FOOTNOTES FEBRUARY 2000
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PUBLIC AFFAIRS UPDATE

  • Bradburn to Head Social Science at NSF... On January 28, Norman Bradburn was named assistant director for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF). A social psychologist and leading researcher in survey methodology, Bradburn is a chaired emeritus professor at the University of Chicago (UC) and a vice president of the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). An impressive appointment for NSF, Bradburn's credentials include serving as UC Provost, Chair of the Department of Behavioral Science, and Associate Dean of the Division of Social Sciences. He is expected to arrive at NSF in March... well-timed for planning how best to shape an anticipated, major initiative in the SBE sciences in 2001.

  • Everist to Leave NSF Division Post... Hilleary Everist, director of the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, announced her intention to leave NSF this spring. A search for a new director is underway. The announcement can be found on the NSF homepage (www.nsf.gov/home/chart/work.htm).

  • NIH Implements OMB Data Sharing Policy... Footnotes readers will recall efforts by Federal science leaders and organizations (including ASA) to address the "Shelby amendment" which sought to require researchers to share data collected with any Federal support. The amendment charged the Office of Management and Budget to revise Circular A-110 to allow use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to gain access to data. While concerns remain, the final revision of the Circular was substantially better than anticipated. Implementation is expected in 2000, and the National Institutes of Heath (NIH) has just issued importance guidance on what the revision means. See the NIH homepage (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm).

  • Speaking of NIH... the Boundaries Report... The efforts of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), ASA, the American Psychological Association, and the American Anthropological Association seemed to payoff in the final report language submitted on January 7 by the Panel on Scientific Boundaries for Review. The report offers recommendations for revising the peer review system of the Center for Scientific Review (CSR). Key for the visible inclusion of the social and behavioral sciences is the use of the language "health-related research" instead of the term "biomedical research" used in the prior draft. Also, the revision will leave in place at least for several years the newly created study sections in the behavioral and social sciences. Persistence had payoff despite the laborious nature of submitting comments!

  • Clinton Supports Science with a 2001 Budget Boost... In a major science speech delivered at the California Institute of Technology on January 21 and in the State of the Union address on January 27, President Clinton signaled that major federal investments in science and technology at colleges and universities would be a major priority across all disciplines. With the administration releasing the budget as Footnotes goes to bed, the National Science Foundation is scheduled for a $675 million increase-an unprecedented 17 percent. The proposed increase also includes a boost of $1 billion or about 6 percent for the National Institutes of Health. At least at NSF, plans include a major hike for social and behavioral science in 2001.