Volume 40 (2021)

House Passes Funding for NSF, Higher Ed, and IES in $1.9 trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill

The House of Representatives passed a massive relief bill on February 27 that aims to bring financial support to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act (H.R. 1319, committee report) includes direct payments to individuals, expansion of unemployment assistance, and an increase to the national minimum wage, among many other provisions. It also includes several notable provisions of interest to the science community, including $39.9 billion in funding for colleges and universities, with half to be used for student aid, as laid out in the CARES Act (see COSSA’s previous coverage). The bill also…

Advocacy Day Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Sponsorship opportunities for COSSA’s virtual 2021 Social Science Advocacy Day are now available. COSSA has made a variety of sponsorship packages this year, including the ability to get up to four free Advocacy Day registrations. Advocacy Day sponsors allow COSSA to dramatically lower the registration cost for participants compared to previous years, while providing your organization with additional visibility among colleagues in the social and behavioral science and higher education communities. More information on sponsorship packages is available here. Interested organizations should contact Wendy Naus at wnaus@cossa.org.

March Headlines to Feature Deep Dive on Pandemic Relief for Researchers

COSSA members are invited to register for the monthly Headlines webchat on Thursday, March 11 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. The COSSA team will break down the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month, followed by a deep dive discussion on current legislative proposals to provide relief to scholars whose research has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register for the webchat here.

February Headlines to Feature Deep Dive on Pandemic Relief for Researchers

COSSA members are invited to register for the monthly Headlines webchat on Thursday, March 11 at 2:00 pm Eastern Time. The COSSA team will break down the most important social and behavioral science news from the past month, followed by a deep dive discussion on current legislative proposals to provide relief to scholars whose research has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals employed by or affiliated with a COSSA member organization or university can register for the webchat here.

Why Social Science? Celebrates Anthropology Day

The latest Why Social Science? post highlights Anthropology Day, which the American Anthropological Association (AAA) celebrates every February. Anthropology Day is a day for anthropologists to celebrate and share their discipline with the public around them. Read it here and subscribe.

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Economic Recovery Legislation Enacted; Science Fares Very Well (February 23, 2009)

In celebration of COSSA’s 40th anniversary, we are diving into the decades of Washington Update archives to share articles from years past that resonate with today’s news. On February 17, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (aka the Stimulus Package). After weeks of negotiations among the White House, the Congress, and three key Republican Senators, the legislation emerged with the hope that it will help the American economy recuperate from its current illness. Within its many provisions are significant amounts of funding for science activities. The National Science Foundation (NSF) will receive $3 billion. This is the…

House Science Committee Organizes

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has announced its membership roster for the 117th Congress (see the majority and minority press releases). As previously reported, the Chair and Ranking Member will again be Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK). Members new to the Science Committee this Congress include Carlos Giménez (R-FL), Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Young Kim (R-CA), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Peter Meijer (R-MI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Deborah K. Ross (D-NC), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Daniel Webster (R-FL), and Susan Wild (D-PA). Democratic subcommittee…

House Science Committee Holds Hearing on COVID-19 Impacts and the Recovery of the U.S. Research Enterprise

On February 25, the House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology (SST) held a hearing on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on U.S. research and potential solutions to provide relief and recovery to the research enterprise. The hearing featured testimony from CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science Dr. Sudip Parikh, Vice President for Research at Washington State University Dr. Christopher Keane, Executive Vice President of the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thomas Quaadman, and Executive Director of the American Educational Research Association and member of COSSA’s Board of Directors Dr. Felice…

House Science Committee Holds Hearing On COVID-19 Vaccines and Encouraging Uptake

On February 19, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology held a hearing on “The Science of COVID-19 Vaccines and Encouraging Vaccine Uptake.” The Committee heard testimony from Professor in Vaccinology and Director at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, Director and Health Authority at the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Philip Huang, Deputy Commissioner at the Oklahoma State Department of Health Keith Reed, and the Scientific Director at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics and Associate Professor of Nursing and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania…

NIH Presents Report on Racism in Science, Launches UNITE Initiative to End Structural Racism in Biomedical Research

During a meeting of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) on February 26, 2021, NIH discussed new and ongoing efforts to eliminate agency structures perpetuating racism in the biomedical research enterprise. During the meeting, the ACD’s Working Group on Diversity (WGD) presented its Report on Racism in Science, a document that had been in development throughout the past year in the wake of nationwide protests condemning White supremacy and racial inequity, especially as it affects Black members of the scientific community. The WGD report presents several strategies and recommendations for the ACD to consider…

National Academies Seeking Applications for 2021 Cohort of New Voices Initiative

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has announced the opening of the 2021 application cycle for the New Voices initiative, a two-year program giving leadership opportunities to a diverse group of mid-career experts to collaborate and develop interdisciplinary solutions to complex problems being addressed by the National Academies. The New Voices initiative is open to U.S-based scientists, engineers, health professionals, and other experts from all professional sectors including industry, academia, non-profits, and the public sector. Applications are due March 31, 2021 and are available on the NASEM website. More information about the New Voices initiative is also…

Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Ed Launches Partner Network

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education has launched a new Partner Network to include a range of higher education-focused organizations in sharing their work to prevent and address sexual harassment in higher education. The Collaborative was created in 2019 to facilitate the work of higher education institutions in developing and implementing efforts that move beyond basic legal compliance to evidence-based policies and practices for preventing sexual harassment. Sixty colleges, universities, and research institutions are currently members. The Partner Network was created to engage other types of organizations in…

New Guidance Advises Communities on Planning for Natural Disasters During COVID-19

The Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN), a project of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), has released a new set of guidance on Emergency Evacuation and Sheltering During the COVID-19 Pandemic, which details how findings from existing research on evacuation behavior, social responses to disaster, and risk communication can be applied to emergency management in the era of COVID-19. The guidance identifies strategies for updating evacuation plans, sheltering operations, and risk communication practices in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The full guidance is available on the National Academies website.

SEAN Releases New Expert Consultation on COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) (see COSSA’s previous coverage) has published a new rapid expert consultation, Building COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence. The guidance compiles research-backed strategies for effectively reaching vulnerable communities and skeptical populations to provide trustworthy information about the COVID-19 vaccine. The consultation is available as an interactive web tool, with highlights on Strategies for Public Engagement to Combat Mistrust and Build COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence and Communication Strategies for Promoting COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance.  The report is also available as a full report on the National Academies website.

COSSA Releases 2021 Rankings of Federal Support for Social Science Research at U.S. Colleges and Universities

On February 16, COSSA released its 2021 College and University Rankings for Federal Social and Behavioral R&D, which highlight the top university recipients of federal research dollars in the social and behavioral sciences. This year’s rankings feature a dashboard with an interactive map of recipients of social and behavioral science R&D funding so you can see how your university stacks up among more than 500 U.S. institutions. Based on the most recent available federal data, the COSSA rankings use an inclusive selection of fields representing the breadth of the social and behavioral sciences to calculate the total federal R&D funding received by…

FROM THE ARCHIVES: 106th Congress Opens for Business: Impeachment Dominates Early Agenda (January 11, 1999)

In celebration of COSSA’s 40th anniversary, we are diving into the decades of Washington Update archives to share articles from years past that resonate with today’s news. On January 6th, the 106th Congress commenced. The following day the Senate opened the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. The House, which ended the 105th Congress by impeaching the President in a bitter partisan debate and votes, chose a new Speaker who promised cooperation and a Democratic leader who talked of “burying the hatchet.” Bill Clinton is the first United States President impeached since Andrew Johnson in 1868. Yet, he retains the…

Congress Confronts Packed Post-Impeachment To-Do List

For the first time since taking office, the Biden Administration and 117th Congress can work without being consumed by the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill can now forge ahead on a COVID-19 relief package currently being negotiated and with confirmation hearings for Biden appointees. The House is looking to vote on a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package next week, which is expected to pass largely along party lines. The goal is for the House and Senate to send a completed package to the President by March 14 when current unemployment insurance relief expires. On…

Lawmakers Reintroduce RISE Act

On February 5, a bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced the Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act. As previously reported, the RISE Act seeks to provide funding relief to federal science agencies impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would authorize $25 billion in emergency relief, including $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health and $3 billion for the National Science Foundation. Funding would be used to support non-COVID-related research that has been impacted or shuttered by the closure of labs resulting from the pandemic. This legislation is different from the $1.9 trillion COVID package discussed elsewhere in…

NSF Releases New “Understanding the Rules of Life” Solicitation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting applications for a new program within the Understanding the Rules of Life (URoL) Big Idea. The new program, Understanding the Rules of Life: Emergent Networks, seeks to support convergent research to understand the “’rules of emergence’ for networks of living systems and their environments,” described as the “interactions among organismal, environmental, social, and human-engineered systems that are complex and often unexpected given the behaviors of these systems when observed in isolation.” More information is available in the full solicitation. The deadline for proposals is May 20, 2021.

CNSTAT Seeks Nominations for Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation Study

The Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has issued a call for nominations for individuals to serve on a committee on Measuring Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The ad hoc committee will develop clear guidelines “outlining the guiding principles and best practices for collecting sexual orientation and gender identity information in research and non-research surveys, along with medical and other administrative records in order to improve the NIH’s ability to identify and address the specific needs of these populations.” CNSTAT is seeking experts on…

Subscribe

Past Newsletters

Browse

Archive

Browse 40 years of the COSSA Washington Update.