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Congress Returns for a Busy Fall

Following a month-long August recess, Congress returns to work this week to a full agenda of must-pass items. At the top of the list will be passing a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded and avert a shutdown come October 1. However, unrelated controversies dealing with Planned Parenthood and the Confederate flag will likely make the road to a CR difficult in the coming weeks. Assuming we get to October 1 without the government shutting down, the next big issue on the agenda is brokering some sort of deal to reverse or at least mitigate the impacts of…

Congress is Home for Summer Break. Tell them #WhySocialScience

The House left for August recess over a week ago and the Senate followed suit last week, leaving crickets in DC for the next few weeks. As previously reported, progress on the fiscal year (FY) 2016 appropriations bill all but stalled out as Congress prepared to leave for its month-long summer break. The big question heading into the fall will be whether the GOP leadership in Congress and the Obama White House will be able to come to terms on an endgame for the annual funding bills before the government is forced to shut down for the second time in…

Why Social Science? Share Your Stories!

COSSA has launched a new campaign that seeks to collect stories of social science success from social and behavioral scientists across all disciplines. Is your research pushing the frontiers of science or advancing your field? Has your research contributed to an important finding or breakthrough? Are there interesting applications or potential applications to your work? If so, we want to hear it! You may submit your stories using COSSA’s Why Social Science? webpage. Stories will be shared through social media (#WhySocialScience) and other COSSA outreach efforts over the next several months. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA Releases Statement on House & Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Bills

On July 2, COSSA released a statement detailing its objections to the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services , Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) spending bills passed by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in June. Although both bills would provide significant increases to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as the statement notes “Unfortunately, the much needed increases in NIH funding in both bills come at the expense of federal agencies whose work plays a vital and collaborative role in the U.S. scientific enterprise, particularly as it relates to our nation’s health. As such, COSSA cannot…

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve FY 2016 Labor-HHS Bills

The Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate advanced their respective fiscal year (FY) 2016 bills for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS). The House passed its version on June 24 (see COSSA’s preliminary analysis of the bill), and the Senate on June 25. Both bills would provide sizable increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with a larger increase coming from the Senate’s bill. The House bill proposes to completely eliminate the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) but maintains strong funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while the…

HOT TOPIC: Scientific Organizations Reflect on Building “Trust in Science”

By Julia Milton, COSSA The scientific community has been grappling with topics related to science communication and public trust in science lately. This spring, several major scientific organizations met to focus on these issues. To name a few, the National Academy of Science’s 2015 Henry and Bryna David Lecture was held on “Communicating the Value and Values of Science;” the AAAS’ annual Forum on Science and Technology Policy held not one, but two break-out sessions on “Public Opinion and Policy Making,” as well as an evening plenary lecture entitled “Science to Action: Thoughts on Convincing a Skeptical Public;” and the Academies’…

House Passes FY16 NSF, Census, Justice Spending Bill

After two days of debate and consideration of dozens of amendments, the House passed the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill this evening on June 4 by a vote of 242 to 183. Twelve Democrats voted in favor of the bill with 10 Republicans voting against. As previously reported, this annual spending bill–which provides funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Justice (DOJ) research programs, and the Census Bureau and other federal statistical agencies–includes very troubling provisions impacting social and behavioral science research (see COSSA’s analysis for full details). There were no amendments…

House Advances Bills to Cut Social Science Funding

As we have been reporting over the last several weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives has been busy considering legislation to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act, landmark legislation first enacted in 2007 to reignite U.S. investment in scientific research.  It serves as authorizing legislation for the National Science Foundation (NSF), among other agencies.  The House version of COMPETES reauthorization is a major departure from earlier versions, garnering deep opposition from the broader scientific community, including from COSSA. Among the many problematic provisions in the bill is language to cut NSF’s Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) directorate by half.  Despite…

House to vote on COMPETES Act

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806) tomorrow, May 20. The bill, which authorizes funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other science agencies, has faced criticism from the scientific community. COSSA has published an analysis of the bill, as well as a statement opposing it. Click here to read all of our COMPETES coverage. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

House FY 2016 CJS Bill: Preliminary Analysis

On May 13, a draft of the fiscal year (FY) 2016 House Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Bill was publicly released in anticipation of the CJS Subcommittee markup scheduled for Thursday, May 14.  This is the bill that provides annual appropriations to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Census Bureau and other statistical agencies, and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ). [It should not be confused with the NSF reauthorization (COMPETES) bill that we have also been reporting on in recent weeks.] Outlined below are preliminary details on the contents of the draft bill as it pertains to…

Anti-Science COMPETES Bill Heads to House Floor

On April 23, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee passed along party lines (19 Republicans to 16 Democrats) the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806).  According to Committee Chairman and sponsor of the legislation Lamar Smith (R-TX), H.R. 1806 is a “pro-science and fiscally responsible bill.”  It prioritizes basic research at the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science, and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), while keeping funding levels within Congressionally-set discretionary spending limits.  For NSF, the bill would increase funding for the Biological Sciences (BIO), Engineering (ENG), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), and Computer…

House COMPETES Bill Targets Social Science

On April 15, House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith introduced the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015 (H.R. 1806). This is legislation to reauthorize the National Science Foundation (NSF). The bill is scheduled for a markup by the full House Science, Space, and Technology Committee on Wednesday, April 22. While there are some noticeable changes from the bill that the scientific community rallied against last year (known as the FIRST Act), the new bill, authored by Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, continues to challenge the value of social and behavioral science research and restricts NSF’s ability to drive its own research agenda.  COSSA strongly opposes…

COSSA Remembers Janet Norwood

The social science and statistical communities lost a friend on March 27, Janet L. Norwood. Norwood was a former Commissioner of Labor Statistics (1979-1991), having served Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan during her 13 year tenure. As one of few women serving in the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the time and the first to lead the agency, Norwood was an inspiration and mentor to many professional women in Washington. She served as COSSA President from 2001-2002. In addition to her service to COSSA, Norwood also held advisory and leadership positions with the American Statistical Association, NORC at the…

Summaries Available from COSSA Annual Meeting

Thank you to all who attended the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC on March 9-10.  Summaries and presentations from several of the sessions are available on the Annual Meeting webpage.  Speakers included France Cordova, Director of the National Science Foundation, William Riley, Acting Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, among others. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA Annual Meeting and Advocacy Day Attracts Over 100

More than 100 social and behavioral scientists from across the country attended the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and related events on March 9-10. This week’s meeting featured a new format for the annual event, which included moving of the meeting from the fall when it had historically been held, to the spring in order to align with Congressional calendar. As part of the meeting on March 10, more than 60 COSSA members descended on Capitol Hill for the first-ever Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day. Advocates met with 84 different offices in the House and Senate to discuss the value…

COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 – Still Time to Register!

The 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day is fast approaching. Join us on March 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC for a day of discussion on federal issues impacting social and behavioral science research. The preliminary program is available here. Visit the COSSA Annual Meeting page for full details.

COSSA’s Analysis for the President’s FY 2016 Budget Request

President Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget request to Congress on February 2, officially kicking off the FY 2016 appropriations process. COSSA has released its analysis of the President’s budget request. The 62-page report provides funding details for all federal departments, agencies, and programs important to social and behavioral science research. It outlines the President’s funding proposals as they compare to current (FY 2015) levels. In addition, the document serves as a helpful catalog of social science programs and initiatives across the federal government.   Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 – Register Today!

Registration remains open for the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day scheduled for March 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public; however, the advocacy day meetings are reserved for representatives of COSSA member organizations and institutions. The COSSA Annual Meeting brings together representatives from throughout the social and behavioral science community for a day of discussion on federal issues impacting social and behavioral science research. It provides an opportunity for COSSA members and others to engage directly with leaders of federal science agencies, Congressional staff, and colleagues from other associations and institutions.

Congressional Committees Take Shape

Congressional committees with oversight for funding and policy issues impacting social and behavioral science have continued to take shape over the last few weeks. The 114th Congress was sworn in on January 6, though not all of the committees have officially chosen their chairs and ranking members. A number of committee organizational meetings are occurring this week, at which time the membership rolls and leadership appointments will be approved. You can stay apprised of the most current committee leadership appointments here. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

COSSA Annual Meeting & Advocacy Day, March 9-10 – Registration now open

Registration is now open for the 2015 COSSA Annual Meeting and Social and Behavioral Science Advocacy Day scheduled for March 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The meeting is open to the public; however, the advocacy day meetings are reserved for representatives of COSSA member organizations and institutions. The COSSA Annual Meeting brings together representatives from throughout the social and behavioral science community for a day of discussion on federal issues impacting social and behavioral science research. It provides an opportunity for COSSA members and others to engage directly with leaders of federal science agencies, Congressional staff, and colleagues from other associations and…

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