Academies Report Calls for Better Integration of Social Science into the USGCRP

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new report, Enhancing Participation in the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The report offers recommendations on broadening participation of federal agencies in the USGCRP by identifying new partnership and enhancing existing ones. As part of its recommendations on better meeting the USGCRP’s goal of advancing science related to global change, the report reiterates a call from the 2012 Academies review of the USGCRP’s strategic plan that the program “’better integrate the social and ecological sciences’ and…move toward ‘an integrated observational system that connects observations of the physical environment with a wide variety of social and ecological observations.’” The new report notes that “achieving this expansion presents a grand challenge, especially considering budget constraints and the fragmented structure of federal research,” but suggests a way forward: “For challenges like better integration of social and ecological sciences, one set of promising opportunities for advancing science under the constraints mentioned lies in more fully engaging agencies that already collect data relevant to the USGCRP mission.”

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