Statement of Task for the Decadal Survey of Social and Behavioral Sciences for Applications to National Security
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 in two integrated phases. The first phase, a national summit (workshop), was completed in fall 2016. The statement of task for the second phase, a consensus process, is below.
An ad hoc consensus committee, drawing on membership from the summit steering committee, will be appointed to conduct the decadal survey aimed at identifying opportunities that are poised to contribute significantly to the Intelligence Community’s (IC’s) analytic responsibilities. The study will identify opportunities throughout the social sciences (e.g., sociology, demography, political science, economics, and anthropology) and from behavioral sciences (e.g., psychology, cognition, and neuroscience) and will draw on discussions at the summit to frame its inquiry. Attention will also be paid to work in allied professional disciplines, such as engineering, business, and law, and a full variety of cross-disciplinary, historical, case study, participant, and phronetic approaches.
The committee will work with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and security community members to understand government needs and expectations. The final 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 SBS research findings; cost and technical readiness; likely growth of research programs; emerging SBS 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 IC for their consideration in developing future research priorities.
The committee’s primary tasks will be:
- 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.
- Identify SBS opportunities that can be used to guide security community investment decisions and application efforts over the next 10 years.
- Specify approaches to facilitate productive interchange between the security community and the external social science research community.
- Reflect on the application of the decadal model to the SBSs and identify lessons learned (insights into how to approach and perform the decadal survey process) and promising practices (activities that could facilitate future decadal surveys in the SBSs and similar disciplines and maximize their ultimate utilities to sponsors and the scientific community).