Howard J. Silver

Howard J. Silver served as the executive director of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) in Washington, DC, from 1988 to 2013. He has testified before Congress, spoken on federal funding of science at many professional meetings, and written extensively on executive-legislative relations, the federal budget process, and science policy as it affects the social and behavioral sciences.

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Social Science Spending a Pawn in Budget Games

In the White House’s budget on the table in Washington, D.C. right now, NSF, NIH and other U.S. government funders of social and behavioral science research have built in extra money for grants, Howard Silver explains how that money, much of it marked as ‘mandatory,’ is anything but.

7 years ago

NSF’s Three “Sensational Surveys” Survive and Thrive

This election season, spare a thought for the travails of the American national Election Study and two other data-rich surveys promoted — and protected — by the National Science Foundation’s Social, Behavioral and Econoic directorate.

7 years ago

The National Interest and the NSF

Current legislation calls for federally funded science to be in the ‘national interest.’ What does that even mean, and why do scientists fear this Republican-led effort?

7 years ago

Shutdowns: The Misfire Next Time

Although a U.S. government shutdown has apparently been kicked down the road just a little bit longer, but a potential new shutdown — and its ruinous consequences for grant-funded science –always seems to be just around the corner.

7 years ago
Saris filter out cholera

Behavior Routinely on Biomedicine’s Back Burner

The challenge of infusing the social sciences into what are generally viewed as biomedical issues has been a long and difficult one, as the recent WHO report on Ebola demonstrates. Oddly, this lesson has been learned many times before, but keeps getting forgotten.

8 years ago
Janet Norwood

Data, Democracy, and Janet Norwood

Making decisions without data soils the public policy process with ideology, partisan politics, and misinformation, all things the late Janet Norwood abhorred. Her voice, commitment, and professionalism will be sorely missed.

8 years ago
Lamar Smith

So It Goes – Travails of Science in Latest Congress

The latest re-authorization of the America COMPETES bill that dramatically reduces funding for social science (and geoscience) may very well pass Congress. Will the president be willing to veto an important bill that contains these unwelcome provisions?

8 years ago
Senator Barbara Mikulsk

Two Mentors and a Senate Legacy

Howard Silver looks back over the career of the longest-serving woman in the U.S. Congress and how her role as appropriator influenced policy decisions on social science wants and needs.

8 years ago
Car by 'socialism or death' grafitto

Change in the Caribbean?

Our Washington-based correspondent Howard Silver reflects on his recent trip to Cuba, a place where professors turn to driving taxis to make ends meet.

8 years ago