Also in this Issue
What's This All About? Science PPO Introduces E-Newsletter
APA's Science Policy staff wants you to know about the important policy issues that affect psychological science and psychological scientists at the national level. The Science Policy staff advocates for psychological science not just with members of Congress, but also the Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Education. To keep you aware of science policy within these agencies and on Capitol Hill, we have created APA's Science Policy Insider News (SPIN), a monthly email newsletter that will take you inside the Administration and Congress for timely information from your APA staff.
Strong Advocacy for NSF
As the Administration was drafting its Fiscal Year 2003 budget for the National Science Foundation (NSF), Heather Kelly and a handful of colleagues from the Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) were successful in garnering a key meeting with science budget analysts at the President's Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The group of science advocates drafted a coalition funding statement for FY 03,which they used to make a strong case for increasing NSF support in the areas of basic research, foundation-wide initiatives, education and training, and major research equipment and instrumentation. Science PPO efforts on appropriations will continue with a series of visits to members of Congress and through APA testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees NSF's budget.
NSF Rolls Out New Math and Science Partnerships Program
NSF's Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) received $160 million in the FY02 budget to create a new Math and Science Partnerships (MSP) program, designed to improve K-12 science and mathematics education through support for partnerships between local school districts and colleges and universities. Last month Science PPO asked Dr. Marcia Linn, a learning researcher who participated in our Science Advocacy Training Workshop, to meet with NSF program staff and discuss ways to ensure that psychological expertise is incorporated into the implementation process. Heather Kelly of Science PPO has been active in the design of the MSP program, lobbying Congress to provide funding to NSF as well as the Department of Education and encouraging coordination between the agencies.
We also have been active on the NSF end, bringing in psychologists to meet with the program committee and helping design how the partnerships will be implemented both to ensure that appropriate expertise in learning research is incorporated and that psychology is considered one of the target sciences. Math and Science Partnerships (MSP)
Countering Terrorism at the Academies
Geoff Mumford has been working with APA Senior Scientist Susan Brandon to help the National Academies of Science (NAS) find expertise for their Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism. The Committee will characterize the range of threats to the nation's security by targets, weapons, and delivery systems, and the possible points of intervention. Next, research agendas will be developed across the topical domains of 8 separate panels: 1) Biological, 2) Chemical, 3) Nuclear and Radiological, 4) Information Technology, 5) Transportation, 6) Electric Facilities, Cities and Fixed Infrastructure, 7) Behavioral, Social and Institution issues, and 8) Systems Analysis and Systems Engineering. The output from the Committee will be routed through OSTP Director John Marburger to help inform Homeland Defense strategies.
Just The Facts Ma'am-APA Coordinates Efforts with the FBI
Geoff Mumford has been working with APA Senior Scientist Susan Brandon to pull together a meeting "Countering Terrorism: Integration of Theory and Practice" co-sponsored by APA, the FBI Academy, the University of Pennsylvania (College of Arts & Sciences), and the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict on February 28, 2002 to be held at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The goal of the meeting is to foster engagement between behavioral and social scientists and those who directly deal with the challenges facing this country following the events of September 11. Twenty to twenty-five behavioral/social scientists with expertise in areas such as 1) judgement, decision-making and risk communication; 2) stereotyping, bias production and ethnic prejudice; 3) human credulity; 4) conflict resolution; 5) hate crimes; and 6) the Muslim-American community will meet with field agents and other personnel from Federal and local agencies (FBI, CIA, US Secret Service, NSA, DoD and representatives of community police). This meeting follows a series of small-group meetings that APA has organized and facilitated between the FBI Academy and several psychologists and political scientists since last October, whose aims were similar. A subgroup of participants will meet with senior staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation the following day to discuss behavioral and social science issues that Congress will need to address in formulating counter-terrorism policies.
Scientists Get Involved in Education Issues
Last week APA's Pat Kobor sent a note to several listserves requesting comments or expressions of interest from scientists who conduct school-based research. Recent federal legislation and some state law changes may make it more difficult to conduct survey research without prior parental consent. To view this information, visit the School-Based Research Advocacy page.
Congress Defines Scientifically Based Education Research
The recently passed No Child Left Behind Act contains a definition of "scientifically based research" that has some stakeholders concerned about the future of education research as Congress moves forward with the reauthorization of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement. APA's Science and Education PPO staff requested comments from the Board of Scientific Affairs and others engaged in education research to assist in APA's policy development efforts. Please contact Karen Studwell if you wish to weigh in on this important issue.