FOOTNOTES MARCH 2000
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PUBLIC AFFAIRS UPDATE

  • Roberts Named Deputy at NEH...The White House appointed John W. Roberts, professor of English and chair of the Department of African-American and African Studies at Ohio State University, as deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). George Farr, long-term advocate for NEH's singular role in advancing humanistic studies, had been serving as acting deputy chair since September from his perch at director of NEH's Division of Preservation and Access. The NEH is directed by William R. Ferris, Chairman. Those interested in receiving a monthly e-mail newsletter from NEH should write to newsletter@neh.gov.

  • Smelser Announces Departure from Center...Neil Smelser (1997 ASA President) announced that he will retire as director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in August 2001. A search committee is already in place comprised of Bill Wilson (sociology, Harvard), John Reed (chair and co-CEO, Citigroup), Bill Durham (anthropology, Stanford), and Charles Rosenberg (history, Pennsylvania). Beyond its fellows program, working groups, and conferences, the Center plays an important institutional role in the advancement of the social sciences.

  • Anderson Departs OBSSR... Roasted and Toasted...Two receptions befitted the departure of Norman Anderson, Director of the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). On February 22, Anderson was honored at an event held by NIH, and on the 29th Anderson's successes as first director and effective advocate were praised with warmth and serious reflection at an "evening of appreciation" co-hosted by ASA. A search for Anderson's replacement (a difficult act to follow!) is underway.

  • NIMH Report on Translating Behavioral Science into Action...The Behavioral Science Workgroup of the National Advisory Health Council issued its final report to the National Institute of Mental Health at the February meeting of the Council. The report emphasized the need for translations on: (1) basic behavioral processes in mental illness; (2) functional abilities in mental illness; and (3) contextual influences on mental illness and its care. The report encourages translational research and the development, syntheses, and dissemination of social and behavioral science knowledge. Hats off to Bill Avison, 1999 chair of ASA's Mental Health Section, and other section members for collaborating last July on ASA's comments to the Workgroup. The report can be accessed at the NIMH website (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/council/bswreport.pdf).

  • Child Trends Issues More Information on Children...The latest research brief from Child Trends is "A Century of Children's Health and Well-Being" (http://www.childtrends.org/r_brief.cfm). Also, the Child Indicator, a new quarterly newsletter, is now available online as a browsable document and PDF file with links to websites and organizations (http://www.childtrends.org/w_welcome.cfm).

  • COSSA Gets New Web Address...The Consortium of Social Science Associations has launched a more accessible website (http://www.cossa.org). The COSSA bi-monthly newsletter and other information of relevance to the sociological community is there. It's worth a visit!