Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Board On Behavioral Cognitive and Sensory Sciences
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
 decadal survey graphic
 Decadal Flag Line Bar Upcoming Events



Decadal surveys are a signature type of study conducted through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, with a rich history of success in the physical sciences. These surveys gather ideas and feedback from the research community in order to develop a plan that shapes future research initiatives. This new project will carry out a decadal survey on the social and behavioral  sciences (SBS) in areas relevant to national security. The survey will identify opportunities that are poised to contribute significantly to the intelligence community's analytic responsibilities. See below for the full statement of task. This project kicked-off with a national summit that was held on October 4-5, 2016. Visit our Summit webpage to learn more about the Summit and view an archived webcast of the event.
Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Sciences for Applications to National Security
Committee Members
Paul R. Sackett, University of Minnesota (Committee Chair)
Gary G. Berntson, The Ohio State University
Kathleen Carley, Carnegie Mellon University
Noshir Contractor, Northwestern University
Nancy Cooke, Arizona State University
Barbara A. Dosher (NAS*), University of California, Irvine
Jeffrey Johnson, University of Florida
Sallie Keller, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
David Matsumoto, San Francisco State University
Carmen Medina, MedinAnalytics, LLC
Fran Moore, CENTRA Technology, Inc.
Jonathan Moreno (NAM*), University of Pennsylvania
Joy Rohde, University of Michigan
Jeffrey Taliaferro, Tufts University
Gregory Treverton, University of Southern California
Jeremy Wolfe, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School

*NAS = National Academy of Sciences
*NAM = National Academy of Medicine

 Decadal Flag Line Bar
Call for Input from the Scientific Community

Share your ideas on our “Idea-Buzz” challenge website

IdeaBuzz is a discussion platform where you will be asked to post your perspectives and ideas for innovative scientific approaches and research concepts. The platform is simple to use and allows contributors to see and comment on all ideas contributed. Readers also can vote for the ideas they like. IN ADDITION, the study is seeking short “white papers” describing a research idea in greater detail. White papers can be submitted through the Idea-Buzz platform, where others can view and comment on them.

We recognize the limited exposure most scientists have to the work of intelligence analysis. Therefore, the focus of this call for information is to identify cutting edge research (and not the implementation of the research) that with support, might improve intelligence analysis within the next 10 years. Ideas are welcome in a broad range of research areas. Ideas may address the following, but are not limited to these areas:

- Monitoring and measuring events and phenomena in different societies/cultures related to international    and national security
- Using knowledge from research to anticipate tipping points and threats relevant to national security
- Understanding societal changes and their impact on the intelligence community’s analytic responsibilities
- Building analytic skill sets (i.e., workforce development, training, human-technology interactions)
- Developing decision supports
- Communicating research knowledge, analyses, and uncertainties between different audiences

Decadal Flag Line Bar
We want to hear from you: 

  • Share research we should know about.
  • Share your ideas on our Idea-Buzz challenge website.
  • Look for us in town halls and conferences featuring the social and behavioral sciences.
  • Sign up to receive updates on the project.

If you would like to receive program updates, please contact us at We also welcome you to monitor this website as updates will be posted regularly.

Decadal Flag Line Bar
Statement of Task

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will carry out a decadal survey on the social and behavioral sciences (SBS) in areas relevant to national security. An ad hoc committee will be appointed to conduct the survey with the goal of identifying opportunities that are poised to contribute significantly to the intelligence community’s analytic responsibilities. The study will identify opportunities throughout the social sciences (e.g., sociology, demography, political science, economics, anthropology) and from behavioral sciences (e.g. psychology, cognition, neuroscience). The committee will work with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and security community members to understand government needs and expectations. The final consensus report will be based on the committee's consideration of broad national security priorities; relevant capabilities of elements within the security community to support and apply findings from social and behavioral science; cost and technical readiness; likely growth of research programs; emerging data, procedures, personnel, and other resources; and opportunities to leverage related research activities not directly supported by government. The committee will specify a range of relevant work that could be useful to the intelligence community for their consideration in developing future research priorities.

The committee's primary tasks will be: 
  1. Assess progress in addressing selected major social and behavioral scientific challenges that might prove useful to national security. Include discussion of approaches that are gaining strength and those that are losing strength. Where possible, rely on published meta-analyses.
  2. Identify SBS opportunities that can be used to guide security community investment decisions and application efforts over the next 10 years.
  3. Specify approaches to facilitate productive interchange between the security community and the external social science research community.
The survey will engage members of the SBS community to generate ideas for research that may benefit national security now and in the ensuing decade. The total project duration will be 36 months from summer 2016 to summer 2019. The committee’s final report will be available to the public. All work will be conducted at the unclassified level. The work is overseen by the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS), part of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) of the National Academies.

Call for Input from the Scientific Community

March 26-27, 2018 - Fifth Committee Meeting (Washington, DC)

July 25-26, 2018 - Sixth Committee Meeting (Location TBD)


Contact us:

Meeting Archive

January 25-26, 2018 - Fourth Committee Meeting (Washington, DC) 

January 24, 2018 - Public Workshops (Washington, DC)  
- Roundtable Discussion at the Society of Risk Analysis Conference (Washington, DC)

October 11, 2017
- Three Public Workshops (Washington, DC)
Changing Socio-cultural Dynamics and Implications for National Security 

Emerging Trends and Methods in International Security 

Leveraging Advances in Social Network Thinking for National Security

October 12-13, 2017
- Third Committee Meeting (Washington, DC) 

June 27-28, 2017, Washington, DC -
Second Committee Meeting (Closed Meeting)

March 23-24, 2017,
Washington, DC -
First Committee Meeting

October 4-5, 2016,
Washington, DC – 
Summit on Social and Behavioral Sciences for National Security

SBS Decadal Summit Proceedings Book Cover
To purchase or download of a copy of the Summit proceedings, please visit the National Academies Press (NAP) website (  

Past Events
First and Second Call for White Papers

April 13, 2017
, Washington, DC - Board Director presented at Spring ICSB Meeting.

January 12, 2017, Washington, DC - Study Director presented at Winter ICSB Meeting.

October 20, 2016, Washington, DC – Study Director presented at Annual NISTC Meeting.

October 19, 2016,  Washington, DC – Study Director presented at Inaugural ICSB Meeting.

 In the News
Spy agencies team up with National Academies – Science Magazine (October 12, 2016)

Board on Behavioral Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS)

Staff Information

Sujeeta Bhatt, Study Director 
Alexandra Beatty, Senior Program Officer

Julie Schuck, Program Officer 

Liz Townsend, Research Associate
Thelma Cox, Program Coordinator
Renée L. Wilson Gaines, Sr. Program Assistant 
Barbara Wanchisen, Sr. Board Director


Alan Shaw, Board Director 

ICSB Colloquia:

November 3, 2016 - Identifying and Understanding Emerging Breakthroughs in Science Technology

May 9, 2016 - New Models for Socio-Political Systems

October 7, 2015 - Novel Materials

June 10, 2015 - Novel Power Sources



BBCSS Home About BBCSS BBCSS History BBCSS Members BBCSS Staff Our Sponsors News and Events Upcoming Events Winter 2017 Newsletter Our Work Overview Assessing the Minerva Research Initiative
and the Contribution of Social Science to Addressing Security Concerns
Behavioral Economics and Health Promotion Among Aging Populations Changing Behavioral Health Social Norms through Messaging for the Public Exploring the Development of Analytic Frameworks:
A Pilot Project for the Officer of the Director of National Intelligence
How People Learn II: The Science and Practice of Learning Reproducibility and Replicability in Science Social and Behavioral Sciences for National Security: A Decadal Survey Publications BBCSS Reports Report Briefs BBCSS Brochure Newsletter Archive Work With Us Our Study Process Study Process Brochure Getting to Know the Committee Process Overview for Sponsors Guide for Study Sponsors Donate Now