Blog Archives

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)

Academies Releases “Science and Engineering for Grades 6-12”

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released a new consensus study report, Science and Engineering for Grades 6-12: Investigation and Design at the Center. The report revisits the National Research Council’s 2006 America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science and reviews relevant research with a focus on how to engage today’s middle and high school students in science and engineering.

This report provides guidance for teachers, administrators, creators of instructional resources, and leaders in teacher professional learning on how to support students. Recommendations center around changing science and engineering instruction to focus on investigation and design through new instructional resources and professional learning opportunities for teachers, instruction on how to provide multiple opportunities for students to engage in science projects, and guidance for administrators to account for historical inequities by implementing science investigation and engineering design for all students.

The full report is available for download on the National Academies ’s website.

This article was contributed by COSSA’s fall intern, Victoria Deck of Emerson College.

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Posted in Issue 23 (December 13), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Briefing Highlights Role of Vital Statistics in Protecting Maternal and Child Health

On October 25, the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems (NAPHSIS), the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and the March of Dimes held a Congressional briefing entitled “Vital Statistics: Vital to Maternal and Child Health.” The briefing featured Shawna Webster, Executive Director of NAPHSIS; Devin George, State Registrar and Director for the Louisiana Bureau of Vital Records and Statistics; Rebecca Russell, Senior Director of Applied Research for the March of Dimes; Judette Louis, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of South Florida; and Elizabeth Saadi, State Registrar in the Kansas Office of Vital Statistics.

The speakers discussed the problems that exist around collecting maternal mortality data, and how vital statistics could be used to help lower maternal mortality rates, which are currently on the rise in the United States. Webster offered introductory remarks and noted that while states were sending their information to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) more reliably, there were still problems with the integrity of the data.

George explained that while physicians are supposed to check a box on a death certificate to indicate if the patient was pregnant at the time of death or within a year of her death, they don’t always check this box or check it incorrectly. Sometimes, this can be caught by the Bureau of Vital Records and Statistics if they notice a fetal death certificate filed in short proximity.

Louis discussed her role as a maternal fetal medicine physician, which is a more specialized obstetrician, and noted the rising maternal mortality rate and the disparity in maternal deaths within races and ethnicities. She highlighted two initiatives created by the Florida Department of Health’s Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (PAMR), the Obstetric Hemorrhage Initiative (OHI) and the Hypertension in Pregnancy Project (HIP),which sought to lower hemorrhage and hypertension rates, the two leading causes of maternal death in the state of Florida, and treat these diseases more effectively with better preventative care, screening and post-discharge education. These initiatives would not have been possible without this important vital data, as the data allowed them to target specific causes of maternal mortality in Florida.

Russell‘s remarks focused on the issue of “maternity care deserts,” areas where maternity care is not available within the county, which are a high contributor to maternal deaths in rural areas. She also discussed the barriers preventing women from accessing care, particularly lack of health insurance, a problem for one-fifth of pregnant women.

Saadi concluded by highlighting the use of vital statistics and explained why they are important. She mentioned that the introduction of Electronic Death Reporting Systems has made a big difference in many states, including her own state of Kansas. This data led to the regulation of home daycares in Kansas after a disturbing number of young children died. However, the data could be further improved by including more specific information on cause of death. For instance, an indication that “cardiac arrest” was the cause of death is not helpful to determine whether or not the death was related to pregnancy and delivery-related heart disease.

This article was contributed by COSSA’s fall intern, Victoria Deck of Emerson College.

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Posted in Issue 21 (October 30), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

Academies Releases “How People Learn II”

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recently released a new consensus study report, How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures, which summarizes the current research on the science of learning. The report is a follow-up to a 2000 study and highlights advances in knowledge produced over the past 15 years, including “insights about the influence of culture in shaping how people learn, the dynamic nature of learning across the life span, and the importance of motivation in learning.” The report also identifies priorities for future research in two main areas: (1) connecting research on internal mechanisms of learning with the shaping forces of contextual variation, including culture, social context, instruction, and time of life; and (2) using insights on the science of learning to better design technologies that facilitate learning across the lifespan and to adapt technologies to specific learning environments. The full report is available for download on the National Academies’ website.

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Posted in Issue 20 (October 16), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

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