Dear Human Development Community,
I am both delighted and honored to assume the mantle of incoming Editor-in-Chief for Human Development, the official journal of the Jean Piaget Society. My sincerest thanks extend to outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Susan Rivera, for her outstanding stewardship over these last few years. Susan’s guidance and tireless efforts during the turbulence of the global COVID pandemic not only kept our esteemed journal afloat but enabled it to actively thrive. Under her auspices, in fact, Human Development’s influence and prominence have reached dramatically new levels, reflected in the robustness of its current impact factor, 5.708. With both excitement and trepidation, I will endeavor to uphold and advance Susan’s impressive accomplishments in my new term of editorship.
My reverence for Human Development first emerged when, as a graduate student, I discovered just how many seminal conceptual contributions to the study of development were housed in the pages of this illustrious journal. All these years later, Human Development remains at the forefront of cutting-edge theoretical and metatheoretical scholarship. Preeminent in its international and historical renown, the journal provides an unparalleled forum for conceptual analysis of development and developmental theory. Such a forum is critical to advancing every facet of our empirical scholarship, especially now that mainstream discourse within the psychological sciences is explicitly and self-reflectively confronting various “crises” of replication/reproducibility, credibility, and theory in the discipline. Of course, the extent to which these crises even make sense as crises depends on the ontological and epistemological assumptions that undergird their framing. Human Development plays an indispensable role in mapping out such metamethodological and metatheoretical concerns within developmental science.
With each methodological and technological innovation in developmental science arrives both new conceptual confusions and opportunities for achieving new levels of conceptual clarity in the discipline. Such innovations just as routinely revive longstanding conceptual confusions and remind us that so many central theoretical debates within developmental science are metatheoretical, not theoretical, in nature – and can therefore only be resolved through conceptual analysis. Our discipline desperately needs the conceptual guidance that Human Development, as a forum for disseminating your invaluable conceptual scholarship, is perfectly suited to provide. We enthusiastically welcome your theoretical and metatheoretical contributions to the study of psychological development, as well as your conceptually, historically, and methodologically oriented integrative reviews of lines of developmental research! And I eagerly anticipate the journey that lies ahead as Editor-in-Chief of Human Development.
David Witherington, Incoming Editor-in-Chief.