CNSTAT - TOPICS
Coordinating and Sustaining Federal Statistics
Decennial Census and American Community Survey
Federal Household and Business Surveys
Health and Social Welfare
Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency
Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Indicators
Statistical Methods and Estimates for Policy Use
The NonCitizen Population Under 35, Live on the C-SPAN’s "America by the Numbers" Segment of “Washington Journal”
Seven percent of the total U.S. population under age 35 is a noncitizen. Find out more on Friday, Feb. 28, at approximately 8:20 a.m. EST as Elizabeth Grieco, chief of the Foreign-Born Population Branch at the U.S. Census Bureau, discusses statistics about the noncitizen population under 35.
Watch Noncitizen Population Under 35 w/Elizabeth Grieco from @uscensusbureau on @cspanwj #ABTN Fri Feb 28 @ 8:20amEST http://go.usa.gov/2yHY
Each Friday, C-SPAN’s “America By the Numbers” segment features information from the federal statistical system. The program highlights the trends and allows the public to call in or email their views. More information on previous C-SPAN programs is available at http://www.census.gov/newsroom/cspan/.
— January 23, 2014 —
We note with great sadness the death of Taissa (Tess) Hauser, emerita senior scientist in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on January 10, 2014, at her home in Washington, DC, from cancer. Tess and Bob Hauser, executive director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at the NAS/NRC, were married for 50 years and collaborated in running the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), a long-term study of a random sample of 10,317 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. A memorial service for Tess will be held at a future date in Washington, DC.
We congratulate Larry V. Hedges, Board of Trustees professor at Northwestern University, with appointments in the Departments of Statistics and Psychology, in the School of Education and Social Policy, and in the Institute for Policy Research, and senior fellow at NORC at the University of Chicago, on being named the 2013–2014 Statistician of the Year by the Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association. His lecture prepared for the award dinner was titled “Big Data with Big Consequences, but Who Will Benefit?” He served on the Russell Sage-funded CNSTAT panel that studied the decline in household survey response.
We call your attention to the February 10-11, 2014, Workshop on Guidelines for Returning Individual Results from Genomic Research Using Population-Based Banked Specimens
, being organized by CNSTAT and IOM for the National Center for Health Statistics. For more information and to register, please visit the CNSTAT home page
Calls for nominations for awards related to federal statistics:
- Nominations are sought for the 2014 Roger Herriot Award for Innovation in Federal Statistics. The award is intended to reflect the special characteristics that marked Roger Herriot's career including: dedication to the issues of measurement; improvements in the efficiency of data collection programs; and improvements and use of statistical data for policy analysis. Roger was the associate commissioner of statistical standards and methodology at the National Center for Education Statistics when he died in 1994. Prior to his service at NCES, he held several positions at the U.S. Census Bureau, including chief of the Population Division.
The award is intended to recognize individuals or teams who, like Roger, develop unique and innovative approaches to the solution of statistical problems in federal data collection programs. It is not limited to senior members of an organization, nor is it to be considered as a culmination of a long period of service. Individuals or teams at all levels within federal statistical agencies, other government organizations, nonprofit organizations, the private sector, and the academic community may be nominated on the basis of their contributions. The recipient of the 2014 Roger Herriot Award will be chosen by a committee comprising representatives of the Social Statistics and Government Statistics Sections of the American Statistical Association and of the Washington Statistical Society. The award consists of a $1,000 honorarium and a framed citation, to be presented at the Joint Statistical Meetings in August 2014. The Washington Statistical Society will also host a seminar given by the winner on a subject of his or her own choosing.
Nomination packages should contain: A cover letter from the nominator that includes references to specific examples of the nominee's contributions to innovation in federal statistics, which can be in methodology, procedure, organization, administration, or other areas of federal statistics; up to six additional letters in support; and a current vita. For team nominations, the vitae of all team members should be included. Completed nominations must be received by April 1, 2014. For more information, contact John Dixon at email@example.com.
- Nominations are sought for the 2014 Julius Shiskin Memorial Award for Economic Statistics. Throughout his career, “Julie” was known as an innovator. As chief economic statistician and assistant director of the Census Bureau, he was instrumental in developing an electronic computer method for seasonal adjustment. In 1961, he published Signals of Recession and Recovery, which laid the groundwork for the calculation of monthly economic indicators, and he developed the monthly Census report Business Conditions Digest to disseminate them to the public. In 1969, he was appointed chief statistician at the Office of Management and Budget where he developed the policies and procedures that govern the release of key economic indicators (Statistical Policy Directive Number 3), and originated a Social Indicators report. In 1973, he was selected to head BLS where he was instrumental in preserving the integrity and independence of the BLS labor force data and directed the most comprehensive revision in the history of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which included a new CPI for all urban consumers.
The award is given in recognition of unusually original and important contributions in the development of economic statistics or in the use of statistics in interpreting the economy. Contributions can be in development of new statistical measures, statistical research, use of economic statistics to analyze and interpret economic activity, development of statistical tools, management of statistical programs, or application of data production techniques. The award is cosponsored by the Washington Statistical Society, the National Association for Business Economics, and the Business and Economics Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association. The award will be presented with an honorarium of $1000 plus additional recognition from the sponsors. Completed nominations must be received by March 15, 2014. A nomination form is available at www.amstat.org/sections/bus_econ/shiskin.html. For more information please contact Steven Paben at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Nominations are sought for the 2014 Gertrude M Cox Award. The award is given to recognize early- to mid-career statisticians who have made significant contributions to areas of statistics in which Dr. Cox worked: survey methodology, experimental design, biostatistics, and statistical computing. The award in sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society and RTI International. Dr. Cox (1900-1978) was one of the founders of modern statistics. In 1945, she became director of the Institute of Statistics of the Consolidated University of North Carolina. In the 1950s, as head of the Department of Experimental Statistics at North Carolina State College, she played a key role in establishing Mathematical Statistics and Biostatistics Departments at the University of North Carolina. Upon her retirement from North Carolina State University in 1960, she became the first head of Statistical Research Division at the newly founded RTI. She was a founding member of the International Biometric Society (IBS) and in 1949 became the first woman elected into the International Statistical Institute. She served as president of both the American Statistical Association (1956) and the IBS (1968-69). In 1975 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
The award is presented at the WSS Annual Dinner, usually held in June, with the recipient delivering a talk on a topic of general interest to the WSS membership before the dinner. Completed nominations must be received by February 28, 2014. Please email your nominations to Karol Krotki (email@example.com), with a supporting statement and CV (or link).
Proposed Revisions to the Common Rule for Protecting Human Subjects in the Behavioral and Social Sciences, the final report of a DBASSE committee led by the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences with participation from CNSTAT and the Committee on Population, was released in prepublication form on January 9, 2014. The committee was chaired by Susan Fiske, Princeton, and funding was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the National Academy of Education. The report is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly.
The Report in Brief—
The ethics of research with human subjects has captured scientific and regulatory attention for half a century. To keep abreast of the universe of changes that factor into the ethical conduct of research today, the Department of Health and Human Services published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in July 2011. Recognizing that widespread technological and societal transformations have occurred in the contexts for and conduct of human research since the passage of the National Research Act of 1974, the ANPRM revisits the regulations mandated by the Act in a correspondingly comprehensive manner. Its proposals aim to modernize the Common Rule, which has not been updated since 1991, and to improve the efficiency of the work conducted under its auspices. Proposed Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in the Behavioral and Social Sciences identifies issues raised in the ANPRM that are critical and feasible for the federal government to address for the protection of participants and for the advancement of the social and behavioral sciences. For each identified issue, the report provides guidance for IRBs on techniques to address it, with specific examples and best practice models to illustrate how the techniques would be applied to different behavioral and social sciences research procedures.
Developing New National Data on Social Mobility: A Workshop Summary, a joint project of the Committee on Population and CNSTAT for the National Science Foundation, was released in print and in PDF on December 19, 2013. The workshop was co-chaired by David Grusky and Matthew Snipp.
The Report in Brief—
Developing New National Data on Social Mobility summarizes a workshop convened in June 2013 where experts from a variety of social and behavioral disciplines met to consider a new national survey on social mobility that would provide the first definitive evidence on recent and long-term trends in social mobility. The workshop objectives were to understand the substantial advances in the methods and statistics for modeling mobility, in survey methodology and population-based survey experiments, in opportunities to merge administrative and survey data, and in the techniques of measuring race, class, education, and income. The workshop also focused on documenting the state of understanding of the mechanisms through which inequality has been generated in the past four decades. The workshop discussions covered key decision points associated with launching a new national level survey of social mobility and the merits of using existing surveys augmented with administrative data.
Subjective Well-Being: Measuring Happiness, Suffering, and Other Dimensions of Experience, the final report of the CNSTAT Panel on Measuring Subjective Well-Being in a Policy-Relevant Framework, chaired by Arthur Stone (University at Stony Brook) for the National Institute on Aging, was released in prepublication form on Wednesday, December 4, 2013. It is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly.
The Report in Brief—
Subjective well-being refers to how people experience and evaluate their lives and specific domains and activities in their lives. This information has already proven valuable to researchers, who have produced insights about the emotional states and experiences of people belonging to different groups, engaged in different activities, at different points in the life course, and involved in different family and community structures. Research has also revealed relationships between people's self-reported, subjectively assessed states and their behavior and decisions. During the past decade, interest in the topic among policy makers, national statistical offices, academic researchers, the media, and the public has increased markedly because of its potential for shedding light on the economic, social, and health conditions of populations and for informing policy decisions across these domains. Subjective Well-Being: Measuring Happiness, Suffering, and Other Dimensions of Experience explores the use of this measure in population surveys. This report reviews the current state of research and evaluates methods for measurement. The report cites a range of potential experienced well-being data applications, from cost-benefit studies of health care delivery to commuting and transportation planning, environmental valuation, and outdoor recreation resource monitoring, and even to assessment of end-of-life treatment options. The report finds that, whether used to assess the consequence of people's situations and policies that might affect them or to explore determinants of outcomes, contextual and covariate data are needed alongside the subjective well-being measures. The report offers guidance about adopting subjective well-being measures in official government surveys to inform social and economic policies and considers whether research has advanced to a point which warrants the federal government collecting data that allow aspects of the population's subjective well-being to be tracked and associated with changing conditions.
Capturing Change in Science, Technology, and Innovation: Improving Indicators to Inform Policy, the final report of the CNSTAT and Board on Science, Economic, and Technology Policy Panel on Developing Science, Technology, and Innovation Indicators for the Future, was released in prepublication form, November 25, 2013. It is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly. The panel was requested by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) and co-chaired by Robert Litan (Bloomberg Government) and Andrew Wyckoff (OECD).
The Report in Brief—
Since the 1950s, under congressional mandate, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)— through NCSES and its predecessors—has produced regularly updated measures of research and development expenditures, employment and training in science and engineering, and other indicators of the state of U.S. science and technology. A more recent focus has been on measuring innovation in the corporate sector. NCSES not only collects its own data on science, technology, and innovation (STI) activities, but also incorporates data from other agencies to produce indicators that are used for monitoring purposes— including comparisons among sectors, regions, and with other countries—and for identifying trends that may require policy attention and generate research needs. NCSES provides extensive tabulations and microdata files for in-depth analysis. Capturing Change in Science, Technology, and Innovation provides recommendations about the need for revised, refocused, and newly developed indicators of STI activities that would enable NCSES to respond to changing policy concerns. The report identifies both existing and potential data resources and tools that NCSES could exploit to further develop its indicators program. Finally, the report considers strategic pathways for NCSES to move forward with an improved STI indicators program that will enhance NCSES's ability to produce indicators that capture change in science, technology, and innovation to inform policy and optimally meet the needs of its user community.
Estimating the Incidence of Rape and Sexual Assault, the final report of the CNSTAT Panel on Measuring Rape and Sexual Assault in Bureau of Justice Statistics Household Surveys, co-chaired by William Kalsbeek (University of North Carolina) and Candace Kruttschnitt (University of Toronto), was released in prepublication form, November 19, 2013. It is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly.
The Report in Brief—
Rape and sexual assault are among the most injurious crimes a person can inflict on another. The effects are devastating, extending beyond the initial victimization to consequences that can include unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, sleep and eating disorders, and other emotional and physical problems. Understanding the frequency and context under which rape and sexual assault are committed is vital in directing resources for law enforcement and support for victims and in identifying interventions that can reduce the risk of future attacks. At the request of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the panel considered best practices for measuring rape and sexual assault in the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) and other BJS household surveys. While the NCVS is the premier survey for estimating most types of crimes, including those not reported to the police, the panel concluded that it likely is undercounting rape and sexual assault and that the most accurate counts of rape and sexual assault cannot be achieved without measuring them separately from other victimizations. The panel recommended that BJS develop a separate survey for measuring rape and sexual assault. The new survey should more precisely define ambiguous words such as "rape," give more privacy to respondents, and take other steps that would improve the accuracy of responses. BJS already has research and testing under way along these lines through a contract with Westat.
Research Opportunities Concerning the Causes and Consequences of Child Food Insecurity and Hunger: A Workshop Summary, was released in prepublication form on September 5, 2013. This CNSTAT and Food and Nutrition Board workshop was chaired by James Ziliak (University of Kentucky) and sponsored by the Economic Research Service and Food and Nutrition Service, USDA. The workshop summary is available in PDF; printed copies will be available shortly.
The Report in Brief—
Section 141 of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 provides funding for a research program on the causes and consequences of childhood hunger and food insecurity, and the characteristics of households with childhood hunger and food insecurity, with a particular focus on efforts to improve the knowledge base regarding contributing factors, geographic distribution, programmatic effectiveness, public health and medical costs, and consequences for child development, well-being, and educational attainment. The Economic Research Service and Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted two outreach efforts to obtain input from the research community and other stakeholders to help focus on areas and methods with the greatest research potential. First, the Food and Nutrition Service sought written comments to selected questions through publication of a Federal Register Notice. Second, FNS commissioned a workshop under the auspices of the Committee on National Statistics of the National Research Council and the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine.
The summary of the workshop (held in April 2013) reviews the adequacy of current knowledge, identifies research gaps, and considers data availability on economic, health, social, cultural, demographic, and other factors that contribute to childhood hunger or food insecurity. It also considers the geographic distribution of childhood hunger and food insecurity; the extent to which existing federal assistance programs reduce childhood hunger and food insecurity; childhood hunger and food insecurity persistence and the extent to which they are due to gaps in program coverage, the inability of potential participants to access programs, or the insufficiency of program benefits or services. The summary, which includes an extensive bibliography, will be a resource to inform discussions about the public health and medical costs of childhood hunger and food insecurity through its focus on determinants of child food insecurity and hunger, individual, community, and policy responses to hunger, impacts of child food insecurity and hunger, and measurement issues.
Reminder: PDF versions of CNSTAT and NAS reports are available for free download at The National Academies Press website, http://www.nap.edu. NOTE: The download site asks for your e-mail and a password. If you don’t have an NAP account and don’t want to have one, then provide your e-mail and click “I don’t have an account;” on the next page click “accept NAP policies” and “log in as guest”.
Reminder: Slides from previous CNSTAT public seminars, and from several major workshops, are available on the Presentations page on the CNSTAT website.
CNSTAT holds three regular meetings each year, with its spring and fall meeting dates following a set formula; our May meetings are always the Thursday–Friday preceding Mother’s Day and our October meetings are always the second-to-last Thursday–Friday of the month. Here are the next three meetings: CNSTAT’s 123rd meeting will be held February 6-7, 2013, in Washington, DC. It will be a retreat meeting; there will be no agency head lunch or public seminar.
CNSTAT’s 124th meeting will be held May 8–9, 2014, in the NAS main building at 2101 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC. On the 9th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads, followed by a public seminar, beginning with light refreshments at 2 pm and ending with a reception at 4:30 pm. Angus Deaton, Dwight D. Eisenhower professor of economics and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University, will be the featured speaker at the seminar. He will discuss challenges in measuring inequality, drawing on his recently published book, The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality. Angus served on CNSTAT, the panel that produced the 1995 report, Measuring Poverty—A New Approach, and the panel that produced the 2002 report, At What Price? Conceptualizing and Measuring Cost-of-Living and Price Indexes.
CNSTAT’s 125th meeting will be held October 23-24, 2014, in the NAS main building at 2101 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC. On the 24th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads, followed by a public seminar, beginning with light refreshments at 2 pm and ending with a reception at 4:30 pm.
CNSTAT News 2013
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