Issue 14 (July 10)


Arthur Lupia to Lead NSF’s Social Science Directorate

Dr. Lupia at COSSA's 2018 Science Policy Conference

Dr. Lupia at COSSA’s 2018 Science Policy Conference

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced that it has chosen Dr. Arthur “Skip” Lupia to serve as the next head of its Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE), following the expiration of Dr. Fay Lomax Cook’s term. Dr. Lupia is currently the Hal R. Varian Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. He is also the chairman of the board for the Center for Open Science and the chair of the National Academies Roundtable on the Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Lupia served on COSSA’s Board of Directors in 2014 and participated in a panel discussion on “Reestablishing Trust in Social Science and Data” during COSSA’s 2018 Science Policy Conference. His research interests include voting, elections, persuasion, opinion change, civic education, coalition governance, legislative-bureaucratic relationships, and decision-making under uncertainty.

In a press release accompanying the announcement, NSF Director France Córdova states, “Arthur Lupia takes leadership of a directorate whose research portfolio touches on major challenges our nation faces. Better understanding human behavior is important to improving cyber security and increasing resilience in the face of natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, and broad ecological changes. The social sciences have made a profound contribution to the efficiency of markets, organ donations, and the safety of the skies and our inner cities. Dr. Lupia’s outstanding ability as a communicator will be instrumental to making the value of the social sciences widely understood.”

Dr. Lupia’s term as Assistant Director for SBE will begin on September 1. COSSA congratulates him on his appointment and looks forward to working with him in his new role to continue to advance the social and behavioral sciences.

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Wendy Naus Discusses COSSA’s Fight for Social Science Research with UK Publication

In an interview with the British publication Research Features, COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus discusses the current outlook for federal support of social and behavioral science in the U.S. and some of the challenges and opportunities facing advocates for this research. You can read the article here.

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Senate Appropriations Committee Passes FY 2019 Labor, Health Human Services, Education Bill

On June 28, the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved its fiscal year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill; the Labor-HHS Subcommittee advanced the bill on June 26. 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.

The House Labor-HHS Subcommittee marked up its version of the bill on June 15 and released the bill text and accompanying report soon after; however, the full House Appropriations Committee has postponed its markup of the bill indefinitely due to reported disagreements on a number of policy issues in the bill. Therefore, this report simply summarizes the Senate’s Labor-HHS proposals and does not make comparisons to the House levels.

At a Glance…

  • The Senate bill includes a total of $39.084 billion for NIH in FY 2019, a $2 billion increase over the FY 2018 level. If enacted, NIH will have received a total of $9 billion in increases over the last four years, a 30 percent increase over that period.
  • The bill would allocate $7.8 billion to the CDC, a cut of about $193 million compared to FY 2018, but more than $2 billion above the amount proposed by the Administration.
  • The Senate bill includes $334 million for AHRQ, flat with the FY 2018 enacted level. The bill “does not support” the Administration’s proposed consolidation of AHRQ as a new institute within the NIH.
  • Within the Department of Education, the Senate bill would provide $615.5 million to IES, which would be a 0.3 percent increase in funding compared to its FY 2018 appropriation and 18 percent above the FY 2019 funding request from the Administration.

The next step for the bill is consideration by the full Senate. It remains to be seen whether or how Senate leadership will proceed with the individual appropriations bills this year. Given the fast-approaching November midterm elections and other legislative priorities, not to mention the need to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice, it is increasingly likely that FY 2019 will begin under a continuing resolution (CR) on October 1, 2018.

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

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William Bryan Nominated to Lead DHS Science and Technology

William Bryan has been nominated by President Trump to serve as the Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Bryan is currently the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. If confirmed, Bryan will serve as the science and technology advisor to the Secretary of Homeland Security and lead the research, development, innovation, and testing activities to support the department’s operations and first responders across the country. Bryan is a U.S. Army veteran who has previously held leadership roles at the Departments of Energy and Defense and served as president of ValueBridge International’s Energy Group. He holds a Master of Science in strategic intelligence and a Bachelor of Science in logistics systems management.

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Puerto Rico’s Statistical Agency Spared from Reorganization (For Now)

Legislators in Puerto Rico have backed away from a plan to dismantle Puerto Rico’s statistical agency, the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics (PRIS). The proposal had been included in drafts of a government reorganization bill being considered by the commonwealth’s Legislative Assembly; it would have moved the independent agency to the Department of Economic Development and Commerce and outsourced many of its activities to the private sector. COSSA joined a letter led by the American Statistical Association (ASA), a COSSA governing member, to call for PRIS to maintain its independence. The provision was ultimately removed in the final conferenced version of the legislation sent to Puerto Rico’s governor for signature. However, the future of the Institute may not yet be secure; the legislature has promised to address issues related to PRIS in a future session. More information is available on ASA’s website.

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International Natural and Social Science Bodies Merge to Form “International Science Council”

Two international science organizations, the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council, have merged to form the International Science Council (ISC), whose mission is to “act as the global voice for science.” ISC’s membership consists of international scientific unions and associations and over 140 national and regional scientific organizations (including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences). In an opening address at ISC’s inaugural General Assembly in Paris, Catherine Brechignac, Secretaire Perpetuel of the French Academy of Sciences (a past president of the natural science-focused International Council for Science) said that the merging of the two organizations reflects that “social sciences should be at least as important” as natural sciences in setting the global research agenda. More information about the new organization is available on the ISC website.

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