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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
 A Decadal Survey of the Social and Behavioral Sciences:
A Research Agenda for Advancing Intelligence Analysis
 SBS Decadal coverLReleased 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.

Read the summary  |  Read the report  |  Read the Press Release  |  Read the Highlights



Report Launch Event
September 30, 2019  

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. 

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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

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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.

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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.

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Related Publications

SBS Decadal Summit Proceedings Book CoverSocial and Behavioral Science for National Security: Proceedings of a Summit

Other Study Publications

Meeting Archive

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

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

January 24, 2018 - Three Public Workshops
(Washington, DC) 

Workshop Topics:
Learning From the Science of Cognition and Perception for Decision-Making
(Link to Webcast)

Workforce Development and Intelligence Analysis
(Link to Webcast)

Understanding Narratives for National Security Purposes

(Link to Webcast)

December 11, 2017  Roundtable Discussion at the Society of Risk Analysis Conference (Washington, DC)

October 11, 2017
- Three Public Workshops (Washington, DC)

Workshop Topics:
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

Board on Behavioral Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS)

Staff Information

Sujeeta Bhatt, Study Director 
Alexandra Beatty, Senior Program Officer

Julie Schuck, Program Officer 

Thelma Cox, Program Coordinator
Barbara Wanchisen, Sr. Board Director  



Office of the Director of National Intelligence


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