Professor Tim Strauman selected as member of prestigious NASEM committee

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APS members and other psychological scientists will conduct a National Academy of Sciences study to explore the development of behavioral ontologies that can help spur new research.

In cosponsorship with APS, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) is initiating a consensus study on developing a shared ontology for behavioral science research. This month, NASEM has named a slate of 16 individuals who will serve on the committee overseeing the study; eminent psychological scientists are members of the panel.

“We are pleased to see several APS members are members of the study committee,” said APS executive director Robert Gropp. “This study offers the promise of new tools that can catalyze exciting and important new research. We are eagerly anticipating the committee’s findings.”

Among the individuals named to the study committee are APS Past President Lisa Feldman Barrett (Northeastern University) and psychological scientists Karina Davidson (Columbia University Medical Center), Randall W. Engle (Georgia Institute of Technology, and an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences), Catherine Hartley (New York University), Carla Sharp (University of Houston), and Timothy J. Strauman (Duke University), among other experts from the areas of health, biomedicine, information science, and more.  

“The goal of this study is to define the scope of ontology development for behavioral science research (BSR), summarize the state of behavioral ontology development and use in BSR, and identify compelling use cases as well as approaches, gaps and challenges that need to be addressed in order to facilitate widespread ontology use in BSR,” says the Academies. 

This project—which will kick off in earnest in 2021—is organized by the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences of NASEM. APS is a sponsor of the project, alongside U.S. funders of scientific research and other groups. 

APS will keep its members apprised on the activities of this committee as it begins its work. Although the National Academies are based in the U.S., NASEM notes that there will be opportunities for psychological scientists and others around the world to contribute to this ongoing work.

Learn more about the NSAEM study: “Accelerating Behavioral Science Through Ontology Development and Use"

Full article originally published by APS, January 27, 2021: "APS Members Named to NASEM Committee Examining Behavioral Ontologies"