Observation

APS Members Named to NASEM Committee on Behavioral Ontologies

APS members and other psychological scientists will conduct a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) study to explore the development of behavioral ontologies that can help spur new research. 

In cosponsorship with APS, NASEM is initiating a consensus study on developing a shared ontology for behavioral science research. NASEM recently named a slate of 16 individuals who will serve on the committee overseeing the study; eminent psychological scientists are members of the panel. 

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In December, the European Parliament approved a 7-year EU budget that will provide funds through 2027. 

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“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 psychological scientists named to the study committee are APS Past President Lisa Feldman Barrett (Northeastern University), Karina Davidson (Columbia University Medical Center), and APS Fellows Randall W. Engle (Georgia Institute of Technology, also 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,” according to NASEM’s announcement.  

This project is organized by NASEM’s Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences. APS is a sponsor, along with U.S. funders of scientific research and other groups.   

APS will keep members apprised on the activities of this committee as it begins its work. Although NASEM is based in the United States, there will be opportunities for psychological scientists and others around the world to contribute to this ongoing work.

Learn more about NASEM’s study, “Accelerating Behavioral Science Through Ontology Development and Use.” 

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