Issue 20 (November 8)
The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be holding the 2022 NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Festival next month on December 8 and 9. The festival, held annually by OBSSR and the NIH Behavioral and Social Sciences Research Coordinating Committee (BSSR-CC), features panel discussions on recent social science research results, growing areas, and innovations in the field of health-related BSSR. This year, the festival will focus on social connection, mental and emotional health, social determinants of health, and measurement in BSSR. The keynote address will be delivered by Richard Woychik, Ph.D., the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences at NIH. The festival will also feature opening remarks from Christine Hunter, Ph.D., Acting Director of OBSSR. Register and view the full list of agenda and speakers here.
COSSA Executive Director Wendy Naus was featured in the latest episode of the American Statistical Association (ASA) podcast, Practical Significance (the ASA is a COSSA governing member). Naus discusses COSSA’s efforts to promote the social, behavioral, and statistical sciences to policymakers and ways that researchers can engage in the advocacy process. Check out the episode on the ASA website or wherever you get your podcasts.
On October 25, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) had been renamed to the Directorate for STEM Education (EDU) in an effort to more accurately reflect the directorate’s portfolio and focus. In addition, the Division of Human Resource Development within the Directorate has been renamed the Division of Equity for Excellence in STEM (EES).The name changes were initially proposed in the President’s FY 2023 budget request to Congress.
The newly named EDU Directorate, which funds education research grants and career development opportunities for scientists, reportedly will not have its portfolio or core programs meaningfully changed. The EES Division will similarly retain its function in broadening participation of historically underrepresented communities in STEM. More information is available in the NSF announcement.
On October 25, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a Dear Colleague Letter reaffirming the agency’s commitment to the findings of a 2019 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) titled Reproducibility and Replicability in Science. This report was aimed at providing clear research practices and guidelines to recreate scientific results through multiple research methods and to identify ways to improve public confidence in scientific findings (see previous COSSA coverage). In addition, the NSF letter notes that the agency may be interested in funding proposals for research addressing reproducibility and replicability in science. NSF is especially interested in proposals on advancing the science of reproducibility and replicability, research infrastructure for reproducibility and replicability, and educational efforts to build a scientific culture that supports reproducibility and replicability. More information is available in the NSF letter.
President Biden has announced 15 appointments to the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES) within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). NBES is responsible for advising the Director of IES to ensure that the institutes priorities are consistent with it’s mission. NBES is also responsible for strengthening procedures for technical and scientific peer review, presenting recommendations to strengthen education research, soliciting advice and information from the field, and ensuring IES is compliant with the Education Sciences Reform Act. NBES has not held a meeting since the end of the Obama Administration in 2016. For more information on appointments, please refer to the White House announcement.
On October 13, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine held a symposium celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE). During the two-day event, presenters revisited some of the Division’s most notable activities and reports, such as the Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) and the report on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science, to name a few. Later, speakers explored some of the topics that could dominate in the years ahead and how social science can contribute. In the words of former Director of the National Science Foundation Rita Colwell, “This is the age of the social sciences;” she called for better incorporation of the social, behavioral, and economic sciences at the outset of studies in the natural or physical sciences. Other topics identified for future attention include issues of equity, access to and safeguarding of data, global change, trust in and effective communication of science, and technology’s impact on the future. A recording of the symposium is available here.
CNSTAT Nominations for Workshop on Improving Measurement of Death by Suicide of Law Enforcement Officers
The Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Statistics is calling for nominations for members of an organizing committee to create a public workshop on strategies to measure death by suicide of law enforcement and correctional officers. CNSTAT is seeking experts in criminal justice research and statistics, mental health and occupational health, administrative data, and integrating federal, state, tribal, and local government data systems. They are also seeking law enforcement and correctional officers for the event. Nominations will close on November 10, 2022.