A Message from the Executive Director

Happy New Year!

The beginning of a new year, new Congress and new Administration is a busy time under “normal” circumstances. However, as our battle with the COVID-19 pandemic continues and, hopefully, we inch toward some semblance of pre-pandemic life in 2021, we are forced to prioritize what is most important. At COSSA, the crises of the past year have underscored for us the critical importance of our work and mission: “To promote the value of social and behavioral science research to policymakers and the public with the goal of enhancing federal support.” Our efforts over the past year aimed to tell the story of how social and behavioral science can and is helping to address society’s greatest challenges, from the public health crisis to racial injustice, and many others.

With our eyes focused on the future, last month COSSA developed and transmitted a comprehensive report to the incoming Biden-Harris Administration detailing steps that can be taken to support social and behavioral science research and—more importantly—to utilize insights from our sciences to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges confronting our nation. See the article below for details on our recommendations.

Just as we plan our path forward, it is helpful to reflect on where we have been. COSSA is celebrating its 40th birthday in 2021. As part of our look back, we will feature articles from past COSSA Washington Updates throughout the year. This week’s archived article, 107th Congress Opens, Awaits New Administration, dates back to January 15, 2001. I think you will find it interesting—and perhaps sobering—to extent to which we continue to tackle similar challenges twenty years later.

Finally, I want to thank all of you for supporting COSSA these last 40 years, and especially this past year. We are strongest as a community; COSSA could not do what we do without this community.

Warmest wishes for a safe, healthy and happy 2021.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 5), Update, Volume 40

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