ISRE Matters – Disgust Issue


arvid kappasArvid Kappas, Psychology, University of Bremen, ISRE’s President

Dear ISRE members, dear friends of ISRE,

This year we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the International Society for Research on Emotion. The founding meeting of our society took place on the 25th and 26th of April 1984 in Paris, France, at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. This year we want to organize a few activities to mark this important milestone and one of the things that is dear to my heart is to better document our past.isre-LOGO_EFFECTS_edited-cropped

If you click on the program of the founding meeting (below) and check out the list of participants, you will see that ISRE has been since the very beginning the occasion/place/society where things came together. As reported in our founding document, “progress requires that information and techniques be shared and that research become multidisciplinary and multinational”.


ISRE’s Founding Document (Click to get the pdf)

As we move to a stronger online presence and better access to information for all, I feel that we should present our past better, so that our future shall benefit from that. I see this not only as something related to telling a curious history of a small society, but as an important part of documenting what would help to shape affective science in the decades following the founding of ISRE.

A place to start would be to document the conferences of our society throughout the years, because our conferences have historically been the primary venue for the sharing of “information and techniques” and for discussion and debate. Particularly, I am interested in visual materials. Do you have photos of ISRE meetings? If you do, please send them to us, ideally digitally. Please indicate the occasion, e.g., place and time as well as who is being shown. I am sure these materials will also have significant potential use for educational purposes and we will make them available to the public at large. Please send all photos to Jan Stets (, who agreed to serve as a nexus to collect relevant materials.

Just to be clear – we are not a society that lives in the past – we are working on our future. I have the firm belief that 30 years from now we will look at our meetings from now and see all the relevant action unfolding right there and then. It is one of the peculiar aspects of emotion research that it is a truly transdisciplinary enterprise. EMOTION does not belong to any single discipline, instead it requires multidisciplinary approaches that can help bridge the different levels of analysis and help us get a better grasp of our object of investigation.

The terminology to describe our field changes across disciplines and individual researchers. I like to talk about emotion science. Others talk about affective sciences. Then we have the philosophy of emotions, the sociology of emotions, the history of ideas about emotions, and so on. But do not be fooled: in the end any fruitful investigation that goes to the heart of things will boil down to an interaction of a broad array of disciplines from philosophy to the neuro sciences, from psychology to sociology, from biology to history. Furthermore, current emotion research projects have practical applications in many fields, from business to engineering, from robotics to law enforcement. ISRE has been for 30 years, and will continue to be, the place where ideas come to meet, a true melting pot of creative forces!


Previous ISRE Matters Columns

ISRE Matters – Emotional Brain Issue

Roll the Credits (by Jerry Parrott)

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