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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education


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 — June 2019 — 

 

 People News
We note with sadness the death of Alice Rivlin at age 88 at her home in Washington, DC, May 14, 2019. Alice, whom your editor had the pleasure and honor of meeting decades ago when she served on the board of Data Use and Access Laboratories (DUALabs) in the early 1970s. The announcement of her death by the Brookings Institution, with which she was affiliated for much of her career, described Dr. Rivlin as a “trailblazer in the field of economic policy, and a civil servant of unparalleled devotion” with a “storied career.” She was assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare from 1968–1969; the first director of the newly established Congressional Budget Office (CBO) during 1975–1983, which she put on a firm foundation as a nonpartisan, evidence-based organization that told the truth as it saw it about the costs and benefits of proposed legislation; deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from 1993–1994; director of OMB from 1994–1996; and a governor of the Federal Reserve from 1996–1999, during which time she served as the Fed's vice-chair. In 1983, she won a MacArthur Foundation "genius" award. She was also chair of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority from 1998–2001, putting the District’s finances on a sound basis. She had a Ph.D. in economics from Radcliffe College of Harvard University.

We congratulate Robert (Rob) Santos, vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute, on his election as the 116th president of the American Statistical Association (ASA). He will serve as president-elect in 2020, president in 2021, and past president in 2022. He has served on the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board and on numerous CNSTAT consensus panels, including those that produced Using the American Community Survey for the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Workforce Statistics Programs (2008); Measuring What We Spend: Toward a New Consumer Expenditure Survey (2013); and Realizing the Potential of the American Community Survey: Challenges, Tradeoffs, and Opportunities (2015). He is a fellow of the ASA and 2006 recipient of the Founder’s Award for excellence in survey statistics and contributions to the statistical community. He holds an M.A. in statistics from the University of Michigan.

We congratulate the following members of the CNSTAT and federal statistical communities on their election as 2019 fellows of the American Statistical Association. They will be acknowledged at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Denver, CO, on July 30, 2019.
Craig Hill, senior vice president, survey, computing, and statistical sciences, RTI International; and
Joseph Schafer, mathematical statistician, U.S. Census Bureau.


 Publication News Header 

Forthcoming Report Release
Monitoring Educational Equity, the final report of the Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity, to be released June 6, 2019.

Recently Released Reports
Improving the American Community Survey: Proceedings of a Workshop
, the summary of a workshop held September 26-27, 2018, chaired by Warren Brown (Cornell University), and sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau, was released on May 8, 2019. Free PDFs are available here; printed copies are also available.

Since its origin 23 years ago as a pilot test conducted in four U.S. counties, the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) has been the focus of continuous research, development, and refinement. The survey cleared critical milestones 14 years ago when it began full-scale operations, including comprehensive nationwide coverage, and 5 years later when the ACS replaced a long-form sample questionnaire in the 2010 census as a source of detailed demographic and socioeconomic information. Throughout that existence and continuing today, ACS research and testing has worked to improve the survey’s conduct in the face of challenges ranging from detailed and procedural to the broad and existential. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussion at the Workshop on Improving the American Community Survey (ACS), sponsored by the U.S. Census Bureau. Workshop participants explored uses of administrative records and third-party data to improve ACS operations and potential for boosting respondent participation through improved communication.

Reproducibility and Replicability in Science, the final report of a consensus committee chaired by Harvey Fineberg (Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation) and sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, was released in prepublication format on May 7, 2019. Free PDFs are available here; printed copies will be available shortly.
One of the pathways by which the scientific community confirms the validity of a new scientific discovery is by repeating the research that produced it. When a scientific effort fails to independently confirm the computations or results of a previous study, some fear that it may be a symptom of a lack of rigor in science, while others argue that such an observed inconsistency can be an important precursor to new discovery. Concerns about reproducibility and replicability have been expressed in both scientific and popular media. As these concerns came to light, Congress requested that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conduct a study to assess the extent of issues related to reproducibility and replicability and to offer recommendations for improving rigor and transparency in scientific research. Reproducibility and Replicability in Science defines reproducibility and replicability and examines the factors that may lead to non-reproducibility and non-replicability in research. Unlike the typical expectation of reproducibility between two computations, expectations about replicability are more nuanced, and in some cases a lack of replicability can aid the process of scientific discovery. This report provides recommendations to researchers, academic institutions, journals, and funders on steps they can take to improve reproducibility and replicability in science.


A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty
, the final report of a consensus panel chaired by Greg Duncan (University of California, Irvine) and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Inc.; the Foundation for Child Development; the Joyce Foundation; and the William T. Grant Foundation, was released in prepublication format on Thursday, February 28, 2019, at 11 am. EST. Free PDFs are available here; printed copies will be available shortly.

Capable, responsible, and healthy adults are the foundation of any well-functioning and prosperous society, but in this regard the future of the United States is not as secure as it could be. This is because millions of American children live in families with incomes below the poverty line. A wealth of evidence suggests that a lack of adequate family economic resources compromises children’s ability to grow and achieve success in adulthood, hurting them and the broader society as well. Recognizing this challenge to America’s future, Congress asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to conduct a comprehensive study of child poverty in the United States, and to identify evidence-based programs and policies for reducing the number of children living in poverty by half within 10 years. In its report, the committee (organized under the Board on Children, Youth, and Families and CNSTAT) concludes that poverty causes negative outcomes for children, especially if it occurs in early childhood or persists through a large part of childhood. Studies estimate that child poverty costs the nation roughly between $800 billion and $1.1 trillion annually in terms of lost adult productivity, the increased costs of crime, and increased health expenditures. The report identifies two packages of policies and programs that could reduce child poverty in the United States by half within 10 years, at a cost far lower than the estimated costs it bears from child poverty
 


A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, released February 28, 2019

Improving the American Community Survey: Proceedings of a Workshop, released May 2019

Methods to Foster Transparency and Reproducibility of Federal Statistics, released December 2018
Improving Data Collection and Measurement of Complex Farms, released October 2, 2018.
Letter Report on the 2020 Census (released August 17, 2018)

Reminder: PDF versions of CNSTAT and National Academies reports are available for free download at The National Academies Press website, http://www.nap.edu. 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 are available on the CNSTAT public seminars and symposia page. Presentations and posters from the Big Data Day event on May 11, 2018, are available here. Presentations from the October 19, 2018 seminar Leveraging and Integrating Data for Disasters are available here. Presentations from the May 10, 2019, seminar National Statistics for Public Policy: Linkages among Federal, State, and Local Data, will be posted soon.

 

 Event Other News
We call your attention to the large number of relevant forthcoming events in June and into July:

  • Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) and Washington Statistical Society (WSS) Workshop on Sensitivity Analysis with Integrated Data, June 10, 2019, BLS Janet Norwood Conference Center, 2 Massachusetts Ave., NE, Washington, DC.
  • Federal Economic Statistics Advisory Committee (FESAC) meeting, June 14, 2019, U.S. Census Bureau headquarters, Suitland, MD
  • Workshop on Spatial Statistics for the Social Sciences, June 14, 2019, Kerwin Hall, American University (AU), 4400 Massachusetts, Ave., NW, Washington, DC; sponsored by the AU Center for Data Science. Contact Eileen LeFurgy at elefurgy@american.edu to RSVP and with any questions.
  • Inaugural Ingram Olkin Statistics Serving Society (S3) Forum: Gun Violence—The Statistical Issues, June 26-27, 2019, American Statistical Association (ASA) headquarters, 732 North Washington St., Alexandria, VA; sponsored by the National Institute of Statistical Sciences (NISS) with ASA and the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute (SAMSI).
  • 2019 Association of Public Data Users (APDU) Annual Conference, Wide World of Data, July 9-10, 2019, Key Bridge Marriott, Arlington, VA.

    We call your attention to the following initiatives of relevance for federal statistics:
  • The U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is seeking feedback on whether the period when executive branch employees are prohibited from commenting on the release of principal economic indicators after their release could be shortened from the 60 minutes prescribed in Statistical Policy Directive No. 3. Comments are due by June 10, 2019.
  • OMB is seeking feedback on the differences among the various consumer price indexes produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau of Economic Analysis and how those differences might influence the estimation of the official poverty measure and other income measures produced by the Census Bureau. Comments are due by June 21, 2019.
  • Count on Stats has launched a LinkedIn Group to support federal statistical agencies. In the group’s first post, Katherine Wallman, former chief statistician of the United States, suggested we think of these agencies as the U.S. data infrastructure because of their vital—yet taken-for-granted—role supporting all aspects of our economy, everyday lives, and governance. Further, similar to the civil engineers’ report on the state of US infrastructure—including roads, bridges, and rail—she recommends we assess the state of U.S. data infrastructure. More information is available here

     

 CNSTAT Meetings

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 140th meeting will be held October 17-18, 2019, at the National Academy of Sciences Building at 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. On the 18th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads (members of the ICSP), followed by a public seminar, beginning with light refreshments at 1:30 pm and ending with a reception at 4:30 pm.
 
CNSTAT’s 141st meeting will be held February 20-21, 2020, in California (location TBD). It will be a retreat meeting and will not have an agency heads luncheon or a public seminar.
 
CNSTAT’s 142nd meeting will be held May 7-8, 2020, at the National Academy of Sciences Building at 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. On the 8th, the meeting will feature a luncheon with statistical agency heads (members of the ICSP), followed by a public seminar, beginning with light refreshments at 1:30 pm and ending with a reception at 4:30 pm.


 

              

 

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Unless otherwise noted, meetings are in Washington, D.C., and include open sessions. For further information, contact Brian Harris-Kojetin at BKojetin@nas.edu or Rebecca Krone at RKrone@nas.edu. . Projects are listed by sponsor agency, beginning with federal departments. Also see the CNSTAT web site under “Our Work.”

CNSTAT Core Sponsors
Challenges and New Approaches for Protecting Privacy in Federal Statistical
Programs: A Workshop
Sponsors: CNSTAT Core Sponsors
Duration: August 2018–December 2019
Study director: Nancy Kirkendall; project assistant: Jillian Kaufman
Chair: Jerome P. Reiter (Duke University)
Publication planned: TBD
Upcoming meeting: Workshop scheduled for June 6-7, 2019
See this site for more information
 


Department of Agriculture
Consensus Panel on Improving Consumer Data for Food and Nutrition Policy Research
Sponsor: Economic Research Service (Consumer Data and Nutrition Research [CDNR] Program)
Duration: October 2017–December 2019
Study director: Christopher Mackie; senior program officer: Nancy Kirkendall; associate program officer: Michael Siri
Chair: Marianne Bitler (University of California, Davis)
Publication planned: Consensus report is being drafted
Meetings: Fifth and last meeting held May 20, 2019, in Chicago, IL

Workshop on Model-Based Methods for Producing Estimates of Livestock with Appropriate Measures of Uncertainty
Sponsor: National Agricultural Statistics Service
Duration: September 2014–September 2019
Study director: Nancy Kirkendall; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: Eric Slud (University of Maryland and U.S. Census Bureau)
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings is being drafted
Meeting: Workshop held May 15, 2019; see this site for more information
 


Department of Commerce

Workshop on Improving the American Community Survey
Sponsor: U.S. Census Bureau
Duration: April 2018–March 2019
Study director: Daniel Cork; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: Warren Brown (Cornell University)
Publication: Improving the American Community Survey: Proceedings of a Workshop released in printed form on May 8, 2019 (see “Recently Released Reports”)
Meeting: Workshop held September 26-27, 2018
 


Department of Education
Consensus Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity (see listing under “The Atlantic Philanthropies et al.” below)
 


Department of Health and Human Services
Consensus Committee on Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children in Poverty by Half in 10 Years (led by Board on Children, Youth, and Families)
Sponsors: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Foundation for Child Development; Joyce Foundation; and William T. Grant Foundation
Duration: October 2016–April 2019
Study director: Suzanne Le Menestrel (BCYF); senior scholar: Constance Citro; senior program officer: Christopher Mackie; associate program officer: Elizabeth Townsend (BCYF); research associate: Dara Shefska (BCYF); project assistant: Pamella Atayi (BCYF)
Chair: Greg Duncan (UC Irvine)
Publication: A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty released in prepublication format on February 28, 2019; free PDFs are available here; printed copies will be available shortly

Consensus Panel on Rising Midlife Mortality Rates and Socioeconomic Disparities
(led by Committee on Population)
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Duration: October 2018–December 2020
Study director: Malay Majmundar; program officer: Tara Becker; project assistant: Ellie Grimes
Chair: Kathleen Mullan Harris (UNC, Chapel Hill)
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: Third meeting scheduled for July 17-18, 2019; see this site for more information

Workshop on Approaches to Estimating the Prevalence of Human Trafficking in the United States (in collaboration with the Committee on Population)
Sponsor: Office of Women’s Health
Duration: September 2018–December 2019
Study director: Jordyn White; project assistant: Ellie Grimes
Chair: David Banks (Duke University)
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings are being drafted
Meeting: Workshop held April 8-9, 2019; see this site for more information

Workshop on Social Science Modeling for Big Data in the World of Machine Learning
Sponsor: National Institute on Aging, Division of Behavioral and Social Research
Duration: October 2018–December 2019
Study director: Michael Siri; project assistant: Jillian Kaufman
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: None
Upcoming meeting: Workshop scheduled for October 24-25, 2019
 


Department of Homeland Security
Consensus Committee on Best Practices in Assessing Mortality and Significant Morbidity Following Large-Scale Disasters (led by Board on Health Sciences Policy)
Sponsor: Federal Emergency Management Agency
Duration: October 2018–September 2020
Study director: Michelle Mancher (HSP); senior program officer: Daniel Cork
Chair: Ellen J. MacKenzie (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: First committee meeting held May 28-29, 2019; second meeting TBD; see this site for more information
 


Department of the Interior
Consensus Committee on An Assessment of Native Seed Needs and Capacities
(led by Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources)
Sponsor: Bureau of Land Management
Duration: Fall 2018 – Fall 2020
Study director: Robin Schoen (BANR); senior program officer: Krisztina Marton
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: TBD; see this site for more information
 


Department of Labor
Consensus Panel on Contingent Work and Alternate Work Arrangements
Sponsor: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Duration: September 2018–March 2020
Study director: Chris Mackie; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: Susan Houseman (W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research)
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: Workshop and second meeting scheduled for June 10-11, 2019; see this site for more information
 


Department of State
Consensus Committee on Foreign Language Assessment for the U.S. Foreign Service Institute (led by DBASSE Executive Office)
Sponsor: U.S. Foreign Service Institute
Duration: 18 months
Study director: Stuart Elliott; senior program officer: Judith Koenig; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: Dorry Kenyon (Center for Applied Statistics, Washington, DC)
Publication planned: Consensus Report
Upcoming meetings: Third meeting scheduled for July 17-18, 2019; see this site for more information.
 


Department of Transportation
Standing Committee for Improving Motor Carrier Safety Measurement
(joint with the Transportation Research Board)
Sponsor: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Duration: October 2017–September 2020
Study director: Michael Cohen; TRB Studies and Special Programs Division director: Tom Menzies; associate program officer: Michael Siri
Co-chairs: Joel Greenhouse (Carnegie Mellon) and Sharon Lise-Normand (Harvard Medical School)
Publications: Standing committees do not issue reports; they meet for discussion; they also identify topics for separate workshops or consensus panels.
Upcoming meetings: The standing committee is meeting primarily by teleconference; it held its second on-site meeting November 16, 2018, at the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA
 


National Science Foundation
Consensus Committee on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science (led by the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, with the Board on Mathematical Sciences and Analytics, CNSTAT, and the Division of Earth and Life Sciences)
Sponsor: NSF director’s office (congressionally mandated)
Duration: August 2017–March 2019
Study director: Jennifer Heimberg (DELS); board director: Michelle Schwalbe (BMSA); senior program officer: Adrienne Stith Butler (BBCSS); senior program officer: Michael Cohen (CNSTAT)
Chair: Harvey Fineberg (Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation)
Publication: Reproducibility and Replicability in Science, released on May 7, 2019 (see “Recently Released Reports”)

Consensus Panel on Transparency and Reproducibility for NCSES Statistics
Sponsor: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Duration: September 2018–November 2020
Study director: Michael Cohen; co-study director: Michael Siri; project assistant: Jillian Kaufman
Chair-designate: Daniel Kasprzyk (NORC at the University of Chicago)
Publication planned: Consensus report
Upcoming meetings: First meeting held May 21-22, 2019; second meeting TBD

Workshop on Implications of Convergence for Measuring the Science and Engineering Workforce and the S&E Enterprise
Sponsor: National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
Duration: September 2018–November 2020
Study director: Daniel Cork; project assistant: Anthony Mann
Chair: TBD
Publication planned: Workshop proceedings
Upcoming meetings: TBD
 


The American Educational Research Association, the Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation, the Spencer Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education,
the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the W.T. Grant Foundation
Consensus Committee on Developing Indicators of Educational Equity
Sponsors: See above list
Duration: December 2016–June 2019
Study director: Judith Koenig; senior scholar: Constance Citro; senior program officer: Jordyn White; project assistant: Kelly Arrington
Chair: Christopher Edley, Jr. (The Opportunity Institute, Berkeley, CA)
Publication planned: Final consensus report, Monitoring Educational Equity, has cleared review and will be released in prepublication format, June 6, 2019
Meetings: Fifth and final in-person meeting (closed) held September 18-19, 2018, in Washington, DC, and Irvine, CA





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