INSNET, Fall 1997
(FISS), and funds from each Spanish autonomous community. Pharmacological industries often give support to neuropsychological research mainly in the study of dementias.
In Spain, there are two professional neuropsychological societies: the Catalonian Neuropsychological Society and the Spanish Neuropsychological Society. The former was founded in 1983, and currently the number of members is 140. The society holds two meetings per year. The Spanish Neuropsychological Society was founded in 1990 and has 50 members. There is an increasing number of Spanish members in the International Neuropsychological Society (INS). In 1989, there were fifteen, and in 1996 the number had increased to twenty- six.
From this review, we should conclude that in Spain the field of Neuropsychology is in a phase of dynamic growth, not just in terms of interest in the field but also in productivity. The recent expansion of Neuropsychology at universities and hospitals is a harbinger of an increase in the training of clinical psychologists, the quality of services provided to patients, and scientific advances.
By Helene Mulianey, M.A.
5930 East Pima Street, suite 208, Tucson, AZ 85712, USA Tel (520) 290-1700 Fax (520) 290-1102
I recently returned from a trip to Western Europe where I met with a friend who is a neurologist from Eastern Europe. He is now working toward an advanced degree in neuropsychology, and had been awarded a stipend to do research in a university in Germany. We met to discuss and plan for his upcoming study.
In my interactions with him, I learned more about some of the obstacles that he faces in his efforts to train his students and advance his own learning. The most striking thing is the fact that there are no neuropsychology books in the library at his university. The books that we buy without hesitation, cost the equivalent of a month's salary there. Despite this, and despite the fact that his university cannot provide funding to collect such materials, his goal is to create a neuropsychology "library" on his own.
He wanted me to see the library at the German university, and enthusiastically pointed out two shelves of books relating to neuropsychology, neuroscience, and/or neurology. For nearly the entire two months he was there, whenever he was not working he was carefully xeroxing book chapters and journal articles to bring home with him. In fact it did not take long for me to realize that he was spending his basic needs allowance on this activity. Frankly, I was a little concerned when I saw how little he was eating, and so I would try whenever possible to participate in this "Project" by making contributions in the food department. However, I remained aware that he frequently continued to choose books over basic needs, and yet he seemed singularly focused on how lucky he was to have access to all that scholarly material.
We shared good-natured jokes about his habit of "eating books" and while we smiled about this, I couldn't help feeling just a bit ashamed. After all, even in my most spartan days as a student, it never came down to books or basic needs. The worst part was, as fortunate as I had felt then to be obtaining my education, I had still taken much good fortune for granted: the extensive stacks of books in the libraries, the latest titles, almost any journal I wanted. I suddenly saw it all with different eyes, and became even more aware of the fact that it is just some cosmic roll of the dice that landed me in my country and my friend in his.
However, dissonance can be a very positive force, in that it has a mobilizing effect. Since returning from my trip, I have been thinking of ways I might be able to help my friend in his efforts to "build a library."
It is probably true that one person cannot do much to change the inequitable distribution of educational resources in the world, and thinking about the problem on that scale can be discouraging. After all, maybe one's efforts will make no difference at all. However, it seems apparent that there are many little things that an individual can do, with little effort, that will add some resources to one small, but growing library. And to those researchers, and their students, and their students' students, that does make a difference.
WAYS TO HELP - Individuals can make an important contribution to the advancement of neuropsychology research and practice worldwide. There are many ways to help:
-Making a donation to the Book and Journal Depository is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help. Although a donations can be made directly to a needy colleague, donations made through the Book Depository are tax deductible. (See the Announcements section below for details regarding the Book & Journal Depository)
-Once a semester, put a reminder notice in faculty and student mailboxes that there will be a collection box for donated materials.
-Browse the used bookstore for neuropsychology titles and pick one to donate.
-Ask a student to order a book or journal subscription (student discounts abound) earmarked for the Depository.
-Start an Email correspondence with an overseas colleague and every so often, send a few reprints that his or her department may need. (Contact Bernice Marcopulos for possible programs)
-At a faculty or student meeting ask for a $1 donation from those present. When enough is collected, buy a book for the Depository.
-Volunteer to be a Regional Book Depository Coordinator and "talk up" the program everywhere you go.
-If you are a student, volunteer to be a Regional Book Depository Rep for your department. Then set a goal of sending one book per semester from the department.