Blog Archives

Introducing HEADLINES: A Monthly Look at What’s New and Noteworthy in Social Science Policy

headlines bannerCOSSA is excited to announce its newest program, exclusively for membersHeadlines: A monthly look at what’s new and noteworthy in social science policy. Launching in November, Headlines will be a monthly webchat in which members will learn about the latest policy and funding developments impacting social science research. The COSSA team, joined by periodic special guests, will take participants behind the headlines and explain what they need to know. COSSA is excited to offer this interactive space for members to get the policy-related information they need when they need it.

The first edition of Headlines will be two days after the midterm elections for a discussion on the “2018 Midterm Election Results and What’s Next for Social Science Funding and Policy.” During this webchat, COSSA will recap the results of the 2018 midterm elections, including the notable winners and losers, changes in Congressional leadership, and how the results will affect the Congressional committees overseeing social science funding and policy. Presenters will also look ahead and share our outlook for what to expect in the coming months and answer questions. COSSA members can register here to attend November’s monthly webchat.

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

COSSA Encourages Response to NIH Clinical Trials RFI

As previously reported, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been taking steps in recent years to enhance its stewardship of and increase transparency over the clinical trials it funds. This has included the development of a new, expanded definition of the term “clinical trial,” which now applies to all research involving human subjects that involves a prospective experimental manipulation of an independent variable, and triggers the need for researchers to adhere to a number of new registering and reporting requirements using clinicaltrials.gov (see COSSA’s Hot Topic piece for details). Many basic behavioral and social science studies will be caught up in these new requirements.

NIH released a Request for Information (RFI) (NOT-OD-18-217) in September seeking input on the standards NIH should use in registration and results reporting for prospective basic science studies involving human participants (see COSSA’s previous coverage of the RFI). COSSA has issued an Action Alert to assist stakeholders concerned about this revised “clinical trials” definition in responding to the RFI. The alert includes additional context on the NIH clinical trials policy, a step-by-step guide to responding to the RFI, and sample text respondents can use in submitting their comments. Responses to the RFI are due by November 12, 2018. COSSA encourages individuals concerned about this policy to respond and share the action alert widely.

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

COSSA Seeks Interns for 2019

COSSA is accepting internship applications for the spring semester beginning in January 2019. The opportunity is best suited for undergraduate students who wish to learn about advocacy/lobbying, policy impacting social science, and/or non-profit organizations. Responsibilities include conducting research to assist COSSA staff with their lobbying activities and coverage of events, such as Congressional hearings, federal agency advisory committee meetings, community and coalition events, which may result in a written product, such as a contribution to the COSSA Washington Update. More information is available in the internship description. Applications will be evaluated as they are received, so apply now!

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

Disaster Researchers Brandi Gilbert and Nnenia Campbell Answer “Why Social Science?”

why-social-scienceThe latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from Brandi Gilbert of the Urban Institute and Nnenia Campbell of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who write about what social science research related to children and older adults has taught us about building community resilience and enhancing recovery after disasters. Read it here and subscribe.

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

COSSA Endorses Bill to Combat Sexual Harassment in Science

On October 2, COSSA released a statement in support of H.R. 7031, the Combatting Sexual Harassment in Science Act of 2018. The bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Ranking Member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, would provide funding to the National Science Foundation to establish a grant program to study the causes and consequences of sexual harassment in the scientific workforce, efficacy of interventions, and methods of remediating the negative impacts of sexual harassment. This legislation would also direct data collection about sexual harassment in science and establish and interagency working group to address this important issue. Read the full statement on COSSA’s website.

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

SSRC’s Alondra Nelson Answers “Why Social Science?”

why-social-scienceThe latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from Alondra Nelson, President of the Social Science Research Council, who highlights SSRC’s recently published report, To Secure Knowledge: Social Science Partnerships for the Common Good. Read it here and subscribe.

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Posted in Issue 19 (October 2), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

CJRA’s Peter Wood Answers “Why Social Science?”

why-social-scienceThis latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from Peter Wood, Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Eastern Michigan University and chair of the Crime and Justice Research Alliance (CJRA), who writes about how the Alliance is helping to bring research on crime and criminal justice issues to policymakers and the media. Read it here and subscribe.

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Posted in Issue 18 (September 18), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

New from “Why Social Science?”: Misinformation and “Ban-the-Box” Policies

why-social-scienceRecent Why Social Science? guests posts have addressed how social science can identify strategies to stop the spread of misinformation and how social science research has challenged the conventional wisdom surrounding “ban-the-box” policies. Read the post on misinformation from Melanie C. Green, Associate Professor of Communication at the University at Buffalo here, and the post on “ban-the-box” from Olugbenga Ajilore, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Toledo here.

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Posted in Issue 17 (September 4), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

COSSA and 25 Science Organizations Call for Removal of Census Citizenship Question

In a joint comment to the Department of Commerce, COSSA and 25 other science and research organizations urged the Department to remove the citizenship question from the 2020 Census. The letter, which was submitted in response to a federal request for input on data collection activities related to the 2020 Census, focuses on the science and research implications of the citizenship question, arguing that “the inclusion of a question on citizenship in the 2020 Census will increase the burden on respondents, add unnecessary costs to the operation, and negatively impact the accuracy and integrity of one of the most valuable data resources the government produces.” COSSA previously released a statement opposing the question after it was announced. While formal approval of 2020 Census questionnaire by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is all but certain, several law suits to remove the question are currently pending.

In response to the same request for comments, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Council on National Statistics (CNSTAT) Task Force on the 2020 Census submitted a letter concluding that “the decision to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 census is inconsistent with the ‘proper performance of the functions’ of the Census Bureau.” The CNSTAT letter is available on the National Academies’ website.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 7), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

The Lab @ DC Answers “Why Social Science?”

why-social-scienceThis latest Why Social Science? guest post comes from David Yokum, Director of the The Lab @ DC, who writes about how cities are using insights from the social sciences to test and improve policies and inform decisions. Read it here and subscribe.

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Posted in Issue 16 (August 7), Update, Volume 37 (2018)

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