Message to the Obama Transition Team—Waving the Flag for Behavioral Research

It is not an easy job to get the ear of the overworked public servants who are laying the groundwork for a new Administration with new personnel and new policies.

It is not an easy job to get the ear of the overworked public servants who are laying the groundwork for a new Administration with new personnel and new policies. APA, like many other associations, wants to ensure that the transition personnel, and the incoming Administration, understand the issues that behavioral scientists are dealing with, and see how behavioral research may help them reach their policy goals. (See Heather Kelly’s related report about transition issues in the National Science Foundation.)

APA has been involved in the development of several key overview pieces that have gone to the incoming Administration. Howard Silver, Executive Director of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA), in which APA is the largest member, transmitted this document to the president-elect the day after the election. It gives a broad overview of several issues of concern to the behavioral and social sciences. (APA’s Executive Director for Science Steve Breckler represents APA on COSSA’s executive committee.)

Geoff Mumford of the Science Government Relations Office provided content and helped polish the overview document on substance abuse research and policy that came from the Friends of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. See his report from the November 2008 issue of SPIN.

As an active member of several coalitions on health and science issues, APA has added its voice to documents on health care reform and funding for public health research agencies.

  • The Ad Hoc Group for Medical Research Funding lobbies for an enhanced budget for the National Institutes of Health. Here is the letter sent to the transition team.

  • APA also participates in the CDC Coalition, which sent this letter to the Obama Transition team to request that the new Administration place a high priority on CDC’s public health mission by providing additional resources for the agency in its first budget request for FY2010.

  • The Campaign for Public Health sent an important public health focused letter to congressional leaders as well as the incoming Obama Administration. The letter calls for increased investment in the public health infrastructure and the CDC. More than 120 organizations, including APA, signed on.

  • APA is urging quick action on health care reform. See this group letter, which makes the point that economic recovery requires action on health care.