This report, "Social, behavioral and economic Research in the Federal Context", was developed by the National Science and Technology Council. The social, behavioral and economic (SBE) sciences are focused on human behavior and the actions of groups and organizations at every level. Research information provided by the SBE sciences can provide policy-makers with evidence and information that may help address many current challenge areas in society, including education, health care, the mitigation of terrorism, the prevention of crime, the response to natural disasters, and a better understanding of our rapidly changing global economy. This is a particularly important time to reassess the role and opportunities for the SBE sciences in all of these areas. Recent advances in genomics, neuroscience, computing, imaging and other areas, have combined to provide revolutionary new tools for SBE scientific study. The report is a distillation of the most pressing scientific challenges in the SBE sciences, and their policy implications for Federal agencies. It outlines the specific tools, methodology, and infrastructure that are changing our understanding of how these challenges in the social and behavioral arenas may be addressed. In doing so, it strikes a balance between scientific and policy agendas and identifies new areas of SBE science that can inform policy decisions.