Blog Archives

New Social Science-Extreme Weather Research Alliance Being Formed, Input Sought

A new public-private research partnership is taking shape, looking specifically at the interdisciplinary and highly complex challenges associated with extreme weather events. The Alliance for Social-Behavioral Systems and Extreme Environmental Events (The Alliance) is the product of several years of community workshops, reports and other discussions on ways in which to bring the social, behavioral, and economic sciences to bear on helping society better “understand, prepare for, mitigate, and respond and adapt to extreme environmental events.” The most recent workshop, held in May 2015, served as an impetus for The Alliance as it is now conceptualized. It will be formally launched around November 1.

The Alliance will not become a new research center, nor is it intended to compete with existing research organizations for limited federal research funds. Instead, it will serve as a convener of diverse stakeholder communities (including researchers, emergency managers, Federal and state governments, private industry, and foundations) to tackle these issues using a holistic scientific approach (to include the social sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and technology). With this in mind, an Organization and Start-Up Plan for The Alliance has been released for public comment, which is due by October 1 (public comment can be submitted through email). In addition, two teleconferences have been scheduled to allow for additional public input and will occur on September 16 at 11:30-12:30 am and September 22 at 2:00-3:00 pm. The call-in details are posted on this website.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

2016 Golden Goose Award Ceremony

The 2016 Golden Goose Award Ceremony will be held at 5:30pm on Thursday, September 22 in the Coolidge Auditorium in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. The Golden Goose Award celebrates federally-funded research that may seem obscure but has led to major scientific breakthroughs. This year’s honorees include researchers in the social and behavioral sciences, including the team who conducted the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Attendance at the award ceremony and reception is free and open to the public. Registration can be found here.

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National Academies Seeks Comments on Indicators for Undergrad STEM Education

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NAS) Board on Science Education (BSE) seeks comments on its draft report, Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education. An expert panel, the Committee on Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education, was convened to develop national indicators for monitoring the quality of undergraduate STEM. The Committee proposes “a conceptual framework of goals and objectives for improving the quality of undergraduate STEM.” A two-phase study, the Committee now seeks input as it prepares to develop indicators. A series of questions for consideration can be accessed on BSE’s website. In addition, a one-day public meeting is planned for October 6, 2016 to allow the Committee to obtain additional input. Input received will inform the second phase of the study, which includes development of “a report which includes the committee’s conceptual framework for an indicator system, a brief review of existing approaches to monitoring STEM in higher education, descriptions of key constructs that need to be measured, a set of indicators and potential data sources.” Further, the Committee is also asked to specify additional areas of research needed to develop appropriate measures. The deadline to provide feedback to the Committee is October 14.

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2017 National Academies Workshop on Current and Future Training Needs in Social and Behavioral Sciences

In an August 31 blog post, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Director William Riley announced the convening of a 2017 National Academies workshop that is being sponsored by OBSSR and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. The workshop will address the current and future training needs in the behavioral and social sciences and responds to the various reports in recent years that “indicate that a majority of behavioral and social sciences doctors are entering research careers in areas outside of the traditional academic research track; and even those going into academia face challenges initiating and maintaining a grant-supported research program.” Along with the “emerging technologies and big data efforts that are transforming the approaches and methods in the field, rethinking the graduate education of behavioral and social scientists is clearly needed,” Riley further noted. The OBSSR director shared that the project “has broad government support from the Social and Behavioral Sciences Subcommittee of the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC)” and has been identified as a “pressing need.” In addition, reexamining graduate training in social and behavioral sciences is a significant area of focus in the OBSSR’s Strategic Plan 2017-2020. Read Riley’s full blog post here.

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Academies National Security Study Committee Seeks Nominations

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is conducting a decadal survey to identify opportunities from the social and behavioral sciences that can assist the intelligence community in its analytic responsibilities and contribute to national security. The project, which sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will be launched at a summit in early October. The Academies is seeking nominations for members to serve on the study committee for the survey, particularly those with expertise in the social and behavioral sciences, national security, intelligence analysis, related professional disciplines, and interdisciplinary approaches to science. More information is available on the project website. Nominations are due by September 30, 2016.

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Academies Releases Report on Science Literacy

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released findings and conclusions from the Board on Science Education’s review of science literacy in the U.S. The Board on Science Education analyzed science literacy at the societal, community, and individual level. They found that adults in the U.S. have comparable levels of science literacy to adults in other economically developed countries and that there is a small, positive relationship between science literacy and support for science. Additionally, the Board found that an individual’s support of science in general does not predict his or her support or attitude for a specific scientific issue.  The full report can be read here.

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Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Program to Hold Technical Assistant Webinar

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science of Behavior Change (SOBC) Common Fund Program recently announced a pre-application technical assistance webinar for a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for administrative supplements to active NIH-funded clinical research. The SOBC Program “seeks to accelerate investigations of common mechanisms of behavior change applicable across a broad range of health behaviors, including medical regimen adherence.” The webinar specifically addresses the Science of Behavior Change: Use-inspired Basic Research to Optimize Behavior Change Interventions and Outcomes FOA (PA-16-334), and is scheduled for Thursday, September 8 at 2:00 pm ET. Registration is required to participate.

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International Panel on Social Progress Releases Draft Report for Comment

The International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) is an organization comprised of scholars in the social sciences and humanities from around the world with the goal of synthesizing the current scientific evidence on social change. The Panel has released 14 of 22 chapters of its draft report for public comment. The chapters cover topics such as “Social Justice, Well-Being and Economic Organization,” “Inequality as a Challenge to Democracy,” “Religions and Social Progress: Critical Assessments and Creative Partnerships,” and “How Can Education Promote Social Progress?” Feedback may be submitted on IPSP’s commenting platform. The Panel plans to collect comments through the fall, but it has not yet announced when the remaining chapters will be made available or when the comment period will close.

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Funding Opportunity Announcements

  • NIFA: Army Family Advocacy Program: Research and Prevention (USDA-NIFA-EXCA-006025)
  • NIH: Global Noncommunicable Diseases and Injury Across the Lifespan: Exploratory Research (R21) (PAR-16-052) [FIC]
  • NIH: International Research Scientist Development Award (IRSDA) (K01) (PAR-15-291) [FIC]
  • NIH: Health Services Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01) (PAR-16-221), (R21) (PAR-16-222)[NIMHD, NIAAA, NIDA]
  • NIH: Information Resource Grants to Reduce Health Disparities (G08) (RFA-LM-17-002) [NLM]

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 6), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Events Calendar

A list of COSSA members’ annual meetings and other events can be found on the COSSA webpage.

COSSA members who have an upcoming event they would like to see listed in the Events Calendar and on our website should send an email to jmilton@cossa.org.

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