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National Academies Releases Decadal Survey of the Social and Behavioral Science for Applications to National Security

On March 5, the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences of the National Academies of Science released a Consensus Study Report of the Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Science for Applications to National Security. A decadal survey is a method of engaging members of a scholarly community to identify lines of research with the greatest potential to be used over a 10-year period in pursuit of a particular goal. This is the first decadal survey to attempt to set a research agenda for the social and behavioral sciences or the intelligence community.

The report, A Research Agenda for Advancing Intelligence Analysis, recommends that the intelligence community make sustained collaboration with research in the social and behavioral sciences as a central part of the 10-year research agenda. The report highlights ways to promote interdisciplinary collaboration so that the insights from social and behavioral science research are more fully integrated with the needs and objectives of the intelligence community. The report also includes opportunities for social and behavioral science research to help strengthen, plan, and design intelligence analysis. The full report can be read on the National Academies’ website.

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Posted in Issue 6 (March 19), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

NASEM Report Evaluates Strategies for Reducing Child Poverty

In response to a 2015 Congressional directive to conduct a comprehensive study of child poverty in the United States, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new report, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty. The consensus study report evaluates the evidence surrounding the efficacy of existing federal programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and proposes a strategy for reducing the child poverty rate in the United States by half over the next decade. The authoring committee identifies several priority areas for research, including developing effective work-oriented child poverty reduction programs, program administration that enhances the stability of low-income families, and reducing barriers to accessing assistance programs. The report also recommends improving data collection and measurement (including developing a health-inclusive poverty measure), continued monitoring and program evaluation, and better coordination of research and data priorities across departments. The full report can be accessed on the National Academies website.

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Posted in Issue 5 (March 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

AAAS CEO Rush Holt to Retire in 2019; Search Underway for Successor

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced that chief executive Rush D. Holt will retire later in 2019. Holt has stated his intention to remain CEO until the fall of 2019 while the AAAS Board of Directors undergoes an international search for Holt’s successor. Holt, who came to AAAS in 2015, has been a long-time champion of national science policy. His tenure as CEO of AAAS follows a decorated career in science and public service including serving eight terms as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, as a visiting scholar for the Institute of Advanced Studies, an assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, an arms control expert for the U.S. State Department, a faculty member of Physics at Swarthmore College, and a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow.

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Posted in Issue 4 (February 19), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Seeking Nominations for New Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Science Research Related to Alzheimer’s Disease: DEADLINE FEBRUARY 6

The Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is seeking nominations to a committee that will be charged with developing a Decadal Survey of Behavioral and Social Science Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Dementias. The study will identify research opportunities throughout the social and behavioral sciences, including psychology, sociology, demography, economics, anthropology, cognition, and behavioral neuroscience, that can be brought to bear on prevention, care, and better understanding of the effects of the disease on society. Various techniques will be used to identify the community of experts outside of the appointed committee including town halls, the use of social media directed towards science (e.g. IdeaBuzz), and webcasting of special workshops to draw attention to the initiative. Nominations may be submitted by filling out this form by February 6, 2019.

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

COSSA Joins Call for Department of Education to Halt Proposed Title IX Amendments

COSSA joined over 60 other organizations in a letter urging the U.S. Department of Education to halt its proposed amendments to Title IX implementing regulations that would restrict the definition of sexual harassment in academic institutions and the overall scope of the Title IX regulation. The letter recognizes that “existing legal structures (including Title IX) alone are insufficient to create the needed changes of conduct to reduce barriers to full participation,” adding that the proposed regulations “are without an evidence-based justification and are not consistent with Title IX.” The signatory societies, including COSSA, emphasize the importance that rules concerning sexual harassment be made “with serious regard for the facts, evidence, and research.”

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Posted in Issue 3 (February 5), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Golden Goose Awards Solicits Nominations

Nominations are now open for the 2019 Golden Goose Awards. The Golden Goose Awards honor federally funded research that may sound odd, obscure, or serendipitous, but ends up having a major impact on society.  Many social and behavioral scientists have been award recipients and honored at the annual ceremony and reception in Washington, DC. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, but for the best chance for consideration, nominations are encouraged to be submitted by January 21, 2019. More information and the nomination form can be found on the Golden Goose website.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 8), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Gun Violence Research Collaborative Releases First Request for Proposals

The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research (NCGVR), a private research effort backed by philanthropic donors (see previous coverage), has released its first request for proposals. NCGVR plans to fund research across seven broad topics: (1) characterizing firearm use, violence, and crime; (2) characterizing firearm suicide; (3) characterizing officer-involved shootings; (4) community law enforcement, and service systems interventions to reduce gun violence; (5) effects of gun regulation within and across state; (6) collection of data needed for understanding gun violence and evaluating programs and policies; and (7) collection of state-level prosecution and enforcement data. Interested researcher should submit a letter of interest by February 4, 2019. Selected researchers will be invited to submit full proposals. Full details can be found in the NCGVR request for proposals.

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Posted in Issue 1 (January 8), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Former Ag Statistics Head to Lead COPAFS

The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) has announced that Cynthia Z.F. Clark will serve as its next Executive Director effective December 3. Dr. Clark most recently led the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), one of two Department of Agriculture statistical agencies, from 2008 until 2014. She succeeds former Census Director John Thompson, who retired from the organization earlier this year. COSSA congratulates Dr. Clark on her appointment and looks forward to continuing to work closely with COPAFS on issues affecting federal statistical agencies.

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Posted in Issue 24 (December 11), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

National Academies Establishes Standing Committee on Science Communication Research and Practice

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) announced on November 21 the establishment of a new standing committee to bring together science communication practitioners and researchers. The Standing Committee on Advancing Science Communication Research and Practice will engage broad networks of stakeholders from across sectors to advance science communication around the goals of building a coherent knowledge base about communicating science, making it easier for science communicators to access research, and support organizations and individuals communicating science outside the science enterprise. More information about the standing committee and a list of members can be found at the NASEM website.

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Posted in Issue 23 (November 27), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research Seeks Recommendations for Areas of Study

The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, an effort backed by philanthropic donors, will issue the first of four annual requests for proposals in January 2019 and is seeking input from researchers on areas of focus for gun-policy research funding. The annual request for proposals will be comprised of $20 million to $50 million awarded over a five-year period, with up to $10 million in research grant funding and dissertation research awards available in the first round. Researchers who would like to suggest areas of focus for gun-policy research funding can email ncgvr@rand.org and those interested in receiving alerts about funding opportunities can sign up at NCGVR.org.

The collaborative was launched by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and is administered by the RAND foundation under the direction of an independent advisory committee that will set research priorities and make all decisions on grant awards.

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Posted in Issue 23 (November 27), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

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