SRCD Signs on to FABBS Letter on the Next Director of the NIH


SRCD signed on to a Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS) letter about the next National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director. The letter is addressed to Dr. Francis Collins who stepped down from the position of NIH Director last year after serving in that role for over 12 years. Dr. Collins has since taken on the responsibilities of the Science Advisor to the President and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and will continue to serve in this role until a permanent leader is nominated and confirmed

This letter reflects the interests of thousands of scientists whose research on behavioral, brain, cognitive, economic, and social sciences have the potential to improve public health in a variety of domains and highlights ways in which social and behavioral sciences can address pressing needs. The letter notes, “As you know well, our country faces ongoing urgent health concerns on troubling trajectories. A mental health crisis, addiction, obesity, and health disparities are all growing problems with significant behavioral and social contributors. These issues coincide with the major societal challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and racial injustice. To most effectively prevent illness and address the negative health consequences of these cascading circumstances, the NIH must recognize the interactions between biological factors and behavioral and social ones to build a better understanding of the interconnectivity of complex systems that contributes to health outcomes. A successful Director would be able to articulate a vision for a comprehensive and balanced approach to improving Americans’ health that considers biological, behavioral, social, and environmental factors in tandem.”

The Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS) is a coalition of scientific societies that share an interest in advancing the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior. They communicate the importance and contributions of basic and applied research in these areas to policymakers and the public. The Society for Research in Child Development is a FABBS member.

Download a pdf of the letter