Volume 42 (2023)

Biden Announces 2023 Class of the National Science Board

The Biden Administration has announced the appointment of the new class of members to the National Science Board (NSB). NSB is the policy-making body of the National Science Foundation (NSF) that also advises the President and Congress on federal science policy. The new members will each serve a six-year term. The new members include: With terms ending for departed NSB members Emilio Moran and Bob Groves, Deborah Ball and Wanda Ward will be the only two social and behavioral scientists serving on the 30-person Board. Ball previously served on the NSB during the Obama Administration and Ward was previously a…

118th Congress: Profile of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee

Now that the fight over who will serve as Speaker of the House has been settled, Congressional committees are starting to take shape, albeit later than originally planned. Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) has been chosen to serve as chair of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee; Lucas served as Ranking Member in the last Congress. In a press release, Lucas stated his hope to continue working in a bipartisanship manner with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), the ranking Democrat. Lofgren replaces Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) who retired at the end of the last Congress. However, not all of Lucas’ stated…

House Votes to Establish Select Committee on China

On January 10, the House of Representatives established a new Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party. The Committee, which will have bipartisan membership and will be chaired by Mike Gallagher (R-WI), is authorized to hold public hearings and “to investigate and submit policy recommendations on the status of the Chinese Communist Party’s economic, technological, and security progress and its competition with the United States.” However, the Committee will not have legislative authority, meaning it will not have the authority to develop or consider legislation. The establishment of the Committee is another…

Sen. Chuck Grassley Seeking Information on Science Fellows Serving in the Biden Administration

In December, Politico reported on what some view as a growing influence of Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, in the Biden Administration. The article cited financial support provided by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), which receives funding from Schmidt, for salaries of fellows serving in the Administration under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Mobility Program. The IPA program is widely used across the federal government to allow for the temporary placement of non-governmental employees to federal agency posts for a short period of time “when this movement serves a sound public purpose.” The employees’ salaries are paid by their…

OSTP Announces “Year of Open Science,” Doubles Up with Scientific Integrity Policies

On January 11, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released a fact sheet detailing several actions aiming to advance open science and research while dubbing this year the “Year of Open Science.” The announcement comes in the wake of the recent guidance aiming to increase public access to federally funded research (see previous COSSA coverage). Some of the notable actions include developing an official definition of “open science,” requiring federal agencies to update their public access plans, and publishing a new online resource for the public to learn about engaging in open science programs. A few…

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics to Release Biennial Diversity and STEM Report

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), within the National Science Foundation (NSF), will release its biennial report, Diversity and STEM: Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities, on January 30. The report was last released in 2021 under the title, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering (WMPD), and provides statistical information on women, minorities, and persons with disabilities in science and engineering education and employment. NCSES will host an informational webinar on the results of the Diversity and STEM report on January 31. Register for the event here.

William T. Grant Foundation Seeking Applicants for Scholars Program

The William T. Grant Foundation has opened their online application for the 2023 Scholars Program. The William T. Grant Foundation supports social, behavioral, and health science researchers through encouraging researchers to expand their focus areas. The program provides $350,000 over a five-year period to develop a research plan to provide solutions for inequity and/or build strategies for improving the use of research evidence. Applicants require a nomination from their university to be eligible for the grant. The 2023 Scholars Program Application Guide has been released to aid potential applicants. The deadline to apply is July 5, 2023.

ICYMI: Congress Finalizes FY 2023 Spending Deal, COSSA Releases Analysis for Science Agencies

At the end of last year, House and Senate Appropriations Committees released details of the massive fiscal year (FY) 2023 omnibus appropriations and supplemental spending package. The omnibus includes all twelve annual appropriations bills as well as one-time emergency funding for disaster relief and support to Ukraine. Congress took up the package before the December 23 continuing resolution was set to expire, thereby completing the FY 2023 appropriations process, albeit nearly three months late. As noted, the final package contains $27 billion in emergency supplemental funding to help respond to recent natural disasters and extreme weather events. Within the disaster…

Danielle Staudt Elected COSSA Board Chair

The COSSA Board of Directors has elected Danielle Staudt, Executive Director of the Population Association of America (PAA), as its next chair. Her two-year term began January 1. Danielle is an association executive with over 20 years of experience and has served as the Executive Director for PAA—a COSSA Governing Member—since 2014.  PAA is the home for population researchers and demographers, and its mission is to support and promote high-quality population research. “I am excited and honored to serve as COSSA’s chair,” says Staudt. “COSSA has been an invaluable resource to me and PAA; I’m grateful for the opportunity to…

Save the Date! Social Science Advocacy Day is on April 25

Congress Tacks ARPA-H Authorization onto FY 2023 Spending Deal

The finalization of appropriations for fiscal year (FY) 2023 received plenty of attention by the research community for its investments in federal research agencies. However, another important provision was the authorization of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). Touted as a major priority for the Biden Administration, ARPA-H is a “high-risk, high-reward” advanced biomedical research agency established in 2022 after receiving initial funding in the FY 2022 appropriations bill. Despite receiving funds, it had not yet been authorized through legislation until it was attached to the FY 2023 appropriations omnibus last month (see COSSA’s analysis). The long-awaited authorization…

118th Congress Convenes Amidst Historic Speaker Conflict

The 118th Congress has officially kicked off with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) winning the speakership in the House on January 7 after a protracted fight within the Republican party. All House members were sworn in upon McCarthy’s election; reelected and newly elected Senators were sworn in on January 3. While many questions remain, details about what we can expect this year under the Republican-controlled House and Democratic-controlled Senate are starting to emerge. This week, the House passed its rules package for the 118th Congress, which includes several provisions making headlines. In order to secure the votes needed to win the…

National Science and Technology Council Releases Roadmap on Information Integrity Research and Development

The White House’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) has released The Roadmap for Researchers on Priorities Related to Information Integrity Research and Development. The report identifies combating misinformation as a high priority target for researchers, citing the harmful nature it can have on the public. According to the roadmap, the NSTC will focus its efforts on the following areas: The roadmap is intended to guide research in understanding and combating corrupted and manipulated information while protecting freedom of expression and speech. Notably, the roadmap includes an action plan that details different actions that could be taken by different actors…

The White House Releases Its Fifth Open Government National Action Plan

The White House released its Fifth Open Government National Action Plan on December 28. 2022. The first such report was released during the Obama administration in 2011, citing government initiatives that would improve government accountability. These reports are an effort to improve the government’s relationship with the public and elevate their voices. In the most recent report, the Biden Administration has developed various initiatives dedicated to advancing equity through improving access to government information, increasing public engagement, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of government programs, combatting corruption, and promoting social justice. Many of the initiatives are already well underway, including…

NIJ and BJS Directors Call for Reliable Research and Data on Crime

Nancy La Vigne, Ph.D., Director of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), and Alexis Piquero, Ph.D., Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), called for an emphasis on scientific evidence in criminal justice policies in a January 4 opinion piece in The Hill. The commentary, which makes a case for continued support for the missions of NIJ and BJS, highlights public confusion regarding crime rates and the role of research and data collection in guiding crime reduction policies. It also cites crime forecasting algorithms and forensic science methodologies as evidence-based tools that research and data have shown to be…

Submissions Closing for Mark Kleiman Memorial Lecture

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on Law and Justice (CLAJ) is accepting submissions for the 2023 Mark Kleiman Innovation for Public Policy Memorial Lecture. The lecture is an annual award intended to be granted to early career researchers in criminal justice decision making and public policy. Along with a monetary prize, the awardee is given the opportunity to present at a meeting of the National Academies. Submissions will be accepted through January 14. More information is available here.

COSSA Welcomes National Communication Association Back as Governing Member

COSSA is excited to welcome the National Communication Association (NCA) back as a Governing Member. NCA originally joined COSSA in 2000 and works to “promot[e] the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems.” The organization moved to non-governing membership in 2022 amidst a leadership transition but has returned to its governing seat in 2023. “As a critical field of social science, the expertise and perspectives of communication scholarship has been…

Margaret Weigers Vitullo to Lead Linguistic Society of America

The Linguistic Society of America (LSA), a COSSA Governing and Founding Member, has announced the appointment of Margaret Weigers Vitullo as its next Executive Director starting January 31. A sociologist by training, Vitullo has served as Deputy Director of the American Sociological Association (ASA)—another COSSA founding member—for the last five years and before that as ASA’s Director of Academic and Professional Affairs. She previously served as chair of the sociology department at Gallaudet University and worked at the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research in the Department of Health and Human Services.  “We are thrilled we get to continue…

Subscribe

Past Newsletters

Browse

Archive

Browse 40 years of the COSSA Washington Update.