national academies

National Academies Seeks Comments on Indicators for Undergrad STEM Education

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NAS) Board on Science Education (BSE) seeks comments on its draft report, Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education. An expert panel, the Committee on Developing Indicators for Undergraduate STEM Education, was convened to develop national indicators for monitoring the quality of undergraduate STEM. The Committee proposes “a conceptual framework of goals and objectives for improving the quality of undergraduate STEM.” A two-phase study, the Committee now seeks input as it prepares to develop indicators. A series of questions for consideration can be accessed on BSE’s website. In addition, a one-day public meeting…

2017 National Academies Workshop on Current and Future Training Needs in Social and Behavioral Sciences

In an August 31 blog post, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) Director William Riley announced the convening of a 2017 National Academies workshop that is being sponsored by OBSSR and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate. The workshop will address the current and future training needs in the behavioral and social sciences and responds to the various reports in recent years that “indicate that a majority of behavioral and social sciences doctors are entering research careers in areas outside of the traditional academic research track; and…

Academies National Security Study Committee Seeks Nominations

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is conducting a decadal survey to identify opportunities from the social and behavioral sciences that can assist the intelligence community in its analytic responsibilities and contribute to national security. The project, which sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, will be launched at a summit in early October. The Academies is seeking nominations for members to serve on the study committee for the survey, particularly those with expertise in the social and behavioral sciences, national security, intelligence analysis, related professional disciplines, and interdisciplinary approaches to science. More information is…

Academies Releases Report on Science Literacy

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released findings and conclusions from the Board on Science Education’s review of science literacy in the U.S. The Board on Science Education analyzed science literacy at the societal, community, and individual level. They found that adults in the U.S. have comparable levels of science literacy to adults in other economically developed countries and that there is a small, positive relationship between science literacy and support for science. Additionally, the Board found that an individual’s support of science in general does not predict his or her support or attitude for a specific scientific…

HOT TOPIC: Reducing the Regulatory Burden on Federally-Funded Researchers

COSSA has released a new publication in its HOT TOPICS series, Reducing the Regulatory Burden on Federally-Funded Researchers. HOT TOPICS are periodic, featured articles prepared by COSSA staff members offering insights into timely issues important to the social and behavioral science community. This edition was written by Camille Hosman, who joined the COSSA team earlier this year. The report provides an overview of some of the major efforts made in recent years to better understand issues of regulatory burden and to begin to develop roadmaps for addressing it. While there is no shortage of ideas, given the complexity of the topic and…

Academies Release Workshop Proceedings on “Framing the Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity to Advance Health Equity”

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Population Health Improvement recently released the proceedings of a workshop titled, Framing the Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity to Advance Health Equity. The workshop was designed to share “strategies for individuals, organizations, and communities to advance racial and health equity.” It addressed such topics as “increasing awareness about the role of historical contexts and dominant narratives in interpreting data and information about different racial and ethnic groups, framing messages for different social and political outcomes, and readying people to institutionalize practices, policies, and partnerships that advance racial and health equity.”…

New Academies Report on Parenting Offers Recommendations for Future Research

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a report, Parenting Matters: Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8, which compiles evidence on how demographic changes and advances in technology are changing parenting practices. The report reviews current research on effective parenting and offers ten recommendations for federal agencies and organizations at state and local levels to improve their efforts to educate parents on the means of effective parenting. While the report acknowledges that there is no single approach to best reach and educate parents on how to raise children, it offers guidelines and methods for agencies to follow to…

Nominations Open for New National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (a public-private venture created by the 2014 Farm Bill) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have endowed a $100,000 National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences. The annual prize will recognize an “extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of a species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production.” Potential recipients may represent any of the following fields: plant and animal sciences, microbiology, nutrition and food science, soil science, entomology, veterinary medicine, and agricultural economics. Nominations are being accepted through October 3, 2016. More information…

Academies Report Recommends Abandoning Proposed Changes to the Common Rule

On June 29, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released part 2 of its report Optimizing the Nation’s Investment in Academic Research (the first part had been released in 2015). Of particular significance to the social and behavioral science research community is a chapter within the report on the “Ethical, Legal, and Regulatory Framework for Human Subjects Research.” In it, the panel issues a stinging criticism of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) September 2015 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects. The chapter argues that the NPRM…

National Academies Seeks New DBASSE Director

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is searching for its next Executive Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE). The DBASSE Executive Director is responsible for executing the vision and strategy for division activities, directing the financial and budgetary efforts of both the Division and specific projects, as well as developing and maintaining relationships with government agencies, professional organizations, and academics. Substantial knowledge in the fields of social science, behavioral science, and/or education, a Ph.D. or Masters’ degree, and a minimum of 16 years of professional experience are required. More information can be…

NAS Webinar Puts Recent “Advancing the Power of Economic Evidence” Report in International Context

On June 16, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS) hosted a webinar to discuss the findings and limitations of its report, Advancing the Power of Economic Evidence to Inform Investments in Children, Youth, and Families, which was published in May 2016. The report uses cost analysis (CA), which looks at the costs of a program within a specified time period, cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), which determines how much of an outcome is achieved per dollar spent, and benefit-cost analysis (BCA), which determines if the value of the outcome surpass its costs, to evaluate which of the government’s many…

National Academies Holds Workshop on ACS Respondent Burden

In March, the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine held a “Workshop on Respondent Burden in the American Community Survey,” which brought together experts from the Census Bureau and the broader statistical community to discuss how to make the American Community Survey (ACS) a more pleasant, less intrusive experience for respondents.

New Academies Study on Advancing Social and Behavioral Science within the Weather Enterprise Seeks Committee Members

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has announced a new study, “Advancing Social and Behavioral Science Research and Application within the Weather Enterprise,” and is seeking nominees to serve on the study committee. The goal of the study is to “to develop a framework for generating and applying social and behavioral science (SBS) research within the context of meteorology, weather forecasting, and weather preparedness and response.” The Academies is particularly interested in candidates with expertise in the following fields: weather forecasting, meteorological research, behavioral economics, communication research, decision making, risk perception, assessment and communication, human factors and product…

Academies Report Calls for Better Integration of Social Science into the USGCRP

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has released a new report, Enhancing Participation in the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The report offers recommendations on broadening participation of federal agencies in the USGCRP by identifying new partnership and enhancing existing ones. As part of its recommendations on better meeting the USGCRP’s goal of advancing science related to global change, the report reiterates a call from the 2012 Academies review of the USGCRP’s strategic plan that the program “’better integrate the social and ecological sciences’ and…move toward ‘an integrated observational system that connects observations of the physical environment…

How People Learn II: The Science and Practice of Learning

On June 10, the National Research Council (NRC) Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BCSS) held its inaugural meeting to update and extend the 2000 NRC report, How People Learn. The ad hoc committee is chaired by Cora Marrett, former Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation. Marrett observed that many things have changed since the original report was released and acknowledged the “phenomenal group of volunteers” tasked with updating the report.

NRC Board on Children, Youth, and Families Seeks Director

The Board on Children, Youth, and Families (BCYF) at the National Research Council is inviting applications for a new Board Director. The Director is responsible for overseeing activities of the Board, which “brings a multidisciplinary and evidence-based perspective to bear on the development of policies and programs for children, youth, and families, drawing upon the collective knowledge and analytic tools of the behavioral, health and social sciences.” More information and application instructions are available here. Back to this issue’s table of contents.

NRC Report Offers Guidance on Team Science

Given the increasing number of scientists engaged in collaborative research, referred to as “team science,” the National Research Council (NRC) appointed the Committee on the Science of Team Science, chaired by Nancy J. Cooke, Arizona State University, to conduct and release a consensus study to provide guidance for these science teams or groups. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Elsevier, and the final report, entitled Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science, was released on April 24.

NRC Workshop Discusses Changing Social Norms

The National Research Council’s Committee on the Science of Changing Behavioral Health Norms held its first workshop on March 18, “Lessons Learned from Diverse Efforts to Change Social Norms.” The project, which is housed within the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, is co-sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The committee is charged with helping SAMHSA “implement strategies that improve attitudes and beliefs about mental and substance use disorders.” Sessions focused on messaging strategies, methods for…

NRC Committee on Law and Justice Seeks New Director

The National Academies’ National Research Council (NRC) is conducting a search for a new board director for its Committee on Law and Justice. Established in 1975, the Committee’s mission is to “improve research methods and information to inform and support the development of national and state-level criminal justice policy, and to extend and help advance criminological and criminal justice research.” The director will work with the Committee Chair, senior staff, and Committee members to “provide intellectual leadership by identifying current and emerging issues in criminal justice; develop workshops, conferences, and studies by separate panels of experts; and seek funds for…

NRC Roundtable Discusses Need for Improved Public Understanding of Social Science Research

On January 8, the National Research Council (NRC) Roundtable on the Application of Social and Behavioral Science Research convened its first meeting. Chaired by Arthur “Skip” Lupia from the University of Michigan, the Roundtable brings together a diverse set of stakeholders in the social and behavioral science community to discuss ways to improve public understanding of social science research as well as the research community’s understanding of the uses of research by various sectors, such as industry, military, or public health. Membership includes “those who create SBS research, those who use it, and those who know how to communicate about…

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