NSF SBE Advisory Committee Holds Fall Meeting and Discusses Updates on America’s Data Hub Consortium
NSF SBE Advisory Committee Holds Fall Meeting and Discusses Updates on America’s Data Hub Consortium

December 2021

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Social, Behavioral, and Economic (SBE) Sciences Advisory Committee met December 2–3. Along with a packed agenda, the meeting also served as a send-off for SBE Assistant Director Arthur (Skip) Lupia, whose term is ending.

Committee member Rayvon Fouché, Purdue University, detailed the Committee of Visitors’ (COV) conclusions and recommendations from a review of the Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES). The COV noted the high value of SES to NSF but also provided recommendations in three areas: diversity, data, and communications and outreach. Recommendations to SES included conducting a study on the underreporting on demographic data and ways to increase responses; considering how projects will address diversity, equity, and inclusion; and developing new pathways to broaden the types of institutions that receive NSF funding.

Emilda Rivers and Vipin Arora, respectively the division director and deputy division director of the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, provided an update on America’s Data Hub Consortium (ADC). Rivers discussed the vision for ADC and the activities underway, including providing public access to federal-survey data, acquiring and integrating administrative and other nontraditional data, and providing data-linkage capabilities. Arora highlighted the phased approach, with the eventual goal after three years to focus on sustainability and broad public access to meet evidence-based needs. Both emphasized the role that ADC will have in informing the National Secure Data Service.

The SBE Advisory Committee heard presentations on the SBE role in addressing climate change and the proposed Technology, Innovations, and Partnerships Directorate. The SBE Advisory Committee also heard updates on several SBE programs, including Build and Broaden, Strengthening American Infrastructure, NSF Scholarships in STEM, and the 2022 Science and Engineering Indicators.

Committee members spoke with NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan and Chief Operating Officer Karen Marrongelle. Panchanathan detailed efforts on encouraging universities to focus on five to 10 themes and to establish an office for broader impacts.

Assistant Director Lupia closed the meeting by reflecting on his term leading the SBE Directorate and on the increasing acknowledgment of the important role of social and behavioral science, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. A search is underway for his successor.

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