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In this Issue
Current Activities
BOHSI Members in the News
Upcoming Events
Nancy Cooke, Chair
Ellen Bass
Pascale Carayon
Sara Czaja
Francis Durso
Andrew Imada
Edmond Israelski
Elizabeth Loftus
Frederick Oswald
Karl Pister
David Rempel
Emilie Roth
Barbara Silverstein
David Wegman

> Member bios
Poornima Madhavan
Tenee Davenport
  Program Coordinator

> Staff bios
Federal Aviation Administration
Human Factors and Ergonomics
National Aeronautics and Space
National Institute for Occupational
  Safety and Health
Office of Naval Research
U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory
U.S. Army Research Laboratory



BOHSI Seminar: The Memory Factory

Elizabeth Loftus, Distinguished Professor of Social Ecology and Professor of Law and Cognitive Science at University of California, Irvine and new member of the Board on Human-Systems Integration (BOHSI) presented a lecture on “The Memory Factory” at the Spring 2015 bi-annual BOHSI meeting. In this lecture, Loftus presented a fascinating survey of her groundbreaking research on false memory, which has demonstrated that people can develop rich false memories for events that never happened. False memories, like true ones, have consequences for people, affecting later thoughts, intentions, and behaviors. They can be readily planted in the minds of people, particularly those with distinctly superior memories. Loftus’ findings have had implications for the pursuit of justice in legal cases, for the practices of psychotherapists, and have helped the Innocence Project overturn wrongful convictions based on false eyewitness testimony.


BOHSI member Elizabeth Loftus delivering a
TED talk on false memories (TEDGlobal 2013)

BOHSI Seminar: Human Factors in Medical Product Development

Also in conjunction with the Spring 2015 BOHSI meeting, Edmond Israelski, Director of Human Factors at AbbVie and new member of BOHSI, gave a seminar that summarized several years of experience in the interface design issues critical to reducing risk in medical products. Israelski gave an overview of the stages of medical product development, including contextual inquiry, risk analysis, user interface specification, iterative design and usability testing.The lecture concluded with a brainstorm on failure modes and severity of hazards, and a discussion on how to reduce user risk by implementing a systematic design process.  

GAO Comptroller General's Forum on Preparing for Climate-Related Risks

BOHSI Director Poornima Madhavan co-moderated a forum hosted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to help advance the national dialogue on preparing for climate-related risks through (1) exploring actions taken by businesses to build resilience to these risks, (2) discussing how the business and government sectors depend on one another for resilience, and (3) identifying opportunities for businesses and federal agencies to better build resilience. The forum was convened in July 2015 at the GAO headquarters in Washington D.C., and included invited representatives from businesses that have taken actions to manage climate-related risks, federal agencies well-positioned to engage with the private sector on these issues, local governments that have worked with the private sector to build resilience, and subject matter experts. The five topic areas discussed at the forum were: strategic climate planning efforts; federal government as property owner; federal crop and flood insurance programs, technical assistance to state, local and private sector decision makers, and, disaster aid. The forum report is currently under preparation by the GAO.

Current Activities

Planning Meeting on Integration of Social, Behavioral, and Meteorological Research into Products, Practices, and Policies

In July 2015, BOHSI, in collaboration with the Board on Environmental Change and Society and the Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine facilitated a discussion on how the Academies can assist the government and private sector with the generation and application of social science knowledge to the science and practice of meteorology. The meeting was attended by 22 invited subject matter experts representing the government, private sector and academia, in addition to Academies staff. Issues discussed included key challenges in meteorology that social science research can help address; barriers and gaps in knowledge and/or institutional frameworks to more comprehensively integrating social science and meteorological research and practice; and ways in which the government, private sector and academia can collaborate in setting a social science research agenda in this domain. The meeting resulted in an agenda for a future Academies consensus study on integrating social, behavioral and meteorological research into products, practices and policies.

Committee Study on Safety Culture in the Offshore Oil Industry

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the Academies, in collaboration with BOHSI, is currently overseeing a project, Offshore Oil and Industry Safety Culture: A Framing Study, which began in early 2014. This consensus committee study is framing the issues and knowledge gaps that would need to be addressed in subsequent industry and government efforts, research, and future studies to strengthen offshore industry safety culture. In addressing its task, the committee gathered information from safety culture experts, industry, regulators, workers, and the public in order to identify the essential characteristics of a strong safety culture, barriers to achieving a strong safety culture in the offshore industry, and possible ways of overcoming these challenges. The committee conducted its final meeting in May 2015 and is currently drafting its consensus report.

Sponsor: U.S. Department of the Interior

More Information 

Committee Study on Hours of Service and Fatigue in Motor Carrier Safety and Driver Health

A second collaborative project with TRB and the Committee on National Statistics at the Academies involves assessing the state of knowledge about the relationship of hours of driving, hours on duty, and periods of rest to the fatigue experienced by truck and bus drivers and the implications for the safe operation of their vehicles. The committee is currently working on its consensus report that: (1) aggregates the strength of evidence regarding factors such as hours of driving, hours of duty, and periods of rest, that may lead to fatigue and impaired cognitive and physiological performance of motor carrier drivers; (2) assesses the evidence on impaired health outcomes; and (3) identifies priorities for research and modeling to improve knowledge of hours of service and other related factors in driver fatigue, safety, and health. This report is planned for release in late 2015.

Sponsor: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

More Information 



Zacharias Appointed as Air Force Chief Scientist

Greg Zacharias, a former airman who served as an attaché for the space shuttle program, has been appointed as the US Air Force’s top science advisor. Zacharias will serve for two years as the top science adviser for the Air Force secretary and chief of staff in Washington D.C. “It was…an opportunity to try and return something to the Air Force for all the opportunities it's given me since I was a second lieutenant assigned to Johnson Space Center back in the '70s," Zacharias said in a news release announcing the assignment. Prior to this appointment, Zacharias was president and senior principal scientist of technology firm Charles River Analytics in Cambridge, MA. Zacharias served as a member of BOHSI from 1995-2006, when it was the Committee on Human-Systems Integration. In addition, Zacharias has served on five other study committees and panels of the Academies.

More Information  |  Read Greg Zacharias' Biosketch  

Bass Appointed as Head of Drexel University's Department of Information Science

In May 2015, Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) announced the appointment of Ellen Bass as head of the Department of Information Science. Bass shares joint appointments in both CCI and the College of Nursing and Health Professions. She also holds affiliate status in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems within Drexel University. Bass has served as a member of BOHSI since 2013.

Bass has over 30 years of human-centered systems engineering research and design experience in air transportation, biomedical informatics, healthcare, process control and weather related applications. Bass said. “I’m looking forward to working with the faculty and professional staff to educate the next generation of informatics, computer, data, and library scientists and to working with the faculty and students to solve complex problems in a world where people working together are increasing supported by information and information technology.”

More Information  |  Read Ellen Bass' Biosketch

Welcome to New BOHSI Members


In Spring 2015, BOHSI welcomed three new members: Edmond Israelski, Director of Human Factors, AbbVie; Frederick Oswald, Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Rice University; and, Emilie Roth, Owner and Principal Scientist, Roth Cognitive Engineering. All three members bring a rich range of training and experience to BOHSI. We are delighted to have you on board!

Read new member's biosketches:

Edmond Israelski | Frederick Oswald | Emilie Roth

In Memoriam: Raja Parasuraman

Raja Parasuraman, former Chair of BOHSI (2001-2005) and former member of the Committee on Human-Systems Integration (1999-2001; 2006-2007), died on March 22nd, 2015, at age 64. Among his many accomplishments, Parasuraman held two university appointments, Professor of Psychology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. from 1982 to 2004 and then University Professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, from 2004 until his death. He also served as the Director of the Human Factors and Applied Cognition Program in the Department of Psychology as well as the Director of the Center of Excellence in Neuroergonomics, Technology, and Cognition, a field he was instrumental in pioneering, during his time at George Mason University. Parasuraman was internationally recognized for his research in human factors and cognitive neuroscience. His research accomplishments were recognized by his election as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES). In 2004, he received the Franklin Taylor Award for Lifetime Achievement in Engineering Psychology from APA. In recognition of his teaching contributions, he received the Paul Fitts Education Award from HFES in 2006. Parasuraman had a brilliant mind, a kind heart, generous nature, and a gentle spirit. He leaves behind a rich legacy and will remain forever in our hearts.



BOHSI Seminar: Mixed Methods Research and Cognitive Skills Training for Hazard Recognition and Risk Perception

In Fall 2015, BOHSI will conduct a two-day seminar at the NIOSH Office of Mine Safety and Health Research in Pittsburgh, PA, as part of a series of interactions with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) that has tasked BOHSI with conducting expert reviews of NIOSH’s scientific questions and programs critical to its mission. The topics to be covered will be the conduct and application of mixed methods research, and cognitive skills training for hazard recognition and risk perception. The seminar will be open to NIOSH staff and others involved in NIOSH’s mine safety program.

This seminar will build on earlier work the Academies has done for NIOSH. From mid-2005 until the end of 2008, the Academies conducted evaluation studies of eight NIOSH programs to assess the impact and relevance of each program and to identify emerging issues. The programs reviewed were: Hearing Loss Research Program; Mining Research Program; Respiratory Disease Research Program; Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research Program; Traumatic Injuries Research Program; Personal Protective Technology Research Program; Construction Research Program; and, Health Hazard Evaluation Program. In 
addition, NIOSH charged the Academies with developing a framework that could guide the reviews (see the 2009 report Evaluating Occupational Health and Safety Research Programs.  That panel was chaired by BOHSI member David Wegman, of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. In 2013, BOHSI released a prominent consensus report on Improving Self-Escape from Underground Coal Mines, which examined the interaction of people, tasks, equipment and technology involved in the process of self-escape from coal mines.

BOHSI Panel: Applying Human-Systems Integration to Cyber Security

As part of the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, BOHSI will conduct a panel discussion on Cyber Security on Tuesday, October 27th 2015, from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. A panel of BOHSI members and topical experts will discuss the application of human-systems integration (HSI) to cyber security, an issue of growing concern given the recent incidence of cyber-attacks on high-profile targets. Panelists include BOHSI Director Poornima Madhavan, BOHSI Chair Nancy Cooke, BOHSI members Ellen Bass and Emilie Roth, and Joachim Meyer, of Tel Aviv University.

The focus of the panel will be on identifying HSI issues related to cyber security and will include issues relevant to decision support systems for cyber analysts, interventions for the general public, and application of human factors to the design of alerting and authentication methods. 

More Information about the Conference

Other Upcoming Events

The BOSHI Fall 2015 bi-annual board meeting will be held September 17-18, 2015 in Washington, DC.  

Please see our upcoming events page for further details as they are posted.  

BOHSI Upcoming Meeting Information
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