Science Public Policy News

APA Member Advocates for Research at Senate Appearance

Christopher Sager expressed APA's support for psychological research funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) and our concern over deep cuts to DoD human-centered research programs proposed in the President's FY05 budget.

By Heather O'Beirne Kelly

On May 5th, Christopher Sager delivered APA's oral testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. Sager is an APA member and Principal Staff Scientist at the Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) in Alexandria, Virginia. In his remarks he expressed APA's support for psychological research funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) and our concern over deep cuts to DoD human-centered research programs proposed in the President's FY05 budget.

Citing DoD's own report to Congress several years ago, which stated that "the requirements for maintaining strong DoD support for behavioral, cognitive and social science research capability are compelling," Sager urged the Senate Committee to (at a minimum) restore funding for this research to the FY04 level. Following Sager's presentation, Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) promised that he and his staff would look into the proposed cuts. Ranking Democrat Daniel Inouye (D-HI) posed a question based on the morning's headlines, asking Sager if more attention to human-centered research within DoD could have prevented the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military personnel.

Sager was careful to reply that the issue is complex, but that certainly DoD-sponsored research programs in leadership and personnel selection and training could be important sources of information. See the full text of APA's written statement to the Senate Subcommittee, and the full text of Sager's oral testimony.