Celebrating 50 Years of the Science of Unitary Human Beings

with Jane Flanagan (past SRS President)
Marlaine Smith is current SRS President

Martha E. Rogers

The 33rd Annual Society of Rogerian Scholars (SRS) Conference, Celebrating our Past and Visioning our Future, was held on October 2, 2020 through a virtual format. The conference was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Martha Rogers’ groundbreaking book An Introduction to the Theoretical Basis of Nursing.  While many of Rogers’ ideas in this book changed significantly since 1970, this publication represents the birth of  the Science of Unitary Human Beings (SUHB). 

There were over 100 participants from across the world registered for the conference. The conference keynote, “The Contributions of Martha E. Rogers Over the Past 50 Years: A Conversation”, was presented by Dr. Violet Malinski and Dr. Anne-Marie Leveille. Dr. Leveille, a former student of Dr. Malinski, posed questions and comments to Dr. Malinski, and Dr. Malinski offered a detailed historical account of the evolution of the SUHB from the perspective of one of the founders of SRS and a student and mentee of Rogers.  This presentation is an essential resource for anyone interested in the SUHB,  a “must see” for all new and continuing students of Rogers’ science. This video is available here on the Nursology website.

Following the keynote, Drs. Dottie Jones, Howard Butcher and Marlaine Smith offered their perspectives in a panel discussion on “Re-envisioning Possibilities for the Science of Unitary Human Beings into Practice, Education and Research on Human Wellbecoming”. The panel was followed by the Martha E. Rogers Scholars Fund scholarship recipients,  Drs. Kathryn Post and Philip Gimber, presenting their research findings and the impact on Rogerian Science, specifically Barrett’s work on Knowing Participation in Change. Each used the Knowing Participation in Change Short Form (KPCSF)  or version III tool  in their work.

Dr. Gimber used the KPCSF tool in a study exploring power and its correlation to quality of life and self-health patterning in persons with chronic illness. He found that there was a two way correlation between power and self-health patterning and power and quality of life. Dr. Post used the KPCSF to examine power and quality of life and patient activation in a nationwide sample of over 300 participants with breast cancer and found that quality of life and patient activation were strongly correlated with KPC.

Last but not least, Dr. Jane Flanagan presented “A Futurist Talk: Possibilities of Rogerian Science for Future Wellbecoming”. Dr. Flanagan’s keynote wove, photography, poetry and music into a tapestry of meaning to inspire us to realize the potentials embodied in unitary science. The presentations by Post, Gimber and a modified version of Flanagan’s talk are available on the SRS website at https://www.societyofrogerianscholars.org/conference-information.html.

The Society of Rogerian Scholars is nearly 35 years old. Its mission is to advance nursing science through an emphasis on Martha E. Rogers’ SUHB in the focus areas of nursing education, research and practice and in service to humankind.  The organization convenes annual conferences, publishes the journal Visions, and provides mentorship, education and consultation to those interested in nursing research, practice and education from a unitary perspective.  The Martha E. Rogers Scholars Fund, the independent development arm of the SRS, sponsors lectureships at the SRS conferences and provides scholarship support to students whose research focuses on unitary science.  SRS welcome new members and is especially interested in recruiting a more diverse racial/ethnic membership. 

If you are interested in joining SRS, please  visit https://www.societyofrogerianscholars.org/membership-application.html and complete the application. 

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