Also in this Issue

APA Comments on Homeland Security Advisory System; Division 7 President Gives APA Testimony on Capitol Hill; Public Policy Office Meets with Society for Research on Adolescence; NIH Holds Planning Meeting for National Children's Study

APA Comments on Homeland Security Advisory System

On April 26, APA submitted comments on the proposed Homeland Security Advisory System. The draft system, announced on March 12, was open for a 45-day comment period. Those comments will be evaluated, and the proposed system will be finalized over the course of the next three months toward full implementation in late July. The original announcement and description of the color-coded system can be viewed from the White House Briefing Room website.

We are grateful to Dr. Deborah Frisch, Program Director, Decision, Risk and Management Sciences Program, National Science Foundation, and Dr. Baruch Fischhoff, Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, for their assistance in compiling our comments.

Division 7 President Gives APA Testimony on Capitol Hill

Dr. Nora Newcombe was APA's witness at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on April 16. The Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for funding the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) held its annual public witness testimony last month and invited input from the science community. Dr. Newcombe made a strong case for increasing the behavioral research budgets at each of these federal agencies, and later met with staff from her Congressman's office and the Appropriations Subcommittee. A highlight of her testimony and discussions with professional staff was support for NSF's new Science of Learning Centers. This research program will hopefully receive $20 million in Fiscal Year 2003 to build large, multidisciplinary research collaborations designed to address fundamental questions about processes, contexts and technologies related to learning.

Public Policy Office Meets with Society for Research on Adolescence

PPO's Karen Studwell and Heather Kelly headed to New Orleans in April to meet with the executive council and membership of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) during its biennial conference. APA's Board of Scientific Affairs member Dr. Jacqueline Eccles began her two-year term as President of SRA at the conference, and she asked Karen and Heather to give an update on federal legislation and science initiatives relevant to adolescence researchers for the business meeting of the general membership. (Karen covers NIMH and Heather covers NSF for Science PPO). See the Society for Research on Adolescence for more information.

NIH Holds Planning Meeting for National Children's Study

In April, the 22 Working Groups, Advisory Committee and the Study Assembly of the National Children's Study met to develop hypotheses and questions that the study will seek to address in this longitudinal study of environmental influences on pre- and post-natal growth and child development. Congress authorized this study, which will follow 100,000 children from pre-natal to early adulthood, as part of the Children's Health Act of 2000. Since then, NICHD has led the coordinating efforts of several NIH institutes and other federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency. Background information on the study and working group member information is available from the National Children's Study.

For this study, environment is broadly defined to include chemical, physical, social and behavioral influences on children. Karen Studwell of APA attended the Development and Behavior working group meeting, which is being co-chaired by Jay Giedd, M.D., of the National Institute of Mental Health and Robert Bradley, Ph.D., from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The Development and Behavior Working Group recently began sorting through hypotheses and various options for this part of the overall study design. Peter Scheidt, M.D., M.P.H., of NICHD, serves as the group's liaison to the study's Advisory Committee. By the end of this year, NICHD plans to complete the hypotheses and design for the study. Initial site selection and development of the core study design is scheduled for 2003 and pilot studies are currently slated for 2004. APA will continue to monitor the progress of this important study.