listserv messages

Posted by Kevin N. Dunbar on 03/22/2017 - 09:37
This seminar might be very interesting, but may prove too narrow in focus. Many of the posts to this listserv are concerned with measuring scientific research with the goal of finding an underlying pattern that will guide the funding of future research. Societal impact may be a useful metric for quantification of some some aspects of science, but should be only one of a handful of criteria used to evaluate science. Metrics such as H factor may be easy to calculate, but narrowing this number down to include societal impact would be very short-... [Read more]  

Posted by Holly Falk-Krzesinski on 03/22/2017 - 13:02
Don't miss your chance to attend the 2017 Science of Team Science (SciTS) Conference, June 12-14 in Clearwater, FL!   Submit your abstract and poster submissions by this Friday, March 24 andREGISTER now for early bird rates!   Connect with likeminded colleagues and hear leading scholars share cutting-edge knowledge about maximizing effectiveness and innovation in team science.  An exciting conference program is planned,... [Read more]  

Posted by Caroline Wagner on 03/22/2017 - 10:01
Dear Science Policy friends, A number of years ago, while I was at RAND, we worked with the National Science Board on a series of reports and hearing on how federal R&D priorities are set. I am attaching the report we wrote at RAND, as well as the final NSB report, and if you search on google, you can also see the results of the hearings held. (Around the same time, the great Jean Knezo wrote a similar report for the CRS - which can also be googled.) For the NSB hearings, all the agencies reported on how they set R&D priorities, as did the UK and European... [Read more]  
Replied by Les Rymer on 03/22/2017 - 20:21
The attached note on where governments should invest their research funding, which I prepared a few years ago for the Australian Group of eight Universities, has some relevance for this discussion. Les [Read more]  

Posted by Tobin Smith on 03/22/2017 - 09:44
I thought some of you might be interested in this upcoming webinar being organized by theNetwork for Advancing and Evaluating the Societal Impact of Science (AESIS). Toby Smith --------------- Uniting research excellence and societal impact Webinar on 4 April 2017 - 16.00h (4pm) CESTBackground In June 2017 AESIS will organise their annual conference ‘Impact of Science’, for which Elsevier is lead sponsor. One of the main themes of this year will be the search for methods for stimulating and... [Read more]  

Posted by John Alic on 03/22/2017 - 05:42
Perhaps it’s also worth noting the practical aspects, starting with the “judgment” to which Chris alludes. DOE funds many thousands of internal and external projects. Many hundreds of pages of project descriptions are publiclly available, exclusive of budget documents. Even in fields where I have some understanding, many are close to impenetrable, sometimes no doubt by intent (because that’s the way bureaucratic politic works). As in any agency, the substrate underlying what reaches the public eye includes multiple advisosry committees, all kinds of internal merit reviews, and so... [Read more]  

Posted by Christopher Hill on 03/21/2017 - 14:24
David, I appreciate that the task is very challenging and difficult. I would argue that, at the end of the day, judgement, prejudice, favoritism, regional politics, values, and bullheadedness are likely to carry the day. I suppose it can't hurt to inform the above with some good analysis. That's what you are asking for, I think, methods for good analysis in a case like this. You are also asking for something "simple," presumably because there is not much time to implement it, there are few resources to do it "right," and the results... [Read more]  

Posted by Christopher Hill on 03/21/2017 - 11:27
David, Just a brief note....the Department of Energy, through one of its predecessors, the Atomic Energy Commission, has supported research in genetics since at least 1949* motivated, in large part, by its interest in understanding how ionizing radiation affects mutations and their genetic outcomes. Its work in genomics is arguably a continuation of that activity. Thus, DOE "doing genomics" is hardly an example of "mission creep." Rather, it reflects, at least in our day, a serious concern to understand how nuclear weapons and... [Read more]  

Posted by David Wojick on 03/21/2017 - 12:16
Chris, I was Senior Consultant for Innovation in DOE's Office of Scientific and Technical Information, 2004-2014, so I have some familiarity with these issues. My portfolio was the whole of DOE research. BER's genomics work has been decidedly controversial and has had little to do with the low dose radiation program, which DOE has tried to kill in any case. The House just jumped them for this. I understand the complexities, but I think simple metrics are better than nothing as a starting point. I am not prepared to accept that SciSIP has nothing to offer in what is... [Read more]  

Posted by Eleonore Pauwels on 03/21/2017 - 15:44
Citizen Health Innovators: Stories of Modern Health (New Open Innovation Research Project at Wilson Center)   By Eleonore Pauwels   In 2013, I wrote astory in the NYT about Myriad Genetics, a company that managed to keep, for a decade, an exclusive hold on human genetic data. The story was a call to secure a more open future for personalized medicine by promoting genetic-data sharing practices where patients would be given an active... [Read more]  

Posted by Jeffrey Alexander on 03/21/2017 - 08:57
I would like to underscore this tangential point before it gets lost in the rest of the conversation. At present, the Science of Science Policy communal website is operated with NSF funding as a service to the community, and the mailing list is hosted at NSF for similar reasons. The points from Peter and Steve raise a practical aspect to the philosophical discussions of whether there is, in fact, a professional or academic "SciSIP community," or to what extent we constitute a new discipline or subdiscipline.Without a recognized professional or academic society acting as an anchor... [Read more]  
Replied by Glenn Hampson on 03/21/2017 - 06:28
Hi Jeff, I’m happy to create a new Google listserv home for scicip. nSCI is small but we also host and operate the OSI (Open Scholarship Initiative) listserv. I’m sure there are others in this community who would also be willing to do the same should the need arise. In terms of rolling out such a plan, if the day comes when this resource is going to get shut off, I hope the current moderators can give the scicip group a few days heads-up, at which time nSCI (or some other group) can set up a new list and email the new opt-in address to scisip memebers. Hopefully as well, the current... [Read more]  

Posted by David Wojick on 03/21/2017 - 08:27
Actually, Kay, it is precisely an analytical framework that I am asking the SciSIP community about. There are proposed frameworks for deciding what to fund, so there should also be for deciding what to defund. Perhaps even the same frameworks. Offhand I can think of a simple 3D ranking space. One dimension is something like "mission centrality" or how important the work is to the agency's mission. There have been accusations of mission creep, or "sprawling government." DOE doing genomics might be an example and that claim has been made... [Read more]  

Posted by Loet Leydesdorff on 03/21/2017 - 11:59

Posted by Sullivan, Kay U CIV OSD CAPE (US) on 03/21/2017 - 09:01
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED David, When you say you are looking for analysis, are you looking for folks to speculate on what DoE will actually propose? There is no definitive analytical framework with which to weight competing cuts to research programs. So, the decision will come down to the rhetoric of program advocates, the inclinations of senior leaders at DoE and OMB, and arithmetic. Are "these numbers.. too big to achieve by simply shaving programs," as you suggest? Maybe and maybe not. As you note, I can come up with any number of combinations of... [Read more]  

Posted by Stephen Fiore on 03/20/2017 - 15:50
FYI in light of recent discussion, I just received this statement from the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences. Best, Steve Cheers, Steve Fiore Conference Chair, Science of Team Science 2017 June 12-14, Clearwater Beach, Florida Message from FABBS: FABBS Member Societies and Friends:   As you may have heard, the President released a budget blueprint for Fiscal Year 2018, which... [Read more]  

Posted by David Wojick on 03/20/2017 - 11:34
The numbers are easy enough, Kay, but the alternatives are many. The overall Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program includes the Climate and Environmental Sciences Division (CESD) which is a likely target indeed. But BER also does genomics and radiobiology, which are major health areas. Plus Workforce Development's big ticket is the National Science bowl, which is politically attractive. Plus WD is tiny. David At 11:55 AM 3/20/2017, Sullivan, Kay U CIV OSD CAPE (US) wrote: CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED   It... [Read more]  

Posted by Deborah Stine on 03/20/2017 - 12:16
Greetings,        Someone just sent me this article:   In the face of massive federal budget cuts, scientists are bracing for a lost generation in American research.   which lead me to wonder – is it possible to measure the impact of a lost generation?  Certainly it has occurred in the past, but how would you measure it?   …just wondering… Debbie... [Read more]  

Posted by Sullivan, Kay U CIV OSD CAPE (US) on 03/20/2017 - 11:55
CLASSIFICATION: UNCLASSIFIED It's fairly easy to actually run the numbers based on the details in DoE's public budget documents.In this table, I took the Office of Science budget lines from the DoE's 2017 Statistical Tables ( I assumed the 2017 CR amounts equaled the 2016 Enacted amounts, which may not be exactly correct, but it was easier than looking up the CR tables.Then I added some formulas that let me cut various programs and showed the... [Read more]