Blog Archives

National Academies Commemorate “Endless Frontier” Anniversary

The National Academy of Sciences, the Kavli Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation held a symposium “The Endless Frontier: The Next 75 Years in Science” on February 26. They symposium discussed the future development of science in the US, in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Vannevar Bush’s landmark report Science: The Endless Frontier, which led to the creation of the National Science Foundation (which turned 70 this year).

Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), as well as Director of the White House Office of Science of Technology Policy (OSTP) Kelvin K. Droegemeier, all reminded the audience of challenges from China and mentioned the importance of securing the US’s Global leadership in sciences by adopting long-term perspectives and a national comprehensive approach. Sen. Alexander expressed confidence in the US leadership in science for the next 75 years, citing the particularly robust increase in federal funding for National Institute of Health (NIH) as well as increased investments in other science agencies. Sen. Alexander also highlighted the importance of energy research and suggested doubling investments in this area.

Rafael Reif, President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), suggested adopting competitive strategies, such as investing in science education even after formal education ends, stapling “green cards to the diplomas” of excellent international students, and integrating social science in research agendas from the very beginning.

During her address to attendees, France A. Córdova, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), shared that NSF has funded many scientific projects that might have seemed nonsensical at first but ultimately turned out to be successful and essential. Córdova also noted NSF’s history of supporting STEM students of all backgrounds and increasing the representation of diverse communities in STEM.

Other panels included focused on “The Evolving Scientific Research Enterprise,” featuring a discussion on how the scientific enterprise must adapt over the next 75 years; “Science Engagement with the Public,” featuring actor Alan Alda and a discussion of the value of science communication; “America’s Unique Advantage: The Role of Government and Philanthropy in Supporting Our Research Enterprise;” “Evolution of the Government-University Research Partnership;” and “From Basic Research to Innovation and Economic Growth, and the Next 75 Years.” The complete agenda and a recording of the event can be found on the National Academies’ website.

This article was contributed by COSSA’s spring intern, Tracey Lan of New York University Shanghai.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Issue 5 (March 3), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

Analysis Finds that STEM Supports Two Thirds of U.S. Jobs

A new analysis released on January 28 found that 67 percent of U.S. jobs and 69 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) are supported by science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The analysis, conducted by FTI Consulting on behalf of 10 leading U.S. scientific, engineering and industry organizations, including COSSA, found that STEM supports an outsized share of the U.S. economy and produces $2.3 trillion in federal tax revenue annually.

The analysis—STEM and the American Workforce—takes one of the most inclusive views of the scientific workforce to date, factoring in jobs that rely on STEM fields regardless of the level of education obtained by the employee and finds that six in ten U.S. STEM professionals do not hold a bachelor’s degree. A link to the press release and analysis can be found here.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Issue 3 (February 4), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

ICPSR Launches Pilot Tool to Streamline Access to Restricted Federal Data

In December, ICPSR at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research released a new tool to simplify the application process for accessing restricted microdata from principal statistical agencies. ResearchDataGov gives researchers access to a single portal and a standard application to access restricted data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau, National Center for Health Statistics, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. More federal data sources are expected to be added as the pilot moves forward.

The project is supported by funding from the Census Bureau under the direction of the White House Office of Management and Budget. It was created thanks to a requirement in the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, which required that the government simplify the application process for external researchers to access federal data (see COSSA’s previous coverage). More details can be found on the ICSPSR website.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Issue 1 (January 7), Update, Volume 39 (2020)

National Academies Launches Committee on Science and Innovation Leadership for the 21st Century

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy and Committee on Science, Technology, and Law have established an ad hoc committee on “Science and Innovation Leadership for the 21st Century: Challenges and Strategic Implications for the United States.” The committee will produce a consensus report with recommendations on how to “1) draw attention to the most overlooked challenges, based on current research on U.S. competitiveness and trade, technology, and innovation policies; 2) develop a future agenda for needed research in areas that have not been fully explored; 3) identify current government infrastructure that hinders the United States’ ability to address these challenges; and 4) produce recommendations for the federal government to effectively meet these challenges.” The Committee’s first workshop took place on October 24, with a second workshop scheduled for December 6. More information is available on the National Academies website.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Issue 23 (November 26), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Sudip Parikh Named Next AAAS CEO

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has named Sudip Parikh its next CEO effective January 6, 2020. Parikh is currently Senior Vice President at DIA Global, a non-profit organization and publisher that mobilizes life science professionals from across all areas of expertise to engage with patients, peers, and thought leaders. He also worked at the research and development organization Battelle and served as a science advisor and professional staff for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee. Parikh will succeed Rush Holt, who left the organization in September. AAAS CEO Emeritus Alan Leshner has been Acting CEO in the interim.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Issue 22 (November 12), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

National Academies Releases Review of Minerva Initiative

The National Academies of Sciences’ Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences released Assessing the Minerva Research Initiative and the Contribution of Social Science to Addressing Security Concerns, a consensus study report assessing the impact, procedures, and direction of the Minerva Research Initiative. The Minerva Research Initiative is a grant program of the Department of Defense (DOD) that funds unclassified, university-based, basic research in the social sciences relevant to national security. The report discusses the program’s challenges and successes and offers recommendations to strengthen the program’s structure and help broaden its reach and usefulness.

The report includes recommendations for both the Minerva Research Initiative and the Department of Defense. It encourages DOD to ensure the Initiative has a leader with stature in a full-time, civil service position, to evaluate whether additional staff are needed, and to reduce the administrative burden on Minerva-funded grantees by streamlining the IRB process. The recommendations for the Initiative include refining its approach to topic selection, creating a strategic outreach plan, creating a centralized and public-facing database of projects, and broadening its engagement with the research community, including reaching out to early career researchers. Additionally, the study recommends the Initiative work to develop relationships with potential supporters of the program, including leadership at DOD, and to create a more robust monitoring and evaluation for grants. The complete report can be downloaded from the National Academies’ website.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Issue 21 (October 29), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Nominations Solicited for 2020 Golden Goose Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2020 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. Nominators of selected awardees will also receive travel support to attend the September 2020 Awards luncheon and award ceremony.

Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, but for the best chance for consideration, nominations are encouraged to be submitted by December 20, 2019. More information and the nomination form can be found on the Golden Goose website.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Issue 21 (October 29), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

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.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Tagged with: ,
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.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

Tagged with: , ,
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.

Back to this issue’s table of contents.

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

Subscribe

Click here to subscribe to the COSSA Washington Update, our biweekly newsletter.

Archive

Looking for something from a previous issue of the COSSA Washington Update? Try our archive.

Issues

Browse by Month