Blog Archives

Jennifer Eberhardt Delivers 2019 Henry and Bryna David Lecture

On October 10, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) hosted the 2019 Henry and Bryna David Lecture featuring Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt. A social psychologist from Stanford University, Dr. Eberhardt’s lecture elaborated on her work investigating the consequences of the psychological association between race and crime. The Henry and Bryna David Lecture honors a leading innovator in the behavioral and social sciences. The awardee delivers a lecture and publishes an article in Issues in Science and Technology magazine based on the lecture. A video recording of the lecture and more information about the Henry and Bryna David Lecture can be found on the National Academies website.

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Posted in Issue 20 (October 15), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

AAAS Accepting Applications for 2020-21 Science & Technology Policy Fellowships

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has announced it is seeking applicants for their Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) for the 2020-21 fellowship cycle. Eligible candidates should hold a doctoral level science degree or a master’s in engineering, be a U.S. citizen, have solid STEM credentials, have good communication skills, and desire to enhance federal science policy. Applications will be accepted until November 1. More information about the fellowship can be found on the AAAS website.

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Posted in Issue 19 (October 1), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Release Report on Strengthening Support Systems for Military Families

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) released a consensus study report on the social challenges affecting the families of military service members and potential solutions. The report covers a wide array of issues including the well-being of military families, demographic characteristics of military families, opportunities and challenges of military life, stressors affecting military children, high-stress events, and the efficacy of existing military family support systems. The report also illustrates several recommendations for the Department of Defense (DOD) to address these issues including standardizing definitions of “family well-being,” improving understanding of diversity in the military, using data to track child risk and adversity, recognizing non-traditional family structures, providing guidance to military leaders on interacting with surrounding communities, promoting civilian understanding of military family situations, strengthening of the Military Family Readiness System (MFRS), monitoring existing support programs’ effectiveness, improving use of big data to analyze programs, and updating instruction and training to reflect the findings of the report.

The National Academies will be holding a public event on September 12 to discuss the recommendations in the report and potential actions that DOD and practitioners may take to address these recommendations. More information about the event can be found on the National Academies website.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 3), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Releases Report on The Promise of Adolescence

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recently published a consensus study report on  The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth, which details the neurobiological as well as the social and economic factors that affect adolescent mental and physical well-being and development. The report defines adolescence as beginning with the onset of puberty and ending in the mid-20s, and it claims that key areas of the brain mature and develop during this time. This process is impacted both by the biological components of development as well as the environmental factors and stressors surrounding it, which supports an epigenetic view on adolescence. After determining the biological and genetic components, this report delves into several policy recommendations regarding programs and policies affecting adolescents to bolster their mental and physical health as well as complement their natural brain development.

The policy recommendations surround four critical areas: education, the health system, the child welfare system, and the justice system. Within education, the report details the need to rectify disparities in resources, teach practical knowledge and emotional adaptability, and foster culturally sensitive learning environments, among others. Recommendations for the health system focus not just on providing adequate access to healthcare, but also on fostering independence among adolescents, improving training of providers, and supporting more data collection and research on adolescent-specific health services. The racial disparities and disconnect of systems related to child welfare and justice systems are also emphasized in this report, with calls for enacting policies that best support growth rather than establishing punitive and antagonistic measures.

This report hopes to highlight the collective responsibility that the U.S. has to build systems that support and promote resiliency and positive adolescent development so that young people can grow successfully.

More information about the report can be found on the NASEM website.

This article was contributed by COSSA’s summer intern, Joanna Hua of Cornell University.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 6), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

AAAS’ Rush Holt Retires, Alan Leshner Named Acting CEO as Search for Successor Continues

On July 15, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced that AAAS CEO Rush Holt will be on leave prior to his designated retirement date of September 1, 2019. Former AAAS CEO Alan Leshner has been named Acting CEO as the search for Holt’s permanent successor continues. Holt had announced in February of his intention to retire sometime later in 2019, sparking an international search for a new AAAS chief (read COSSA’s previous coverage).

Leshner served as AAAS CEO for 13 years prior to Holt’s tenure. He has served in a wide variety of leadership roles in federal science agencies including as director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), deputy and acting director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and numerous senior roles at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Leshner was the kickoff speaker at COSSA’s 2019 Social Science Advocacy Day training seminar earlier this spring.  More information may be found on the AAAS website.

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Posted in Issue 15 (July 23), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

AAAS Accepting Nominations for 2020 Awards & Prizes

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has opened the nominations process for several of its annual awards and prizes that recognize significant contributions to science and the public’s understanding of science. The awards and prizes currently accepting nominations include: AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy, AAAS Award for Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science, AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards, AAAS Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science, AAAS Mentor Awards, AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books, John P. McGovern Award Lecture in the Behavioral Sciences, and Science Magazine Awards. More details about each of these awards can be found on the AAAS website. Details about the Science Magazine Awards can be found on the Science Magazine website.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 28), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Release New Report on Adolescent Development

A new report on factors affecting the development of adolescents in the U.S. was released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). The NASEM report, titled The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth, identifies the characteristics unique to adolescent brains as well as environmental challenges to the development of adolescent brains, especially economic, social, and racial inequities. The report also offers recommendations for the national education system, the health system, the child welfare system and the justice system to remedy the effects of inequalities on adolescent brain development. More information can be found on the NASEM website.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 28), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

NASEM Report Analyzes Factors for Reproducibility and Replicability in Scientific Research

In response to a Congressional directive to conduct a comprehensive study of issues related to reproducibility and replicability of scientific research, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new report, Reproducibility and Replicability in Science. The consensus study report defines the terms “reproducibility” – or getting similar results using the same research methods – and “replicability” – getting similar results across multiple research methods – as they relate to research practices. The report sets forth several steps on how to improve the reproducibility and replicability of research, including identifying clear descriptions of how the reported result was reached, providing training for scientific institutions on proper statistical analysis, investing in tools and infrastructure that support reproducibility, encouraging journals to consider reproducibility factors in publications, and having the National Science Foundation (NSF) facilitate the sharing of data for NSF-funded research. The report also considers how the public’s confidence in scientific findings can be improved by two factors: first, that scientists avoid overstating the implications of their research to public-facing audiences, and second, that journalists report on scientific results with “as much context and nuance as the medium allows.” The full report can be found on the National Academies website.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 14), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Seeking Community Input on First Phase of Alzheimer’s Decadal Survey

The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine released a call for white papers from the scientific and stakeholder communities on the first phase of a decadal survey focused on reducing the burden of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Alzheimer’s Disease Related Dementias (ADRD). Individuals and organizations, especially those in the fields of behavioral and social science research and aging at large, are encouraged to submit white papers providing direct input into the initial work of the decadal. White paper submissions are due June 15, 2019. More information and submission guidelines can be found on the National Academies’ website.

The decadal survey on AD and ADRD is being led by the National Academies’ Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) and is focused on assessing how research in the behavioral and social sciences can reduce the burden of individuals affected by AD and ADRD over the next decade. More information about the decadal survey can be found on the DBASSE website.

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Posted in Issue 9 (April 30), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Releases Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Science 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)

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