The curtain comes down on ECP 2023

The final day of ECP saw delegates enjoy a diverse range of presentations and speeches as the curtain came down on a hugely successful four days, as the baton was passed to Cyprus as the hosts of ECP 2025.

First up in Auditorium One was Robin Banerjee discussing the topic of relationships and mental health and the role of social and emotional learning at school. 

Talking about the importance of happiness in school settings, he stressed how it should not be thought of something ‘on the periphery, as a luxury or a nice to have’ but instead ‘something that is fundamental to children and young people’s relationships and indeed to all the staff, visitors, parents and carers in the whole school community.’

He added: “Kindness sets the foundation for relationships which sets the foundation for mental health and wellbeing which sets the foundation for learning.”

Alongside the keynote and main stage events, delegates enjoyed a number of other talks, presentations and poster session ranging from research exploring the impact of active commuting on sleep problems, gender differences in gambling behaviour among community gamblers in Cyprus, through to discussing the psychological response to the pandemic in the main stage panel discussion.

The second morning keynote came from Dr Lisa Cameron MP, who examined the role of psychology in policy making, reflecting that ‘Psychologists have so much to give in terms of policy, and can help ‘shift the dial a bit towards a bio-social approach and begin to think about people’s needs in a holistic sense.’

Wrapping up the final keynote presentations in auditorium one was Inari Sakki, Professor in Social Psychology at the University of Helsinki discussing her research into contested meanings and uses of hate speech. 

Explaining how hate speech is ‘not the most cheerful topic’ for a researcher, she passionately detailed why it is so important to ‘identify and unpack the various forms of hate discourse and their societal functions is the starting point for change.’

As the event due to a close, the ECP ‘baton’ was passed over to Cyprus who will host the event in 2025 in the official event closing ceremony and the EFPA award winners were announced. 

Congratulations to Professor Guiseppe Riva who won the Aristotle Award, Dr Rianne Kok won the Comenius Early Career Psychologist Award and Professor Emeritus Ingrid Lunt who received the  Robert Roe memorial award.

Incoming BPS President-Elect Dr Roman Raczka spoke at the closing ceremony, thanking everyone for their hard work to make the event happen, and the role of ECP played in breaking down barriers and borders:

“An event like ECP is a fantastic opportunity for us to work across and break down borders of all kinds, not just geographical ones but also within our own discipline, it was fantastic to see that every area of psychology felt like it was represented in some way at this event.

“Hosting the congress has been an honour and a pleasure for the society, and I want to wish the best of luck to our colleagues from Cyprus as they continue preparations for the next congress in 2025.”

BPS President Nicky Hayes drew the event to a close, reflecting on the diversity of the scientific programme, and how all the delegates had helped make ECP 2023 such a success:

“Reading a paper is one thing: having an engaged and contributing audience makes all the difference,” she said. “And there has been plenty of networking and the reaffirming of older relationships: the coffee bars of the Brighton Centre have been buzzing with chat, as has the foyer and the stands of our sponsors and exhibitors. 

“In that context, we mustn’t forget that almost all of the great developments in psychology started with a single conversation, generally at a conference. A single chat can inspire new directions and further research, so we can hope that great things will arise from here too.”