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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



The Roundtable on the Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Sciences began as part of Social and Behavioral Sciences in Action, an initiative of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE). This initiative began in 2012 with the goal to raise awareness of the vitality, validity, and value of the social and behavioral sciences to the scientific enterprise, to public policy, and to the nation's well-being, and to distill lessons for future priorities for the field. In addition to creating the Roundtable, SBSIA convened annual symposia on important topics in the social and behavioral sciences—the intersection of SBS and national security, medicine and engineering and ways that SBS can inform public policy.


2012 Symposium

National Security, Medicine, and Engineering

September 24, 2012


The first symposium focused on areas where the social and behavioral sciences have contributed and can further contribute to national security, health, and engineering with commentary by Ralph J. Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences and Chair of the National Research Council, Harvey V. Fineberg, President of the Institute of Medicine, and Charles M. Vest, President of the National Academy of Engineering. The symposium was co-sponsored by DBASSE's Henry and Bryna David Endowment, SAGE, and CQ Press. 

View presentations from this symposium:

Keynote Address: How Social Sciences Enable Water Filtration in Bangladesh Villages
Rita Cowell SBSIA 2012

Rita R. Cowell 

President and Chairman 
CosmosID, Inc. 
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University 
Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
University of Maryland, College Park 


Patient Safety as an Exercise in Behavioral Change
Lucian Leape SBSIA 2012

Lucian L. Leape

Department of Health Policy and Management
Harvard School of Public Health
Harvard University




National Security: Assassination, Interrogation, and School Shootings
Robert Fein SBSIA 2012

Robert A. Fein

The Metis Group, Inc.
Department of Psychiatry
Harvard Medical School





Distracted Driving: Engineering Meets Cognition
John Lee SBSIA 2012

John D. Lee

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison


Reactions from the NAS, IOM, and NAE Presidents
NAS Presidents SBSIA 2012

Moderator: Robert M. Hauser 
Executive Director, DBASSE 

Ralph J. Cicerone 
National Academy of Sciences 
Chair, National Research Council 

Harvey V. Fineberg 
Institute of Medicine 

Charles M. Vest 
National Academy of Sciences   





Materials from the symposium:

Kenneth Prewitt and Robert Hauser (2013). Issues in Science and Technology, 29 (3). This article draws on presentations of this symposium. 




2013 Symposium

Using Social Science to Inform Policy: A Discussion with Congressional Members and Staff
November 12, 2013




A discussion with congressional staff focused on how psychology can inform government policy. Bestselling psychologist Robert Cialdini presented on his innovative work and gave surprising examples of how research from the social sciences informed policy.  His talk was followed by remarks from former Representatives Brian Baird (D-WA) and Nancy Johnson (R-CT).  Political Scientist Arthur Lupia then led a discussion on ways that congressional staff can apply these ideas to government policy.




Dr. Robert B. Cialdini
President, Influence At Work

View his presentation:

The Power of Social versus Economic and Regulatory Factors in Behavior Change




Issue brief SBSIA 2013
Download the Issue Brief


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