A Decadal Survey of the Social and Behavioral Sciences: A Research Agenda for Advancing Intelligence Analysis
Released in March 2019, this Consensus Study Report from the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences recommends that the intelligence community (IC) make sustained collaboration with researchers in the social and behavioral sciences (SBS) a key priority as it develops research objectives for the coming decade.
The first decadal survey conducted in this context, the report highlights ways to promote interdisciplinary collaboration so that the insights and ideas of SBS researchers are fuller integrated with the needs and objectives of the IC. The report identifies key opportunities in SBS research for strengthening intelligence analysis and offers ideas for integrating the knowledge and perspectives of SBS researchers into the planning and design of efforts to support intelligence analysis.
Agenda The members of the decadal survey committee and representatives from the federal government and research organizations discussed findings and recommendations from the report as well as next steps to make progress in SBS research and collaboration between research communities and the IC.
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, University of Virginia David Matsumoto, San Francisco State University Carmen Medina, MedinAnalytics, LLC Fran Moore, The Financial Systemic Analysis and Resilience Center 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
Community Input and White Papers
Input and ideas from the scientific community, and in this study, the intelligence community are important to the success of the decadal survey. We would like to thank all those who submitted a white paper or idea in response to our request for information. Individual papers in response to our first call and second call for white papers can be found our website. Individual ideas that were submitted to the SBS Decadal Survey can be found on IdeaBuzz.
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:
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.
Identify SBS opportunities that can be used to guide security community investment decisions and application efforts over the next 10 years.
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.