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Public Affairs Update

  • COSSA’s Silver Honored on Hill . . . . Howard Silver, Executive Director of the Consortium of Social Science Association (COSSA), was honored in a statement presented to the House of Representatives by Congressman Ken Bentsen (Texas), Co-Chair of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus. Silver, who just stepped down as the Chair of the Coalition for National Science Foundation (CNSF), was recognized for his tireless efforts on behalf of all fields of science and advancing recognition of and funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF).

  • Congress Creates NIH Center on Health Disparities . . . . With passage of S. 1880, the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act, the Public Health Service Act was amended to expand federal research and education to address health disparities. Key is elevating the Office of Research on Minority Health at the National Institutes of Health to a National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities to fund new research not funded by the other NIH Institutes and Centers. S. 1880 authorizes $100 million in funding, requires a report from NIH on expenditures on minority health research, and allows a repay on educational loans up to $35,000 to researchers regardless of race for each year they conduct studies of health disparities. Sociologists should follow NIH postings and bring research proposals to NIH.

  • Campus Crime Reports Available On-Line . . . . By the end of October, 97 percent of the approximately 3,700 two- and four-year colleges and universities had submitted their reports on the incidents of campus crime. Prior to this year, academic institutions needed only to compile and disclose information. Now submitted to the U.S. Department of Education and available on the world wide web, it is a potential useful data source for sociological inquiry and for those interested in campus safety and climate. See

  • NCES Reports Education Up, but Not Uniformly . . . . Adults with a bachelor’s degree rose from 22 percent in 1971 to 31 percent in 1998 according to a recent National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) “fact of the month.” For whites, the proportion rose from 23 to almost 35 percent; for African Americans, from nearly 12 to 18 percent; and for Hispanics, from nearly 11 to 17 percent.

  • The Trends in Health and Aging Data Warehouse Launched . . . . The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has launched the Trends in Health and Aging Data Warehouse as a web-based system to provide information from NCHS surveys and other relevant data systems in an easily accessible format. With support from the National Institute on Aging, this site permits displaying and customizing tabular information and graphs and transferring data. For further information, see

  • Speaking of Aging, See AgeWork . . . . Those interested in research, grants, and employment opportunities on aging-related issues should also check out AgeWork, a new web-service launched by the Gerontological Society of America, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and the National Academy on an Aging Society. Take a look and add information to this resource at