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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Roundtable on the Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Roundtable on the Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Mission and Goals

The mission of the SBS RT

The mission of this roundtable is to support the communication and use of reliable and relevant scientific research for addressing important societal issues. While focused on topics that pertain to social and behavioral sciences (SBS), roundtable activities often will speak to the communication and use of research from all science.

What need does the SBS RT address?

SBS offers information from research that could address important societal issues. In some cases, individuals who, and organizations that, can benefit from this information are unable to access the information or find available information difficult to interpret or use.

The ability to take effective action on many critical societal challenges requires an understanding of human behavior. From health to education to national security, advances in SBS reveal insights that can improve the effectiveness of many organizations and quality of life for countless individuals and communities. However, the SBS research community is not always effective at communicating its insights. As a result, decision-makers are often unable to identify or access SBS information that can help them achieve critical missions more effectively and efficiently. The roundtable seeks to bridge gaps between researchers and the many different types of people who can benefit from SBS research.

Our goals and approach

The roundtable brings together SBS researchers and critical stakeholders to:

    1. Improve the supply of SBS research that can meet the needs of decision-makers;
    2. Identify and apply ways to communicate SBS research effectively.

    To achieve these goals, we identify the information needs policymakers, media, businesses, and members of the public and other vital stakeholders. We obtain information about practices that impede these populations from deriving maximum benefit from SBS research. Our activities catalyze innovation in the use of SBS research by spurring the exchange of ideas in networks of producers, communicators and users of SBS. We engage existing stakeholder networks and seek to create new ones where doing so can produce massive improvements in quality of life.

    The SBS RT pursues priorities that contribute to the National Academies mission by bringing together a wide range of experts and stakeholders to all of the activities it undertakes. To energize these proceedings, the roundtable draws upon the National Academies’ extensive body of consensus reports and related content on SBS topics of national importance.

    The SBS RT seeks to engage the producers and users of SBS research, including:

    • Researchers whose work may be relevant to decision-makers
    • Individuals and organizations that provide information that policymakers use
    • Policymakers and their staff
    • Members of the public


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