Susan Brandon Appointed to Office of Science and Technology Policy

Dr. Brandon joins the White House Science Advisors staff as the new Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral and Educational Sciences.

A year ago, in the February issue of SPIN, we bid a fond farewell to our colleague and friend, Susan Brandon, who served so ably as our visiting Senior Scientist. Susan left to take a position as Chief of the Emotional Processes Program in the Division of Neuroscience and Basic Behavioral Science at the National Institute on Mental Health. There we expected Dr. Brandon would stimulate her colleagues and her grantees to think anew about that given portfolio of research, and for a year she did. But fate intervened when Dr. Jim Griffin departed the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Susan was appointed to fill the position. Dr. Brandon joined the White House Science Advisors staff as the new Assistant Director for Social, Behavioral and Educational Sciences.

Asked to comment on her appointment, Susan said, "I hope to continue to listen to my colleagues in the behavioral, social and educational sciences - to take advantage of what is known in these sciences that can best advise executive branch science policy." Reflecting on her experience in the nation's capitol to date, Susan said, "What I have found in my two and a half years here in Washington is that policy-makers want to know what the best science is, and scientists want to advise. The challenge is to find a way to get the right groups together so that they can listen and talk with each other in ways that are mutually reinforcing." Susan has demonstrated a knack for doing exactly that. She will continue to facilitate a workshop series, initiated two years ago, designed to bring behavioral scientists together with operational personnel from the law enforcement and intelligence communities in the interests of furthering national and homeland security. The third in the series scheduled for June 2004 is entitled, "The Nature and Influence of Intuition in Law Enforcement: Integration of Theory and Practice," and has been funded by the Behavioral Science Unit of the FBI Academy and the Crime Control and Prevention Research Division of the National Institute of Justice. APA Science Policy staff look forward to this and future collaborations as Susan assumes her new role.