Issue 18 (October 11)


OSTP Releases Artificial Intelligence Bill of Rights

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) recently released a Blueprint for an Artificial Intelligence Bill of Rights aimed at protecting diverse communities through identifying concerns, risks, and potential solutions to combat discrimination and biases with artificial intelligence systems.

To combat the rise of inequity and biases with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, OSTP’s Bill of Rights blueprints identifies five practices:

  1. Safe and Effective Systems: Designers, developers, and deployers of automated systems should ensure systems have pre-deployment testing that identifies risks and determines the safety of the system.
  2. Algorithmic Discrimination Protections: Designers, developers, and deployers of automated systems should protect communities from algorithmic discrimination using proactive equity assessment, representative data, and protection against proxies for demographic features.
  3. Data Privacy: Designers, developers, and deployers of automated systems should require permission in a brief and understandable way to use data and safeguard the data when applicable to the best of their ability.
  4. Notice and Explanation: Designers, developers, and deployers of automated systems should provide clear and easy-to-understand explanations on what systems are being used and what they are being used for.
  5. Human Alternatives, Consideration, and Fallback: When possible, there should be alternatives to automated systems to not only replace the system but to also solve any problems encountered by the user.

The blueprint is intended as a guide to protect the public’s privacy and use artificial intelligence responsibly. In addition, the White House released an online handbook, from Principles to Practice, aimed at assisting with the incorporation of these principles into policy and practice. 

Lawmakers Punt FY 2023 Funding to December

Congress averted a government shutdown late last month by passing a short term continuing resolution (CR) (PL 117-180) that keeps the federal government operational until December 16. While fiscal year (FY) 2023 officially began on October 1, as has become commonplace, Congress has yet to complete its work on the FY 2023 appropriations bills. Lawmakers will return to Washington after the November midterm elections at which time they will revisit the FY 2023 funding debate. You can follow FY 2023 funding coverage on the COSSA website.

ICYMI: Arati Prabhakar Confirmed as OSTP Director

In September, the Senate confirmed President Biden’s nominee for Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), Arati Prabhakar, by a vote of 56-40. Prabhakar, who is a former Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), had been nominated in June to take charge of the office that has been led in the interim by OSTP Deputy Director for Science and Society Alondra Nelson (see previous COSSA coverage). Prabhakar is also expected to assume the role of the President’s science adviser, which had been carried out by former Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Francis Collins in an acting capacity. In these roles, Prabhakar will be responsible for leading several new and continuing science policy issues including the building out of the new Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), the implementation of the recently passed CHIPS and Science Act, and ongoing initiatives related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in science.

NSF Seeking Deputy SBE Director

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced they are recruiting for a deputy assistant director for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. This position would support NSF’s Assistant Director for SBE Kellina Craig-Henderson in guiding the strategic goals and daily operations of the Directorate including the wide range of research programs and the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES). Applications for the position will be accepted through October 14. The position and its requirements may be found on USAJobs.

White House Releases Learning Agenda

In September, the White House released the final President’s Management Agenda (PMA) Learning Agenda, which identifies questions in need of answering in order to achieve an “equitable, effective, and accountable [federal] government that delivers results for all Americans.” As previously reported, the 2018 Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (“Evidence Act”) called on the Federal Government to make decisions using the best available evidence. In 2021, the Biden Administration issued guidance (memorandum M-21-27) affirming the Administration’s commitment to the goals of the Evidence Act and expanding on previously released guidance related to Learning Agendas and Annual Evaluation Plans. The PMA Learning Agenda released last month details learning gap that exist across the federal government and “[encourages] research within, beyond, and in partnership with Government” to address them.

The PMA Learning Agenda identifies three learning areas of focus:

  1. How can the Federal Government strengthen and empower its workforce, so it can best serve the American people?
  2. How can the Federal Government deliver programs and services effectively and build trust? and
  3. How can the Federal Government advance equity and support underserved communities?

The document contains additional questions within each of these areas and links to the learning agendas of individual federal agencies which were finalized over the last several months. Going forward, the White House states that it will engage researchers, public servants, community members, philanthropic organizations, customers of government services, and others to help address the gaps identified in the PMA and federal agency learning agendas.  In the meantime, you can sign up to receive updates on the federal government’s evidence-building activities and provide your ideas and comments by emailing

White House Releases Biennial Report on International Science & Technology Cooperation

In September, a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a report on international collaboration related to science and technology. The report, which is a Congressionally mandated biennial document, identifies strengths and weaknesses of the U.S. approach to international scientific collaboration and offers recommendations on how to strengthen U.S. leadership in international science and technology. The report acknowledges that the U.S. remains a global leader in many areas of science and is successfully attracting and retaining talented foreign scientists. However, it also notes that other countries are catching up to the U.S. on several fronts and that the U.S. is missing out on opportunities to engage more aggressively with international research initiatives. The report also states that the U.S. is likely underperforming in diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) goals in science and that the immigration requirements for international scientists do much to prevent better talent retention. The report is available on the White House website.

Bureau of Justice Statistics Announces Innovative Newsletter

After being appointed as the Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in August 2022, Dr. Alexis Piquero expressed his commitment to making justice statistics and data more accessible to the public, including by releasing data more quickly and in easy-to-read formats. To this end, BJS has announced “Just the Stats,” a series of short reports that will modernize the process of releasing data to the public. The timeline for releasing the first report is not yet known; however, stakeholders have been invited to subscribe here.

EPA Creates New Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights Office

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched an Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights Office to address environmental justice, enforce civil rights law, and deliver new grants and support. This office was created by merging three already existing programs within EPA: the Office of Environmental Justice, External Civil Rights Compliance Office, and Conflict Prevention and Resolution Center. EPA is dedicated to advancing justice and equity, particularly through aiding underserved communities with community-driven solutions.

Golden Goose Award Seeks 2023 Nominations

Nominations are now open for the 2023 Golden Goose Award, an annual honor recognizing federally funded research that may sound odd, obscure, or serendipitous, but ends up having a major impact on society.  Many social and behavioral scientists have been award recipients in the past and honored at the annual ceremony and reception in Washington, DC.

Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, but for the best chance for consideration for the 2023 awards, nominations should be submitted by December 18, 2022. More information and the nomination form can be found on the Golden Goose website.

National Academies Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine Seeks Nominations for New Consensus Study

The National Academies Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM) is calling for nominations for members and reviewers of a new consensus study committee, Policies and Practices for Supporting Parents and Caregivers in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. The committee will research challenges faced by parents and caregivers within these disciplines, document institutional support, conduct interviews specifically focusing on marginalized populations, identify new practices and opportunities for improvement, and set recommendations for academic institutions and federal agencies. The Committee is seeking 12-17 volunteers and are particularly interested in individuals with experience in gender equity in science, engineering, and medicine; industrial and organizational psychology; human resource management; sociology; and labor and economics. Nominations can be made here. The deadline is October 18, 2022.

CNSTAT Celebrates 50 Years with Seminar and Data Infrastructure Report

The National Academies Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) is hosting a public seminar celebrating 50 years of CNSTAT on October 13, 2022 in Washington, DC. The event will be webcast for those unable to attend in person. The seminar will include a brief review of notable accomplishments and current efforts. CNSTAT will also be discussing their recent report, Toward a Vision for a New Data Infrastructure for Federal Statistics and Social and Economic Research in the 21st Century. This report details the importance of creating a new data infrastructure that both modernizes the processes and addresses the various challenges facing data collection, publication, and accessibility within the nation. Register for the event here.

DBASSE Celebrates 60 Years and Discusses their Future

The Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will be celebrating their 60th anniversary during a two-day virtual event on October 13-14 in Washington, DC. The meeting will highlight some of the Division’s most notable accomplishments, celebrate past contributions, and share a vision for the future. The event The event schedule is available here and register for the event here.

John B. Diamond to Deliver AERA’s Annual Brown Lecture on White Supremacy in Education

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a COSSA governing member, will host its annual Brown Lecture in Education Research virtually on November 3. The Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research commemorates the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education and is designed to feature the important role of research in advancing understanding of equality and equity in education. The 2022 lecture is titled “White Supremacy, Opportunity Hoarding and the Legacy of Brown” and will be delivered by John B. Diamond, Professor of Sociology and Education Policy at Brown University and scholar of the relationship between racial inequality and educational opportunity. Registration and more information on the event are available on the AERA website.

Nominations Open for 2023 SAGE-CASBS Award

The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University and SAGE Publishing now are accepting nominations for the 2023 SAGE-CASBS Award. The Award recognizes accomplishments in the behavioral and social sciences that push the boundaries of our understanding of social issues. In addition to a cash prize, the SAGE-CASBS Award winner will deliver a public lecture to be held at CASBS in spring 2023. The deadline for nominations is December 9, 2022. More information about the Award can be found on the CASBS website.


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