challenges, we know that they are as relevant as the first ones. A university institution closed in itself, taking away the scientific knowledge its vital transforming and creative dimension, insensible to the surrounding social problems – an Institution built in this principle can’t be seen as an Institution of our times.


It is because ISPA is aware of that, since long ago, that understands to be of high importance, to its own dynamics, the openness to questions that individuals, social groups, and society as a whole constant deal with. Therefore, this results in the importance that it is given, close together with the fundamental research, to the Applied Research and Intervention.


As much as in our country, though, as in friendly countries, as it is the example of the Matalana’s Cultural Centre in Mozambique, directed by that great “ispian” artist Malangatana, or the state of Amapá in Brazil, whose model of sustainable development we want to collaborate with, so we can also learn with it.


44 years of academic life, viewing for a future that demands new answers, this is the setting in which ISPA is found, which is motivating for all of us. Motivating not only for those who work there, study, do research and teach, but also for those who, amongst lectures, open discussions, expositions and conferences, walk inside ISPA.


As a university institution, ISPA seeks to be what it has always longed for: an open, dynamic Institution, and a cosy space, receiver of initiatives from all – not only from lecturers, but also from students, as well as external entities from the most varied nature.


The multiplicity of the scientific and cultural activities, in which we celebrate these four decades of existence, is the living example of that. But it is also relevant, allied to that spirit of openness and co-operation, the fact that academics from the most varied countries associate to those celebrations, beginning with our own, and non-academic collaborators, directly connected to the social tissue and its dynamics.