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About Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences (SBE)

There is consensus among economists and policy researchers that public investments in science and engineering yield very high annual rates of return to society. Furthermore, the activities supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) - fundamental research and education based at academic institutions - are generally viewed as among the most productive of all Federal investments.

The Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences at NSF (SBE) supports the research that underlies such findings, as well as other research that builds fundamental knowledge of human behavior, interaction, and social and economic systems, organizations and institutions. It does this through its Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS), Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES), and SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (SMA).

To improve understanding of science and engineering, SBE provides tools for tracking the human and institutional resources vital to building the nation's science and engineering infrastructure. It does this through its National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), which is the nation's primary source of data on the science and engineering enterprise.