Social and Behavioral Science Organizations to Hold Congressional Briefing
Social and Behavioral Science Organizations to Hold Congressional Briefing
Social and Behavioral Science Organizations to Hold Congressional Briefing on “What's Ailing America?”

At a Capitol Hill briefing tomorrow titled “What’s Ailing America? Shorter Lives, Poorer Health,” four distinguished experts in the areas of health, behavioral, and social sciences will discuss the findings and research recommendations of the National Research Council’s and Institute of Medicine’s report U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health  –  and offer insights into how NIH and other public health agencies can respond.

On average, Americans die sooner and experience higher rates of disease and injury than people in other high-income countries, according to the report, released in January 2013.

The panel will explore the role of underlying social values, personal behaviors, education patterns, and public policies in contributing to the U.S. health gap, and address next steps for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners.


G-11 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.


12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m., September 25, 2013 (box lunches will be provided)


  • Janine A. Clayton, MD – Director, Office of Research on Women’s Health (ORWH), National Institutes of Health
  • Robert M. Kaplan, PhD – Director, Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), National Institutes of Health
  • Steven H. Woolf, MD – Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Thomas J. Plewes, MA – Director, Committee on Population, National Academy of Sciences (Moderator) 


“In addition to the fact that Americans live shorter lives and have poorer health than individuals in peer countries, the patterns seen in women are particularly troubling. This report underscores the need to delve more deeply into the “whys and hows” that drive health in females and males. It’s a real wake-up call and we should pay attention to it with rigorous research and multi-sector solutions.”      — Janine A. Clayton

“We usually assume that the best way to improve public health is to invest in medicine.  But a variety of different studies have concluded that about have of the variation in health outcomes is attributable to behavior.” — Robert M. Kaplan

“Blindly pouring more money into health care will not solve the problem. Our children and our parents will continue to die before their time, and live with greater sickness and health care costs, until we focus on the societal and economic conditions that determine their health.” — Steven H. Woolf


Coalition for the Advancement of Health Through Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, in collaboration with:

  • American Educational Research Association
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Sociological Association
  • Consortium of Social Science Associations
  • Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • National Communication Association
  • Population Association of America
  • Society of Behavioral Medicine
  • Society for Research in Child Development

About AERA

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national professional organization devoted to the scientific study of education. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good.

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