Science Community News

National Academies Holds DEI Summit

On June 29 and 30, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) held a summit to address the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in 21st century science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) organizations. The summit took place over the course of two days with discussions revolving around how systemic racism affects individuals of underrepresented racial and ethnic group in STEMM careers and how to implement strategies and policies that will advance diversity in STEMM environments and organizations. The first day included discussions on the systemic and structural nature of racism and bias, diving into the…

New National Academies Guidance Offers Resources for Serving Homeless Communities During Disasters and COVID-19

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) (see COSSA’s previous coverage) has published new guidance on Addressing Disaster Vulnerability Among Homeless Populations During COVID-19. The guidance is intended to help policymakers support homeless populations before, during, and after a disaster in the context of COVID-19. According to the guidance, “Understanding the unique challenges of disaster preparedness among homeless communities and the strain on support services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is critical for effectively planning for and carrying out emergency services and sheltering for homeless populations in the context of COVID-19 and disasters.” The…

National Academies Holds Workshop on Ontologies for Behavioral Science

On May 24th, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Committee on Accelerating Behavioral Science Through Ontology Development and Use (see previous coverage) held its first virtual workshop, “Why Are Ontologies and How Are They Used in Science?” which explored questions about the classification systems and knowledge structures that scientific disciplines use to establish shared labels, definitions, and frameworks. The workshop was spent establishing what ontologies are philosophically and how scientists usefully apply them into their work as well as discussing current ontologies, such as Research Domain Criteria (RDoC), which has been slowly implemented at the National Institutes…

AAAS Fellows to Host Symposium on COVID-19 & Health Inequities

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellows will host a day-long symposium addressing “Health Inequities Exposed and Exacerbated by the COVID-19 Pandemic’” on Wednesday, June 30, 2021. The symposium will feature expert panels on healthcare access, health literacy, and the long-term social, behavioral, and economic impacts of COVID-19 mitigation efforts. More information about the symposium is available here.

COSSA Joins Science Organizations Highlighting Diversity in STEM on “WMPD Day”

On May 12, scientific organizations, including COSSA, the Federation of Associations in Behavioral Brain Sciences, and SAGE Publishing, will observe “Understanding Diversity in STEM: WMPD Day.” The event takes its name from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics’ (NCSES) biannual report: Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering. Organizations will hold events throughout the day to recognize, celebrate, and build on the contributions of women, minorities, and person with disabilities in the STEM enterprise. Scheduled activities include a kickoff event with experts from NCSES to discuss the most recent WMPD report (11 AM ET), a…

Nominations Sought for CNSTAT Committee on Evaluating 2020 Census

The Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is accepting nominations for its Panel to Evaluate the Quality of the 2020 Census. This panel will prepare a consensus study report that will serve as a thorough operational and procedural review of the 2020 Census, to both assess the trustworthiness of the 2020 Census data products and to provide solid ground for the testing and experimentation that will lead to the 2030 Census. CNSTAT is seeking nominees with expertise in survey and census methodology, including management of large-scale survey field operations; statistical and…

New SEAN Guidance Offers Strategies for Communicating About Vaccine Efficacy

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Societal Experts Action Network (SEAN) (see COSSA’s previous coverage) has published a new guidance on Understanding and Communicating Vaccine Efficacy and Effectiveness. The guidance is intended to help public officials prepare and evaluate their communications efforts around vaccination. It is available as an interactive web tool, with highlights on Communicating Vaccine Efficacy and on Communicating About Efficacy and Effectiveness in the Context of Equity in Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution, as well as a full report on the National Academies website.

National Academies Launches “Hauser Policy Impact Fund” with Webinar Series

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) has launched a new initiative, the Hauser Policy Impact Fund. The fund, named for longtime (now retired) DBASSE Executive Director Bob Hauser, aims to ensure that social science analysis and synthesis has a better chance to guide informed policy decisions. The activity will begin with a webinar series featuring three issues at the forefront of current policy discussions and that have diversity, equity, and inclusion as a central focus. Each webinar will feature policy and research experts as well as discuss policy implications…

CNSTAT Releases Seventh Edition of Principles & Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency

The Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a pre-publication version of the seventh edition of Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, a report released every four years to coincide with presidential terms. The consensus study report provides an explanation of the federal statistical system and offers guiding principles and best practices for federal statistical agencies. The report outlines five guiding principles federal statistical agencies should adhere to in order to produce and disseminate relevant, timely, accurate and credible information to the public and policymakers: (1) produce information relevant…

Applications Closing Soon for National Academies’ Mirzayan Fellowship

The application window for the Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) will be closing on April 30, 2021. This 12-week fellowship is intended for current or recent graduate students to gain a broader understanding of the role of science and technology in influencing public policy as well as to broaden career prospects outside of academia. The newest cohort will run from August 30, 2021 to November 19, 2021. More information on how to apply is available on the NASEM website.

NASEM Releases Report Documenting COVID-19’s Impact on Women in STEM, Compiles New COVID Resource

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has released a new consensus study that details how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected women in STEM fields. The report, Impact of COVID-19 on the Careers of Women in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, “identifies, names, and documents how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the careers of women in academic STEMM during the initial 9-month period since March 2020 and considers how these disruptions—both positive and negative—might shape future progress for women.” NASEM has also compiled its most important reports, findings, and activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic released over the past…

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.

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…

National Academies Releases Resource on Communicating Newsworthy Social and Behavioral Science

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) have released a digital resource on how to communicate newsworthy social and behavioral science. The resource offers insights and strategies on a variety of communication topics including the concept of newsworthiness, differences of background between journalists and scientists, common challenges facing the media in reporting on science, and suggestions for scientists and journalists to consider when choosing to communicate science. The information imparted in the resource includes segments recorded from a Roundtable on Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Science along with short checklists and testimonials from the roundtable’s panelists….

Day One Project Seeks Input on Top 100 Science Roles in Government

The Day One Project is seeking the science community’s input on the most important science and technology roles in government. An initiative of the Federation of American Scientists, the Day One Project seeks to involve the science and technology community in the presidential transition by “developing new proposals on key issues that can be useful to policymakers on the first day of a new presidential term and beyond.” As part of an effort to identify the top 100 most important federal positions for science and technology, the project is seeking ideas for both what these roles are currently, as well…

Day One Project Seeks Input on Top 100 Science Roles in Government

The Day One Project is seeking the science community’s input on the most important science and technology roles in government. An initiative of the Federation of American Scientists, the Day One Project seeks to involve the science and technology community in the presidential transition by “developing new proposals on key issues that can be useful to policymakers on the first day of a new presidential term and beyond.” As part of an effort to identify the top 100 most important federal positions for science and technology, the project is seeking ideas for both what these roles are currently, as well as ideas…

AAAS Forum Focuses on COVID Impacts, Systemic Racism in Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) held its annual Science & Technology Policy Forum in a virtual format on October 13-14. The forum featured two days of panels and lectures focused on pressing policy issues facing the sciences. The majority of the first day’s sessions focused on how COVID-19 has impacted science and innovation, the essential role science has played in responding to the pandemic, and lessons that can be drawn from this experience to strengthen the science and technology enterprise going forward. The second day featured a number of sessions on confronting the dark history of…

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