Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Space Studies Board
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Board Members
Board Meetings
Discipline Committees
Decadal Surveys
Current Projects
Completed Projects
Lloyd V. Berkner Space Policy Internships

Contact Us

Space Studies Board
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 334-3477
Fax: (202) 334-3701

Bookmark and Share 

  Follow us on Twitter 

Committee on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space

This is a joint activity with ASEB



The next Decadal Survey on Physical and Biological Science in Space is expected to begin in 2020. Sponsored by NASA, the survey will establish priorities and provide recommendations for research in microgravity and partial gravity for the coming decade. Community input will be critical for this activity, and we encourage you to share your thoughts.


Call for Initial Community Input:

  • Submit preliminary ideas regarding key issues, challenges and emerging topics in the field for consideration.

community input for decadal orange button

Other ways to get involved:


Project Information


The overarching purpose of the committee is to support scientific progress in space research in the biological, medical, and physical sciences and assist the federal government in integrating and planning programs in these fields. The scope for CBPSS spans plant and microbial biology, animal and human physiology, and basic and applied physical sciences, in the context of understanding the role of gravity in living and physical systems in order to develop capabilities required for space exploration, and using the space environment as a tool of science to advance knowledge. The CBPSS provides an independent, authoritative forum for identifying and discussing issues in space life and physical sciences between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public. The CBPSS will also monitor the progress in implementation of the recommendations of the Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era (RFSE) decadal survey--building on the survey that was tasked with establishing priorities for an integrated portfolio of biological and physical sciences research in the decade of 2010-2020. In fulfilling these responsibilities, the committee may formulate and oversee ad-hoc studies related to the implementation of the RFSE survey and on issues in biological and physical sciences more broadly, including:

  • The scientific quality and the potential for discovery in the field;
  • The impact of scientific advances on the implementation of the decadal survey recommended activities and the translation of scientific knowledge to human exploration missions;
  • The impact of changing budget priorities, especially those that challenge the fundamental assumptions of RFSE, on the implementation of decadal survey priorities and on the balance between exploration-focused and basic scientific research more broadly; and
  • The potential impact on a recommended course of action at a decision point described in the decadal survey. 


October 29-31, 2019
Irvine, CA
View Agenda and Presentations

March 26-28,2019
Washington, DC
View Agenda and Presentations I Archive of Space Science Week 2019

October 23-25, 2018
Irvine, CA
View Agenda and Presentations

March 27-29, 2018
Washington, DC

View Agenda and Presentations

October 31-November 2, 2017
Irvine, CA
View Agenda and Presentations


March 28-30, 2017
Washington, DC
View Agenda and Presentations


December 13-14, 2016
Irvine, CA

View Agenda and Presentations

March 29-31, 2016
Washington, DC
View Agenda and Presentations


*We have posted only presentations which have been made available to us by the presenter.

Current Membership 

View Bios

Robert J. Ferl, Co-Chair, University of Florida
Dava J. Newman, Co-Chair,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mary L. Bouxsein, Harvard Medical School 
Marianne Bronner, California Institute of Technology 
Steven Collicott, Purdue University  
Vijay K. Dhir, University of California, Los Angeles
Alain Karma, Northwestern University
Mohammad Kassemi, Case Western Reserve University
Douglas M. Matson, Tufts University 
Wayne Nicholson, University of Florida
James A. Pawelczyk, The Pennsylvania State University
Marylyn D. Ritchie, University of Pennsylvania
Jessica Scott, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Pol D. Spanos, Rice University
Jana Stoudemire, Space Tango
James T'ien, Case Western Reserve University 
Krystyn J. Van Vliet, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hai Wang, Stanford University 
David Weitz, Harvard University


Sandra J. Graham, Senior Program Officer
Dionna Wise, Program Associate

Relevant Links

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era (2011)

A Midterm Assessment of Implementation of the Decadal Survey on Life and Physical Sciences