Public Policy


The field of human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) generates and applies knowledge of human characteristics for the design of safer, more effective, and more efficient systems.

The mission of HFES is to promote these goals, and foremost among its activities is its support of communication within and beyond the field via journals, newsletters and Web sites, technical groups, press releases, and other customary vehicles.

For most of its history, the field's impact on design was achieved primarily through either the direct participation of HF/E professionals in the design process or the management thereof. In recent years, however, HF/E professionals and HFES have become more active at the public policy level, recognizing that decisions in that arena have a wide-ranging impact on everything from the nation's investment in HF/E research to the practices adopted by entire industries.

HFES now partners with Lewis-Burke Associates LLC to aid in promoting the importance of HF/E science among federal agencies and legislators.

Lewis-Burke has developed a Guide to Federal Outreach & Advocacy for use by HFES members. It includes instructions on how to identify your member of Congress, methods for interacting with policy makers, and procedures for developing an effective message, among other topics.

For information on social science programs available across the federal government, please refer to Lewis-Burke's Overview of Federal Funding Opportunities for Behavioral and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.

To illustrate topics of the sort you are likely to see posted here in the future, a list of announcements relating to public policy, as well as a list of HFES Bulletin titles published since 2012, are provided below.


Senate Commerce Committee Favorably Reports Droegemeier and Morhard Nominations, September 2018

Senate Passes Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bills, September 2018

National Academies Releases Postworkshop Report on Neuroforensics and Emerging Neurotechnologies, August 2018

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill, July 2018

Congress Continues Push for Appropriations Legislation, July 2018

Congress Raises Air Concerns of China’s and Foreign Nations’ Exploitation of U.S. Academic Research, June 2018

White House Holds Summit on Artificial Intelligence, Creates Select Committee on AI, June 2018

NSF and Air Force Sign Letter of Intent to Enable Future Collaborations, May 2018

White House Releases Rescission Package for Congress’ Consideration, May 2018

HFES Sends Letter to Congress Advocating for NASA Research Funding, May 2018

Congress Passes, and President Trump Signs, $1.3 Trillion Appropriations Bill, May 2018

Congressional Interest in Artificial Intelligence Grows, April 2018

DOT Hosts Public Meetings on Autonomous Vehicles, April 2018

Funding Opportunity: NSF Releases Solicitation for Future of Work at the Human - Technology Frontier: Advancing Cognitive and Physical Capabilities (FW-HTF), March 2018

Congress Looks to Pass Higher Education Act Reauthorization, February 2018

Congress Continues to Debate Autonomous Vehicles Legislation in the New Year, January 2018

Congress Passes Tax Reform Bill, January 2018

Tax Reform Bill Heads to Conference, December 2017

House Passes Tax Reform; Senate Bill Advances, November 2017

NSF Releases Solicitation for Cyberlearning for Work at the Human-Technology Frontier Program, October 2017

NIH to Implement New Clinical Trials Policies – Effective January 2018, October 2017

HFES Submits Comments to the Department of Justice on Forensic Science, July 2017 

National Academies Report Evaluates Contributions by Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences, July 2017

FY 2017 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Signed Into Law, June 2017

Trump Administration Releases Full FY 2018 Budget Proposal, June 2017

HFES Signs on to Friends of NIOSH Letter in Support of FY 2018 Funding, June 2017

President Signs NASA Legislation into Law, April 2017

HFES Responds to a National Academies Request for Comments on Social and Behavioral Sciences in National Security, March 2017

Mary "Missy" Cummings Selected for DOT Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation, February 2017

Election Update, November 2016

Government Relations Update: HFES Submits Comments on NSF Strategic Plan, October 2016

Government Relations Update: HFES Hosts Forensic Science Panel at the Annual Meeting, October 2016

Government Relations Update: Senate CST Committee Hearing on the FAST Act, July 2016

HFES Responds to National Institute for General Medical Sciences RFI, July 2016

Congressional Update: HFES Cosponsors Briefing on Autonomous Systems
and the Role of the Human, June 2016

Government Relations Update: Senate Passes FAA Reauthorization Legislation, May 2016

HFES Highlights Importance of NSF Funding at Capitol Hill Exhibition, May 2016

HFES Signs on to Friends of NIOSH Letter in Support of FY 2017 Funding, May 2016

HFES Advocates for Human Factors–Related Research in FY 2017 Appropriations, April 2016

HFES Advocates for Human Factors in FAA Reauthorization Legislation, April

Government Relations Update: HFES Thanks Senate HELP Committee for Improving Health IT Act, April 2016