News from FABBS and the FABBS Foundation
- Government Funded for Ten Weeks: Spending Battles Shift to Post-Election »
With just over six weeks until the mid-term elections, the U.S. House and Senate passed a “stopgap” spending bill to keep the government operating beyond September 30th. The President signed the bill on Friday.
The Continuing Resolution (CR) funds government programs through December 11th. Funding for the 10-week period is set at FY 2014 levels minus a small across-the-board cut to provide funds to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels to fight the terror group ISIS.
- IES Reauthorization One Step Closer to Becoming Law »
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Ranking Member Lamar Alexander (R-TN), favorably reported a bill to reauthorize the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the research arm of the Department of Education. The bill made modest changes to the House-passed version known as the Strengthening Education through Research Act (SETRA).
- Proudfit Presented with Early Career Impact Award »
Most people don't like to make mistakes, but some people are more sensitive to errors than others, and that can make them more prone to anxiety, according to Greg Hajcak Proudfit, associate professor of psychology at Stony Brook University and FABBS Foundation Early Career Impact Award winner from the Society for Psychophysiological Research. Proudfit's research on how people’s brains process mistakes is helping to identify who is at risk for anxiety and even to suggest new avenues for treatment of anxiety and related disorders. Learn more in When Mistakes are a Threat to Mental Health
- Social and Behavioral Sciences Finding Support on Capitol Hill »
The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee is expected to release this week the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2014, its bill to reauthorize programs at the National Science Foundation and other federal science agencies. FABBS has been discussing the bill with Committee staff over the past 10 months, and the new bill is a solid endorsement of NSF and the full range of research it supports.
- FABBS Foundation Honors James J. Jenkins »
James J. Jenkins, fondly known as J3, was one of a group of World War II era psychologists who changed psychology. He began as an I-O psychologist at the University of Minnesota, but was drawn to more experimental endeavors. Jenkins helped to foster psychology's "cognitive revolution." His role in this started with the Social Science Research Council's 1953 summer research conference that helped establish psycholinguistics as a discipline. Then in 1964-65 as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Jenkins became convinced that the concepts of the "mediation theory" of language that he had been promoting would not suffice to explain language development and that a different conception of "how the head works" (a favorite phrase) had to be found. He was flexible in his approaches, always trying to solve the problem rather than advance a particular theory. His work advanced multiple research areas: learning, memory, sentence processing, aphasia, speech perception, and perceptual organization.
- Deputy Director Cora Marrett to Leave NSF »
Dr. Cora B. Marrett, Deputy Director of NSF, announced on July 18, 2014 that she will be stepping down from her position effective August 24, 2014. Marrett was confirmed as NSF Deputy Director in 2011 and has also served as NSF's acting director and acting deputy director. Marrett served as the first assistant director for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences directorate, and as assistant director for the Education and Human Resources directorate.
- FABBS Foundation Honors Alice F. Healy »
Alice F. Healy has been an outstanding researcher, editor, teacher, collaborator, and colleague for over four decades. Healy is College Professor of Distinction and Director of the Center for Research on Training at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar and her doctoral degree in psychology from The Rockefeller University. After several years as assistant and associate professor at Yale, she joined the faculty at University of Colorado where she has been recognized with all three of the department’s faculty awards for research, teaching, and service.
- Cognitive Psychologist Tom Griffiths Presented with Early Career Impact Award »
Dr. Thomas Griffiths was presented with the FABBS Foundation Early Career Impact Award at the Cognitive Science Society annual meeting in July 2014 in Quebec City, Canada. Read more about his work in Giving Computers the Wisdom of People.
- Challenges Remain for Social/Behavioral Science as Pace of Bills Begins to Slow: Scientists Urged to Get Involved »
With much enthusiasm, House and Senate Appropriations leaders began the calendar year with hopes to pass all twelve spending bills. On the heels of the Bipartisan Budget Act, it appeared that it might be possible. Now, with three months left before the next fiscal year begins, amendments to the spending bills are getting in the way.
In the Senate, several spending bills made their way through the Committee, and were packaged as a minibus bill for the Senate floor. One of those bills, the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, provided a small increase of 1.16% for NSF and passed through Committee in bipartisan fashion with no threats to social and behavioral sciences. In anticipation of harmful amendments on the Senate floor, FABBS issued an Action Alert urging Senators to vote against any amendments that singled out areas of science for cuts. Late last week, the package of three spending bills was pulled from the Senate floor because no agreement could be reached on how to handle amendments to the bill.
- FABBS Foundation Honors Elke Weber »
Elke Weber is the Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business in the Management Division of Columbia Business School and a professor of Psychology at Columbia University. She also founded and co-directs two centers at Columbia, the Center for the Decision Sciences and the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions.
- Neuropsychology Fellow Quiroz Presented with Early Career Award »
For Yakeel T. Quiroz, recent winner of the FABBS Foundation Early Career Impact Award, finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease is more than a career and quest for knowledge. “Once you get to work with families affected by Alzheimer’s disease, get to know them, it’s hard to leave them,” says Quiroz, a clinical/research fellow in neuropsychology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston. Quiroz explains that once there is clinical presentation, and dementia sets in, the progression of familial Alzheimer’s is similar to that of the sporadic. Understanding the familial, she explains, may offer clues for treating both types of Alzheimer’s. “We’re trying to get a better sense of what’s going on in the pre-clinical phase,” she says.
- Social and Behavioral Sciences Research “Extraordinarily Important” »
The National Science Board (NSB), an independent body which advises the President and Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering and sets policies for the National Science Foundation, was briefed at its August 13, 2014, meeting on the research portfolio of NSF’s Social, Behavioral and Economic (SBE) Sciences Directorate. Given the role of NSB and the challenges faced by the social and behavioral sciences on Capitol Hill, the overview of the SBE Directorate (part of a series of briefings to familiarize NSB members with the range of research across NSF and within each of the seven Directorates) is timely. Two starkly different bills to reauthorize NSF programs await further action in Congress. According to Anneila Sargent, Chair of the NSB Programs and Plans Committee, a goal is to help NSB members be “better ambassadors for NSF.”