Blog Archives

COSSA Holds Largest-Ever Social Science Advocacy Day

COSSA held its largest-ever Social Science Advocacy Day on May 1. Over 70 social and behavioral science researchers, stakeholders, and advocates met with their Members of Congress and staff to advocate in support of funding for federal agencies and programs that support social and behavioral science research. Advocates from 20 states converged on Capitol Hill, completing 77 individual meetings.  Materials used to help articulate the value of social science research are available on the COSSA website, including fact sheets on COSSA’s FY 2019 funding requests and new topical one-pagers. To participate in social science advocacy from home, visit COSSA’s Take Action page.

The previous day, COSSA hosted an Advocacy Day prep seminar, which featured a kickoff presentation from Alan Leshner, CEO Emeritus of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Leshner’s talk, “Why Support Social Science—and How to Say It,” drew on his experience leading several high-profile National Academies panels, The Value of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences to National Priorities and Communicating Science Effectively. Leshner encouraged advocates to focus on framing their interactions with policymakers as a conversation, rather than attempting to “educate” their audience. He advised participants to use narratives in their discussions, connect their research to local issues, and try to avoid dichotomies like “hard” and “soft” science or “qualitative” and “quantitative” research. Leshner observed that while the social sciences have indeed historically faced skepticism from policymakers, today, many understand that insights from these sciences will be required to address complex problems—and social scientists should take advantage of this opportunity to further communicate the value of their disciplines.

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

COSSA Submits FY 2020 Testimony to Senate Appropriations Committee in Support of Social Science Funding for NSF, Census, NIJ, and BJS

As it does each year, COSSA submitted outside witness testimony to the House Appropriations subcommittees responsible for funding federal agencies important to the social sciences. COSSA submitted testimony to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies calling for increased funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Census Bureau in fiscal year (FY) 2020. All of COSSA’s FY 2020 testimony is posted on the COSSA website.

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

House Committee Approves FY 2020 Spending for NIH, CDC, BLS, AHRQ, ED

On May 8, the House Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year (FY) 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill; the Labor-HHS Subcommittee advanced the bill on April 30. This bill contains annual funding proposals for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Education (ED), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), among other federal departments and agencies. In a departure from what has become regular practice, the Labor-HHS bill was one of the first out the gate this year; the often-contentious bill is typically considered later in the appropriations process once more bipartisan bills have been advanced.

At a glance…

  • The House bill includes a total of $41.084 billion for NIH in FY 2020, a $2 billion or 5 percent increase over the FY 2019 level.
  • The bill includes $8.2 billion for the CDC, a $920.6 million increase above the FY 2019 enacted level and $1.7 billion above the Administration’s request for FY 2020.
  • The House bill would provide $358.2 million for AHRQ in FY 2020, a 6 percent or $20.2 million increase compared to FY 2019.
  • The bill would provide BLS with $675.8 million, an increase of $60.8 million from FY 2019.
  • Within the Department of Education, the bill would provide $650 million to the IES, which would be a 5.6 percent increase compared to its FY 2019 enacted level and 24.6 percent above the FY 2020 funding request from the Administration.

Read on for COSSA’s full analysis of the House Appropriations Committee’s proposals for the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Department of Education.

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

May 1 Is Social Science Advocacy Day!

Tomorrow, May 1, is Social Science Advocacy Day! COSSA will be supporting about 75 advocates who will head to Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of social science research and funding with policymakers. Watch COSSA’s Take Action page for an action alert to be released tomorrow that will allow you to join in from anywhere by writing to your Congressional representatives in support of social science. Join the action on Twitter by using #COSSA2019 and #whysocialscience.

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

COSSA Issues Statement Calling for Budget Deal

On April 25, COSSA issued a statement calling on Congress to reach a deal that will prevent the budget cuts scheduled to take effect during fiscal years (FY) 2020 and 2021. The statement highlights the potential impact of these cuts on federal research agencies, particularly those that fund social science research or produce data used by social scientists: “Almost every national priority—health, defense, agriculture and conservation, hazards and natural disasters—relies on science and engineering; the social and behavioral sciences play an important role in helping to address the complex human-centered challenges our nation faces. If America is to continue its global leadership in science and innovation and keep pace with other nations that are doubling-down on their investments in research, we cannot afford to let arbitrary, across-the-board cuts to science and research agencies—including the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and data-producing statistical agencies—hinder scientific progress.” The full statement is available on COSSA’s website.

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

Development Scholar Joseph Assan Answers “Why Social Science?”

why-social-scienceThe latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from Joseph Assan, Assistant Professor of International Political Economy of Sustainable Development at Brandeis University, who writes about how insights from the social sciences can help to address sub-Saharan Africa’s youth unemployment crisis. Read it here and subscribe.

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

COSSA to Honor Leaders in Evidence-Based Policymaking with 2019 Awards

COSSA will recognize two sets of champions of the evidence-based policymaking movement with its 2019 awards (read the full press release). COSSA’s 2019 Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Katharine Abraham and Ron Haskins, whose leadership of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking helped catalyze efforts across federal agencies to integrate science- and evidence-based decision-making into the everyday work of government. COSSA will also present its first-ever Public Impact Award to The Lab @ DC, a team of social scientists working within the District of Columbia government to use scientific methods and insights to test and improve District policies and programs. Members of the COSSA community are invited to attend the presentation of the awards at COSSA’s annual Celebration of Social Science Reception on April 30, 2019, which is part of COSSA’s 2019 Social Science Advocacy Day festivities. RSVP for the reception here.

The COSSA Distinguished Service Award recognizes leaders who have gone above and beyond to promote, protect, and advance the social and behavioral science research enterprise. The newly established COSSA Public Impact Award seeks to celebrate ways individuals or organizations are using social and behavioral science research to achieve notable improvements in communities. Awardees are chosen by the COSSA Board of Directors, which represents COSSA’s governing member associations. More information about the awards is available on COSSA’s website.

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 16), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

COSSA Submits FY 2020 Testimony to House Appropriations Committee in Support of Science Funding

As it does each year, COSSA submitted outside witness testimony to the House Appropriations subcommittees responsible for funding federal agencies important to the social sciences.

COSSA submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for calling for increased funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Census Bureau in fiscal year (FY) 2020.

COSSA also submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies calling for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Institute for Education Sciences (IES), and International Education and Foreign Language Programs (Title VI and Fulbright-Hays).

These and other statements are available on the COSSA website.

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 16), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Administration Releases FY 2020 Budget Request; Read COSSA’s Analysis of Social Science Impacts

On March 11, the Trump Administration released a preview of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget request to Congress, with additional details unveiled the following weeks. The budget was delivered about a month late, largely due to the partial government shutdown that paralyzed much of the federal workforce throughout December and January.

The President’s request proposes steep cuts to all corners of the federal budget, with the exception of national security-focused agencies which would see significant boosts. When considering the Trump Administration’s proposals for FY 2020 it is important to remember that the budget request remains a political, largely symbolic document outlining the Administration’s priorities for the years ahead. It is important to take note of the policy priorities contained within the budget as they could shape some legislative and/or executive actions later in the year; however, as is always the case, Congress has the final say over the appropriation of funds and, in the case of the FY 2020 budget request, legislators are not likely to share the President’s funding priorities, especially cuts to research, the elimination of entire agencies, and reductions in domestic funding more generally.

Read on for COSSA’s full analysis of the President’s proposals as they pertain to social and behavioral science research. You can read our supplement on the Department of Commerce budget request (which was released late) here.

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Posted in Issue 7 (April 2), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

Read COSSA’s 2018 Annual Report

COSSA’s 2018 Annual Report is out now. Check it out to learn more about COSSA’s activities and successes over the past year. Find out how your organization can become a member of COSSA on our website.

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Posted in Issue 7 (April 2), Update, Volume 38 (2019)

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