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Project Information

Project Information

Social and Behavioral Sciences for National Security: A Decadal Survey

Project Scope:


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) to be held this fall, will help establish the framework for the survey and reinforce the commitment of the intelligence community (IC) to conduct a full decadal survey.  Concurrent with the workshop, staff will begin to work on the second phase, including developing a slate of nominees for the survey committee and conducting other preparatory work (e.g., outreach to professional associations, identifying venues for town hall meetings). A steering committee will be appointed to plan the summit, and a separate survey committee will be appointed to conduct the survey, drawing on the membership of the steering committee.

An ad hoc steering committee will organize a 1.5 day summit (workshop) in Washington, D.C. to highlight SBS research that may have relevance to the IC.  The committee will plan and organize the summit, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions.  A summary of the workshop presentations will be prepared by a rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines.

An ad hoc 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 IC'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) 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 ODNI 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:

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.

Status: Current


Project Duration (months): 30 month(s)

RSO: Wanchisen, Barbara

Geographic Focus:
North America

Committee Membership

Committee Membership

No data present.


Event Type :  

Description :   

This public summit kicked off a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine decadal survey that will identify potential contributions of 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 responsiblities. Invited presentations from a range of SBS disciplines will identify emerging and cutting-edge research that may have implications for the intelligence community. 

Registration for Online Attendance :   

Registration for in Person Attendance :   

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Thelma Cox
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-1734


Supporting File(s)
Is it a Closed Session Event?


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