Richard Suzman, Director of NIA's Division of Behavioral and Social Research, passes away at age 72

We are saddened to share a note from National Institute on Aging Director Richard Hodes:

Dear NIA colleagues,

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that Dr. Richard Suzman, director of NIA's Division of Behavioral and Social Research, passed away last night. He was 72. As some of you may know, Richard had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Richard was one of the most creative and innovative scientists I know, who with an unrivaled energy and determination helped transform the behavioral and social sciences.  He modernized the science of demography and developed new fields, including the bio-demography of aging. In his 30 years of distinguished federal service, Richard brought us several new transdisciplinary fields of study, including neuro-economics, social neuroscience, and behavioral genetics. His career changed our understanding of longevity and aging, integrating economic and social behavior with biological and clinical aspects of advancing age.

At NIH, his vision contributed to important trans-NIH initiatives. The Common Fund’s interest in the Science of Behavior Change and Health Economics are already making a difference, through studies of new ways to intervene in health behaviors, including tobacco use, diabetes management, and the dissemination of and adherence to medical regimens. His understanding of how economics can affect health and aging has already changed trajectories for participation in pension savings in the U.S., for the benefit of today’s older Americans and generations to come.

Perhaps his key achievement is the U.S. Health and Retirement Study, which has grown to encompass a group of connected international surveys that cover more than half the world’s population. These related surveys allow researchers to compare data on aging cross-nationally, demonstrating how both common and unique biological, cultural, institutional, and policy features can impact health and well-being with age. The loss of Richard will not only be felt here, but internationally.

Richard was a tireless advocate for the best in science and for the health of older people and their families. In the coming weeks and months, we will be talking a lot about Richard Suzman, both the scientist and the irascible character, whom we will remember with admiration and affection. At a personal level, Richard was for me a constant example of what can be accomplished through vision, energy, and intellect.  If I was ever tempted to lapse into complacency, Richard made it clear that this would not be tolerated.  I will follow up with you all soon, as we plan and join tributes and remembrances for our colleague and friend.

Richard Hodes,
Director, National Institute on Aging


New Releases through 2015-04-12

Below is a list of new data collection additions to the ICPSR data archive along with a list of released data collections that have been updated:

New Additions


Note: Additional SAMHDA studies may be available though they are not listed in this email/web site announcement.

SAMHDA 4/23/15 Webinar: Online Analysis of SAMHSA Public-Use Data with Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA)

Online Analysis of SAMHSA Public-Use Data with Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA)
Broadcast time (EDT): Thursday, April 23 at 1:00 pm

SAMHDA invites you to attend a webinar to learn the fundamentals of analyzing SAMHSA public-use data online without specialized software or downloading of data.

Join this webinar to learn the basics of analyzing SAMHSA public-use data with Survey Documentation and Analysis (SDA) on the SAMHDA website. The webinar will provide an overview of SDA's interface, analytic functions, and available help resources. The presenters will demonstrate how to use SDA for variable recoding and computation, crosstabulation, comparison of means, and regression.


Outlook on Life Surveys, 2012 (ICPSR 35348)

The 2012 Outlook Surveys, conducted by GfK Knowledge Networks on behalf of the University of California Irvine, were designed to study political and social attitudes in the United States. The project included two surveys fielded between August and December 2012 using a sample from an Internet panel. A total of 2,294 respondents participated in this study during Wave 1 and 1,601 were interviewed during Wave 2. 

The target population was comprised of four groups: African American/Black males aged 18 and older, African American/Black females aged 18 and older, White/other race males aged 18 and older, and White/other race females aged 18 older, all non-institutionalized and residing in the United States. The survey considered the ways in which social class, ethnicity, marital status, feminism, religiosity, political orientation, sexual behavior, and cultural beliefs or stereotypes influence opinion and behavior. 

Participants were asked an array of questions pertaining to voting preference, party identification, respondent perception of opportunity for success, and views on interracial dating. These variables and questions examine political and social attitudes in the United States. Additional questions addressed issues such as common fate, nationalism, equality, discrimination, and relations with law enforcement. Demographic variables include race ethnicity, age, gender, religious involvement, sexual orientation, citizenship, annual income, and education.


Click here to explore variables


Population Reference Bureau (PRB) Webinar: "Mapping Research Approaches to the Demographic Dividend"

The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) invites users to attend a webinar entitled "Mapping Research Approaches to the Demographic Dividend", which will be held on Thursday, Apr. 23, 2015, from 10:00 AM–11:00 AM (EDT) (GMT-4). Those interested may register here. The webinar will be led by Marlene Lee, Ph.D., program director of Academic Research and Relations at the PRB, and Parfait Eloundou-Enyegue, Ph.D., professor in Development Sociology and Demography at Cornell University. Their discussion will be followed by 10-15 minutes of Q&A.

Joining the online webinar is free. Participants who choose to listen to the audio via telephone are responsible for their own standard long-distance rates.


2015 Integrating Genetics and the Social Sciences Conference

The Institute of Behavioral Science and University of Colorado Population Center are hosting the sixth annual conference entitled "Integrating Genetics and the Social Sciences" in Boulder, Colorado on October 22-23, 2015. From the conference's Call for Papers, the goal of the conference is to showcase behavioral and molecular genetic studies that enhance demographic and social scientific inquiry. Researchers from any of the biological or social sciences are encouraged to participate. Information about the 2014 conference can be found here.

Researchers interested in being considered for this conference should apply here by June 1, 2015.


Scientific Data approves openICPSR as Recommended Data Repository

We're pleased to announce that openICPSR is now an officially recommended repository for Scientific Data.

Scientific Data is an open access journal from Nature Publishing Group that aids discoverability, citation, and reuse of research data. Scientific Data's article types, known as Data Descriptors, are designed to provide curated descriptions of valuable data that may otherwise be under-utilized by the scientific community.

There are a number of reasons why an increasing number of scientists are deciding to take this important extra step:

  • Citable, peer-reviewed credit for their dataset
  • Enhanced discoverability of their work through exposure on Nature.com
  • Publication of valuable datasets that may not be well suited for traditional research journals
  • Recognition to researchers who may not qualify for authorship of traditional articles

Scientific Data welcomes articles from all areas of science. Its open access policy ensures articles are made freely available online and exposed to the widest possible audience. You can see an example article here: The multilayer temporal network of public transport in Great Britain.

As part of your research, it is likely you already have all the information you need to prepare a Data Descriptor. And as openICPSR is now fully recommended by the journal,you won't need to move your data from openICPSR.org to publish in the journal.

To find out more about publishing your article(s), please email Scientific Data. Questions on publishing your social and behavioral science research data with openICPSR should be sent to netmail@icpsr.umich.edu.