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Conflating ‘new’ with ‘young’ talent (again): BPS DOP Conference

by on June 28, 2013

We’ve blogged before on how ‘talent’ is often described as ‘young’ when perhaps what is meant is that it is ‘new’. This often comes up when talent is being sought for something – jobs, competitions and, now, academic conferences.

We came across another incidence of this yesterday in the Call for Papers for the annual conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology. The submission guidelines (downloadable from this link) include a section on symposia.

It says: ‘Symposiums provide an opportunity for inter-related presentations of a particular topic. We are particularly looking to showcase young talent coming through on OP degree courses across the nation via research forums’ (emphasis added).

The current wording ‘young’ talent suggests an age bias if in fact the intention is to highlight the importance of ‘new’ talent, irrespective of age.  Many students, for example, at Birkbeck on MSc and PhD programmes, are adult students across a broad age range. Some may not self-classify as ‘young’ and it would be a great pity if they were deterred by such wording.

UPDATE:  We’d like to thank BPS Conferences for a quick response saying they will amend the wording on the call for papers.

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