By Dr Saths Cooper, President, 30th International Congress of Psychology

- IP-Dec2011-ICPThe forthcoming International Congress of Psychology (ICP 2012), to be held in Cape Town from 22–27 July next year, will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to combine participation in an excellent scientific program with a variety of interesting experiences in one of the most geographically and culturally diverse countries in the world, South Africa. All of us here in South Africa look forward to welcoming APS members to ICP 2012 next July.

ICP 2012 will be the first time for this quadrennial flagship event in international psychology to be held in Africa and the second time for it to be held in the southern hemisphere, after Sydney in 1988, since the first Congress in 1889 in Paris.

ICP 2012 will be held at the award-winning Cape Town International Convention Centre, which is located on the foreshore at the entrance to the Victoria and Albert Waterfront and the CBD, with breathtaking views of Table Mountain (one of three World Heritage sites in the city). The Convention Centre is served by major freeways, including one that takes only 20 minutes from the airport, into which many international carriers fly. There will be ICP 2012 Help Desks in the Arrivals Halls of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban airports from 15–25 July 2012 for the convenience of Congress participants.

Founded in 1652, Cape Town is South Africa’s Mother City, enjoying a winemaking tradition that began soon after. Cape Town boasts a wide range of quality and affordable accommodation within walking distance of the ICP 2012 venue, as well as budget accommodation suitable for students. An exciting array of social events and tours has been developed for delegates and accompanying persons, embracing the culture, history, wildlife, flora and fauna, and sights for which Cape Town, its surrounds and South Africa are renowned.

\Hosted by the National Research Foundation of South Africa and the Psychological Society of South Africa under the aegis of the International Union of Psychological Science, most leading South African universities are ICP 2012 Academic Partners. The psychological associations of Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe are ICP 2012 Regional Partners. The 5th International Conference on Psychology Education will be a featured track at ICP 2012, which also enjoys the support of other international psychology organisations like the International Positive Psychology Association and the International Association of Applied Psychology.

ICP 2012 will showcase new frontiers of psychological science and practice as a means for improving, developing and enriching human life. The theme 'Psychology Serving Humanity' acknowledges that all fields of psychology are inextricably engaged with the global and local communities in which we live, learn and practice.

The Scientific Programme Committee, that includes 46 Divisions, covers the entire range of fields from assessment to trauma. The entire Scientific Programme, including the Pre-Congress Workshops, will enjoy continuing education credits where possible. ICP 2012 will also feature an exciting Emerging Psychologists’ Programme and Advanced Research Training Seminars for early career psychologists from the developing world.

Over 300 leading figures in psychology have already confirmed their participation in the invited component of the scientific programme, which includes, Keynote Addresses, Symposia, Controversial Debates, State-of-the-Science Lectures, Pre-Congress Workshops, Translational Policy Research Lectures, Paper and Poster Presentations. The varied and high-profile line-up is headed up by Martin Seligman (learned helplessness/positive psychology), Elizabeth Loftus (false memory) and Michael Rutter (child and adolescent psychopathology). The deadline for abstract submission is 27 January 2012, and APS members are encouraged to visit www.icp2012.com for more information and registration details. Former South African psychologists are especially encouraged to make ICP 2012 a reunion to be remembered.