White House Memo Poses Cross-Cutting Questions for Social and Behavioral Sciences

October 5, 2022

The Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council was rechartered in April 2022 to identify tools and insights from these disciplines to address pressing social issues and coordinate policy across federal agencies. The recently released Policy Development memo identifies five interagency working groups around policies to advance Administration priorities:

  • Accessibility of Digital Infrastructure and Services;
  • Communicating Hazard Information and Other Types of Uncertainty;
  • Decarbonization and Justice;
  • Good Jobs; and
  • Safely Reducing Criminal Justice System Interactions, Improving Rehabilitation during Incarceration, and Enhancing Re-entry.

The memo identifies cross-cutting questions to help guide the groups’ work to develop ‘blueprints’ for SBS to advance evidence-based policymaking, due by April 30, 2023.

  1. What are some of the most important things the social and behavioral sciences already have helped us to learn on the given topics?
  2. What SBS research has been, or is being, pursued on these topics by Federal agencies?
  3. What are the unique contributions of SBS for understanding and addressing these topics?
  4. What actions in practice or policy, based on SBS knowledge, do you recommend agencies take to address key challenges?
  5. What are the opportunities that these recommended actions have in addressing any barriers?
  6. What are the opportunities and barriers when it comes to ensuring the SBS evidence is received and used by USG decision makers?

FABBS has been working to identify useful research and researchers to help serve these goals. Please feel free to reach out to FABBS (info@fabbs.org) or directly to sbs@ostp.eop.gov with any questions or recommendations.