FABBS Members on the Hill

November 20, 2019

The American Psychological Association and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention hosted a congressional briefing on November 12 on “Advancing Basic Research to Inform the Science of Suicide“. The briefing was co-hosted by Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) and Rep. Anthony Gonzales (R-OH). Two psychology professors, Dr. Mitch Prinstein, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Dr. David Jobes, Catholic University of America, spoke of their work and the needed funding for suicide research. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the population aged 10-24 and affects all communities including farmers, veterans, and those in academia.

The presenters raised issues for further study including further examining stress responses, examining resilience factors, increasing health providers that are trained in suicide, and providing education on warning signs to parents and teachers. NIMH has supported an important advance, the Jaspr Health system. This is an avatar-based health care provider in which patients help themselves into recovery.

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology convened a hearing, Strengthening Transparency or Silencing Science? The Future of Science in EPA Rulemaking, on November 13. The witnesses were split into two panels: one including FABBS board member Dr. Brian Nosek abd one composed of Dr. Jennifer Orme-Zavaleta, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science.  The panelists spoke about issues pertaining to the Science Transparency Rule that was introduced in 2018 and has since received 600,000 comments. The EPA is currently drafting a supplemental rule which has been sent to OMB where it is under review. This supplement expected to clarify some verbiage used in the previous rule and be applied prospectively with exceptions. Once released, the supplemental rule will undergo the standard EPA policy process and be available for comments.

Watch a recording of the hearing here.

Read the proposed changes to the rule, as uncovered by the New York Times, here.