Issue 3 (February 7)


Registration Open for In-Person Social Science Advocacy Day on April 24-25

COSSA’s Social Science Advocacy Day is back in person for 2023! COSSA members may join us in Washington, DC on April 24-25, 2023, and make their voices heard in support of social and behavioral science. Register today to receive the Early Bird Rate of $95 until March 3.

You will be teamed up with advocates from your home state and participate in a day of in-person meetings (Tuesday, April 25) with House and Senate offices on Capitol Hill. Through these meetings, you will share reasons why federal government support for social and behavioral science research is so critical and discuss how you and your institution can be helpful to your elected officials. Advocates will be given all the resources they need to have successful meetings. This fun, informative event is a must for anyone within the social and behavioral science community who cares about sustainable funding for our fields and who believe research should help inform sound public policy.

Further, we offer a variety of sponsorship packages that help significantly to defray the costs of Advocacy Day, while providing organizations with additional visibility among colleagues in the social and behavioral science and higher education communities. Several packages come with up to two free Advocacy Day registrations. Check out our 2023 sponsorship opportunities here.

Can’t make it to Washington this spring? Watch your inbox for information to come on how you can advocate from home.

COSSA Featured in AmStat News

On February 1, the American Statistical Association (ASA) interviewed Wendy Naus of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) in a Q&A article of AmStat News, the membership magazine of ASA. The Q&A centered around the advocacy work of COSSA, the benefits of COSSA membership, and the various tools COSSA uses to advocate for the social and behavioral sciences. You can read the full article on the ASA website.

Civil Engineers & Applied Behavioral Scientists Answer “Why Social Science” Can Make Workplaces Safer

This week’s Why Social Science? post comes from The Conversation, where Jesus M. de la Garza, E. Scott Geller, and Sogand Hasanzadeh write about the behavioral science behind risk taking and how that can be applied to make workplaces safer. Read on for more.

118th Congress: Profile of the House Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations Subcommittee

As its name suggests, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) is responsible for crafting funding legislation for the Departments of Education (ED), Health and Human Services (HHS), including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Labor (DOL), as well as other independent agencies like the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Council on Disability. The LHHS Subcommittee is one of the most sought-after appointments in the House.

In recent weeks, Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Chair of the full House Appropriations Committee, announced Republican subcommittee appointments. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) will chair the LHHS Subcommittee, making the move from him previous role as top Republican on the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Subcommittee, which is responsible for funding the National Science Foundation. The Republican subcommittee roster includes one freshman member, Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ).

For the minority, Appropriations full committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) announced that she will also hold on to the top Democrat seat on the LHHS Subcommittee, as she did when she chaired the committee under Democratic control in the last Congress. Other minority members of the Subcommittee were named on January 31.

The Subcommittee is expected to begin holding hearings shortly featuring federal agency heads and discussing their funding priorities for fiscal year (FY) 2024. Follow COSSA’s coverage for all the latest developments.

Nelson to Depart OSTP Post

Dr. Alondra Nelson, Deputy Director for Science and Society at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is stepping down from her position and returning to academia effective February 10, according to reports. Nelson was appointed to the newly-created position by then-President-elect Biden in January 2021. A large focus of her work has been on advancing equity in science and using science to inform more equitable policies for the public good. She also served as acting director of OSTP for several months following the departure of Eric Lander in February 2022 amid reports of workplace bullying.

In her two years at OSTP, Nelson oversaw Administration efforts on research security, research integrity, ethical artificial intelligence, and greater transparency in science. She gained added attention last summer when OSTP released a memorandum directing federal agencies to eliminate the optional 12-month publication embargo period for federally funded peer reviewed research articles and to make data associated with peer reviewed research articles immediately available upon publication.

Nelson will reportedly return to her professorship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J.

National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics Releases Biennial Diversity and STEM Report

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released the 2023 edition of the report, Diversity and STEM: Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities. This biennial report provides data and insights into the demographics of the STEM workforce, including wage and STEM unemployment among underrepresented groups. With the report, NCSES seeks to understand how representation within STEM continues to change.

The report found that women comprise 35 percent of the STEM workforce, underrepresented minorities comprise 24 percent, and persons with disabilities comprise 3 percent. The report also found that the number of science and engineering degrees held by women and underrepresented minorities are increasing, with the gap between men and women decreasing with each report. The full report can be found here and a summary of the findings here.

OMB Requests Comments on Initial Proposals for Modernizing Race and Ethnicity Collection

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has requested comments on their initial proposal for modernizing the collection of race and ethnicity data across the Federal government. The request is a part of a series of ongoing revisions that were announced in June 2022, and were informed by OMB listening sessions to gain public input on the process (previously reported by COSSA). The comment request, coordinated by the Federal Interagency Technical Working Group on Race and Ethnicity Standards within OMB, is intended as a response to calls for expanding options within race and ethnicity data collection to account for diversity, individuals who identify under multiples race or ethnicities, and immigration and migration. OMB intends to continue to reach out to the public as they revise these standards. Comments can be submitted here and are due April 12.

NIJ Seeking Applicants for W.E.B. Du Bois Research Program

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) within the Department of Justice (DOJ) has solicited applications for the 2023 W.E.B. Du Bois Program of Research on Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Justice System. The research program aims to identify public policy interventions to address racial and ethnic disparities in the criminal justice system. NIJ has supported funding for the W.E.B. Du Bois Program since 2000, although the program was halted between 2018 and 2021. Two categories of researchers will be selected:

  • W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars, who are advanced researchers and are eligible for research, evaluation, and mentoring grants.
  • W.E.B. Du Bois Fellows, who are early-career researchers and are eligible for research and evaluation grants.

Applications are due April 24. More information is available on the NIJ website.

Research!America Releases Survey Results of Public Opinion of Science

Ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address, Research!America released the results from a January 2023 national survey displaying findings concerning the perceived status of R&D funding this year, with notable differences from years past.

Among the hopeful signs for science is noticeably strong bipartisan support among Americans for investing in research. Some highlights from the survey suggest science and technology have become more of a priority for the country:

  • 63% of Americans are willing to pay $1 dollar more per week in taxes in support of medical and health research.
  • More than 3 in 4 Americans (85% of Democrats, 71% of Republicans, 73% of independents) say R&D investment is creating employment opportunities for people in this country.
  • 91% of Americans agree it is important for the U.S. to be a global leader in science and technology.

Additionally, the survey findings show that Americans strongly support federal investment in research which advances the frontiers of knowledge (92% of Democrats, 78% of Republicans, 76% of independents) and that confidence in doctors and scientists rose from 78% and 68% last year to 87% and 78%, respectively.

This article is contributed by COSSA intern Brenna Tosh of Cornell University.

National Academies Seeking Members for Board on Environmental Change and Society

A call for nominations has been released for new members to serve on the Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). Prospective new members are preferred to have expertise in social and behavioral sciences, including decision-making research, sociology, anthropology, psychology, economics, environmental policy, and human-environment science. A full list of desired disciplines is available here.

BECS advances the integration of social and behavioral science research into environmental science and policy through programs which explore human interactions with the biophysical environment. BECS is also focused on developing a coherent field of scientific endeavor in these areas.

Nominations are encouraged to be submitted by February 16. The nomination form can be found here.

This article is contributed by COSSA intern Brenna Tosh of Cornell University.

Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences Appoints Sarah A. Soule as Director

The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University, a COSSA member organization, has appointed a new director, Sarah A. Soule, who will begin her tenure September 1, 2023. Dr. Soule received a PhD in sociology from Cornell University and previously served as senior associate dean of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. The position was previously held by Margaret Levi, a political scientist, for eight years. More information is available on the CASBS website.


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