Meeting of National Science Board Focuses on Broadening Participation

The National Science Board (NSB) met on May 19 and 20 and heard from National Science Foundation staff about the status and future direction of the foundation.

NSF Director Panchanathan shared his enthusiasm with the Board about the current moment at the Foundation. He discussed how his priorities for the future of NSF align with the NSB’s Vision 2030, with White House priorities, and with funding proposals under consideration in Congress. Director Panchanthan’s three pillars for the future of NSF include:

  • advancing the frontiers of research into the future;
  • ensuring accessibility and inclusivity; and
  • securing global leadership in science and technology.

Broadening participation across demographic and geographic lines is a priority for all of these stakeholders. Efforts to make progress on this front took center stage at this meeting. NSF Staff shared data from the 2021 Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities (WMPD) in Science and Engineering report (read more in this article on how FABBS was a cosponsor for the release event), NSB members held a discussion on lessons from Minority Serving Institutions.

Dr. Loretta Moore, from the NSF Office of Integrated Activities, provided an overview of the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which expands research capacity in targeted jurisdictions that have historically received little NSF funding. Dr. Moore highlighted successes in those jurisdictions, some of which have improved their capacity to the extent that they no longer qualify for EPSCoR funding. Looking to the future, Dr. Moore introduced Envisioning the Future of NSF EPSCoR, a new year-long strategy to engage with stakeholders and create a roadmap for the next phase of the program.

The NSB is currently accepting nominations for the NSB class of 2028. Dr. James Jackson, a social psychologist, served on the board until 2020. FABBS will submit several nominations of behavioral sciences.