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May 22, 2018

Statement by the Presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine on Preventing Sexual Harassment


Sexual harassment in science, engineering, and medicine diminishes the integrity of the U.S. research enterprise. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine take this issue very seriously. We have long been committed to providing a safe workplace free of harassment and intimidation, and our sexual harassment policy applies to anyone who is involved in the work of the Academies, including staff, volunteers, and members of our three Academies. We want to be sure that we are doing everything possible to prevent sexual harassment, to instill a culture of inclusion and respect, and to reinforce that harassment is not tolerated.

The National Academies’ Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine has a long history of advocating for increased participation and well-being of women in these disciplines, and in 2016, the committee initiated a study on sexual harassment in academia. We are pleased that the resulting report, Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, will be released next month. The report’s evidence-based recommendations are intended to be a guide for academic institutions and professional societies, and will be used to inform a re-examination of our policies and procedures as well.

We recognize that the scientific, engineering, and medical communities and the wider public place much trust in us to advise the nation on a wide range of matters, and we must always ensure that we are deserving of that trust. As a result, the leadership Councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine have begun a dialogue about the standards of professional conduct for membership in our three Academies.

Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Sciences

C. D. Mote, Jr.
President, National Academy of Engineering

Victor J. Dzau

President, National Academy of Medicine


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May 17, 2018

G7 Science Academies Release Statements


G7 Science Academies Release Statements In advance of the G7 Summit to be held in La Malbaie, Canada, on June 8 and 9, 2018, the national science academies of the G7 nations released joint statements to inform discussions at the summit. One statement calls for actions to secure a digital future, while the other proposes international collaboration on basic Arctic research.


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May 15, 2018

EngineerGirl Announces 2018 "Community Infrastructure" Essay Contest Winners


EngineerGirl Announces 2018 Essay Contest WinnersThe National Academy of Engineering today announced the winners of its 2018 EngineerGirl essay competition. This year's contest asked students in grades 3 to 12 to pick an infrastructure system in their community and write about how the system could be improved. The infrastructure systems were divided into categories: transportation, water treatment, energy, public safety, communication, financial security, health care, and recreation. Read More


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May 14, 2018

NAE Elects Chair, Vice President, and Four Councillors


NAE Elects Chair, Vice President, and Four Councillors The National Academy of Engineering has re-elected Gordon R. England, chairman of PFP Cybersecurity, to serve a two-year term as the NAE's chair. The NAE chair works with the NAE president to promote the Academy and its policies to the engineering community and the public. Also re-elected to serve a four-year term as the NAE's vice president is Corale L. Brierley, principal of Brierley Consultancy LLC.

Re-elected to a second term as councillor is John L. Anderson, Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, and newly elected to three-year terms as councillors are Nadine Aubry, dean of engineering and University Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University; Wesley L. Harris, Charles Stark Draper Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Edward D. Lazowska, Bill & Melinda Gates Chair of the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington.

All terms begin July 1, 2018. Read More


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May 11, 2018

New Report Says Programs and Services for Children With Disabilities Should Coordinate Care Across Service Sectors, Focus on Long-Term Goals


©iStock/RobinOlimbWhile a variety of services and programs exist to support the needs of children with disabilities and their families, a focus on achieving specific near- and long-term goals that help prepare for adulthood and coordination of care within and across service sectors are integral to encouraging healthy growth and development, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report examined federal, state, and local programs and services in a range of areas, such as health care, special education, transition to adulthood, vocational rehabilitation, and social needs care. Read More


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May 8, 2018

Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing Announced


second international summit on human genome editingThe Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing will take place Nov. 27-29 in Hong Kong. The three-day summit will be co-hosted by the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong, the Royal Society of London, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine. The summit will be held in the Lee Shau Kee Lecture Centre at the University of Hong Kong. Read More


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May 7, 2018

Report Urges Development of Approaches that Integrate STEMM Fields with Arts and Humanities


Integrating the Humanities and Arts with STEMMAn emerging body of evidence suggests that integrating STEMM fields (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine) with the humanities and arts in higher education is associated with positive learning outcomes that may help students enter the workforce, live enriched lives, and become active and informed citizens, says a new report from the Academies. Colleges and universities should consider developing, implementing, and evaluating programs that integrate these fields. Read More


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May 2, 2018

New Report Recommends Academic Institutions Should Prepare Undergraduates for a Data-Driven Workplace


©iStock/monkeybusinessimagesAll U.S. undergraduate students should develop a basic understanding of data science to prepare them adequately for the workforce, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report examines the importance and benefits of postsecondary data science education and recommends offering a range of educational pathways, attracting students with varied backgrounds to the discipline, and embedding ethics and privacy into the curriculum. Read More


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May 1, 2018

Academy Elects New Members, Foreign Associates


Academy Elects New Members, Foreign Associates 2018The National Academy of Sciences elected 84 new members and 21 foreign associates in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election to the Academy is widely regarded as one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive. Read More


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April 30, 2018

NAS Honors Award Winners


NAS Honors Award WinnersDuring a ceremony at its 155th annual meeting, the National Academy of Sciences presented the 2018 Public Welfare Medal to physician, anthropologist, and humanitarian Paul Farmer for "pioneering enduring, community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings in the U.S. and other countries." NAS also honored 19 other individuals with awards for their outstanding scientific achievements.


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April 27, 2018

NAS Annual Meeting Begins


NAS Annual Meeting 2018The National Academy of Sciences will hold its 155th annual meeting April 28 to May 1. During the meeting, the Academy will elect new members, induct members elected in 2017, and present its 2018 awards recognizing excellence in research or public service. Selected presentations and ceremonies will be video webcast. Follow the annual meeting activities on Twitter @theNASciences and join the annual meeting conversation #NAS155.


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April 19, 2018

NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents Honor American 2017 Nobel Laureates


NAS President Marcia McNutt, NAE President C. D. Mote, Jr., and NAM President Victor J. Dzau honored U.S. 2017 Nobel Prize recipients Barry Barish, Joachim Frank, Michael Rosbash, Kip Thorne, and Michael Young at a reception on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, April 18. U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Christopher Coons (D-Del.) co-hosted the event. The ceremony recognized the scientists for their significant contributions to their fields as well as to the advancement of human knowledge.

2017 Nobelists - crop
 

(left to right) V. Dzau, B. Barish (Nobel laureate, NAS member), Sen. L. Alexander (R-Tenn.), M. McNutt, Sen. C. Coons (D-Del.), M. Young (Nobel laureate, NAS member), J. Frank (Nobel laureate, NAS member), M. Rosbash (Nobel laureate, NAS member), K. Thorne (Nobel laureate, NAS member), Rep. B. Foster (D-Ill.), and C. D. Mote Jr. (photo by Kevin Allen)


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April 18, 2018

Gulf Research Program Awards Over $340,000 to Assist Scientific Research Impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma


The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced 11 grant awards totaling $341,283 to assist in the recovery of Gulf Coast scientific research efforts impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. These awards are the result of the first of two fast-track grant cycles for Scientific Research Disaster Recovery Grants announced last November to help with repair, replacement, or recovery of equipment, data, or other research materials damaged or lost as a result of the hurricanes and their aftermaths. Read More


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April 12, 2018

Reforms Needed to Help Launch Careers of Young Biomedical and Behavioral Scientists


©iStock/sanjeriA new report from the National Academies calls for a series of substantial reforms to strengthen the U.S. biomedical research system for the next generation of scientists. The congressionally requested report includes recommendations to open career paths inside and outside of academia for early career scientists, broaden responsibility among public and private stakeholders for the future of the research ecosystem, and increase policy experimentation and investment in that research ecosystem, so that scientists are empowered to imagine new and innovative treatments for diseases and improvements to health and well-being. Read More


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April 11, 2018

EPA's IRIS Program Has Made Substantial Progress, Says New Report


©iStock/SkyhoboThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Risk Information System program has made "substantial progress" in implementing recommendations outlined in past reports by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, improving the program's overall scientific and technical performance, says a new Academies report. The program, which is used to assess the hazards posed by environmental contaminants, remains a work in progress and should continue to evolve as it adapts and applies new scientific practices and knowledge, the report says. Read More


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April 10, 2018

Single Breakthrough Discovery for Citrus Greening Disease in Florida Unlikely, Says New Report; Calls for a Master Plan to Coordinate Research Efforts and Management


Photo courtesy USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection ServiceA single breakthrough discovery for managing citrus greening in Florida in the future is unlikely, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The committee that wrote the report called for a systems approach to prioritize research on the disease and strategically distribute resources for research to effectively manage the disease, which is the most serious threat for citrus growers worldwide. Read More


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March 27, 2018

New Report Recommends a Nationwide Effort to Better Estimate Methane Emissions


©iStock/lanolanThe U.S. should take bold steps to improve measurement, monitoring, and inventories of methane emissions caused by human activities, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Better data on methane — a greenhouse gas that contributes to air pollution and threatens public and worker safety — would help inform decisions related to climate, economics, and human health. Read More


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March 21, 2018

New Report Considers Remedies for Important Knowledge Gaps in Current Crime Statistics


A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reviews the U.S. crime statistics system, and considers the appropriate governance structure to set a policy for the system as a whole, establish the process for updating and maintain the underlying classifications of crime, provide a voice for the range of crime data stakeholders, and facilitate ongoing methodological research and development. Read More


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March 20, 2018

Statement by NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents on Effort to Counter Online Misinformation


©iStock/monkeybusinessimagesWe are pleased to announce that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are exploring ways to mobilize our expertise to counter misinformation on the web related to science, engineering, and health. Part of the mission of the National Academies has always been to help ensure that public discourse is informed by the best available evidence. To that end, we are convening Academy members to discuss ways by which we could help verify the integrity and accuracy of content in these fields in a manner that is consistent with our standards for objective, trustworthy, evidence-based information; this exploratory phase will be supported by a grant from Google. We are excited to pursue an effort that aligns with our fundamental principles and that we believe is critically important at a time when misinformation is a threat to sound decision-making and an informed citizenry.

Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Sciences

C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr.
President, National Academy of Engineering

Victor J. Dzau
President, National Academy of Medicine


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March 16, 2018

The Quality of Abortion Care Depends on Where a Woman Lives, Says One of Most Comprehensive Reviews of Research on Safety and Quality of Abortion Care in the U.S.


©iStock/PhotoByloveWhile legal abortions in the U.S. are safe, the likelihood that women will receive the type of abortion services that best meet their needs varies considerably depending on where they live, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. In addition, the report notes, the vast majority of abortions can be provided safely in office-based settings.

The committee that wrote the report examined the scientific evidence on the safety and quality of the four abortion methods used in the U.S. -- medication, aspiration, dilation and evacuation (D&E), and induction. It assessed quality of care based on whether it is safe, effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient, and equitable according to well-established standards. Most abortions in the U.S. are performed early in pregnancy; in 2014, 90 percent occurred by 12 weeks of gestation. Medication and aspiration abortions are the most common methods and, together, account for about 90 percent of all abortions. Serious complications from abortion are rare regardless of the method, and safety and quality are enhanced when the abortion is performed as early in pregnancy as possible. Read More


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March 12, 2018

National Academies Review of the Draft Fourth National Climate Assessment and Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report


©iStock/MarcelCThe U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review the draft Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) – a congressionally mandated report that evaluates the state of climate science and the broad range of impacts of climate change in the United States every four years – and the draft Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2) – a report that feeds into the overall assessment process developed by the USGCRP. The final NCA4 and SOCCR2 reports are anticipated to be released by USGCRP later this year. The National Academies released today evaluations of these two draft reports. Read More


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March 9, 2018

Report Identifies Options for Lowering Risk of Failure of Undersea Bolts on Offshore Oil and Natural Gas Rigs


©iStock/mikeukA new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies strategies for improving the reliability of bolts used in offshore oil and gas drilling rigs, thereby reducing the risk that a bolt failure could cause a spill of oil, drilling fluids, or natural gas into the environment. Although the oil and gas industry has made important advances in improving the reliability of bolts, there are multiple opportunities for the industry and the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to work together to further improve reliability and safety culture, the report says. Read More


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March 6, 2018

Unclassified Version of New Report Predicts Small Drone Threats to Infantry Units, Urges Development of Countermeasures


©iStock/gorodenkoffThe emergence of inexpensive small unmanned aircraft systems (sUASs) that operate without a human pilot, commonly known as drones, has led to adversarial groups threatening deployed U.S. forces, especially infantry units. Although the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Defense are developing tactics and systems to counter single sUASs, a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine emphasizes the need for developing countermeasures against multiple sUASs — organized in coordinated groups, swarms, and collaborative groups — which could be used much sooner than the Army anticipates. The committee that conducted the study developed a classified report that details its findings and recommendations, along with an unclassified public version that discusses key background issues presented in this news release. Read More


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March 1, 2018

New Report Examines Factors Used in Social Security's Process for Determining Disability in Adults


©iStock/SuwanPhotoA new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine examines to what extent and in which ways health care utilization -- such as in-patient hospitalizations, emergency department use, and hospital readmission -- reflects disease severity, disability, and ability to perform gainful activity. The committee that conducted the study was unable to find an association between health care utilization and disease severity as it relates to the Social Security Administration's determination of severe impairment -- an impairment or combination of impairments severe enough to prevent a person from performing any gainful activity regardless of age, education, or work experience. Read More


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Feb. 27, 2018

NAS President Co-Authors PNAS Perspective


Read a new Perspective on promoting transparency in scientific authorship co-authored by NAS President Marcia McNutt. Appearing in the latest issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the piece offers suggestions for improving how author contributions are attributed in scientific publications.


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Feb. 22, 2018

Financial Structure of Early Childhood Education Requires Overhaul to Make It Accessible and Affordable for All Families and to Strengthen the Workforce in This Field


©iStock/monkeybusinessimagesHigh-quality early care and education (ECE) is critical to positive child development and has the potential to generate economic returns, but the current financing structure of ECE leaves many children without access to high-quality services and does little to strengthen the ECE workforce, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Transforming the accessibility, affordability, and quality of ECE provided outside the child's home will require phased implementation, amounting to at least an estimated $140 billion annually from the public and private (philanthropy, employers, and families) sectors in the final phase of implementation. The report says an ideal financing structure should support high standards; a highly qualified workforce; and equitable access for families from all socio-economic, racial, ethnic, ability, and geographic backgrounds. Read More


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Feb. 15, 2018

New Report Proposes Framework for Policymakers to Address Debate Over Encryption


©iStock/matejmoA new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine proposes a framework for evaluating proposals to provide authorized government agencies with access to unencrypted versions of encrypted communications and other data. The framework is the product of an 18-month study led by a diverse array of leaders from law enforcement, computer science, civil liberties, law, and other disciplines. Read More 


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Feb. 15, 2018

National Academies Announce Initiative on Environmental Health, Appoint Advisory Committee


©iStock/AleksandarNakicThe National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are launching an Academies-wide initiative to transform how the nation addresses the complex issues associated with environmental health — a field that examines how the environment affects human health. The initiative will bring together expertise across the institution, including environmental, medical, and social science, energy, and engineering, and involve leaders from government, corporate, and academic entities to explore the latest science, identify promising solutions, and create innovative pathways toward improving environmental health. Read More


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Feb. 14, 2018

NAS Announces Launch of the LabX Public Engagement Program


In keeping with its mission to communicate the nature, values, and judgments of science to the public, the National Academy of Sciences is launching LabX, a public engagement initiative that will promote evidence-based decision-making on issues that have significant relevance to communities and in which science is an important factor. The new program will kick off with an immersive event on March 7, organized in conjunction with Museum Hack and the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences.

"In today's world where the boundary between science and science fiction is hard to discern, it is too easy to forget the very real way that science and technology are — and should be — applied to make meaningful differences in our lives," said National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt. "LabX engages citizens in the application of science to community decision-making to promote resilience, improve safety and security, and achieve any number of other desirable outcomes." Read More


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Feb. 7, 2018

NAE Elects 83 Members and 16 Foreign Members


NAE Elects New MembersThe National Academy of Engineering has elected 83 new members and 16 foreign members, announced NAE President C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., today. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,293 and the number of foreign members to 262. Election to the Academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. A list of the newly elected members and foreign members is available, with their primary affiliations at the time of election and a brief statement of their principal engineering accomplishments.


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Jan. 31, 2018

VA Provides Mental Health Care to Veterans of Recent Iraq and Afghanistan Wars of Comparable or Superior Quality to Other Providers, Yet Substantial Unmet Need Remains


©asiseeit/iStock/Getty ImagesWhile the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides mental health care of comparable or superior quality to care provided in private and non-VA public sectors, accessibility and quality of services vary across the VA health system, leaving a substantial unmet need for mental health services among veterans of the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

A survey of these veterans developed and fielded by the committee that conducted the study found that approximately half of those who may have a need for mental health care do not use VA or non-VA services, indicating that a large proportion of veterans do not receive any treatment for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorder, or depression. In addition, more than half of veterans who screened positive in the survey for having a mental health care need do not perceive a need for mental health services. Read More


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Jan. 24, 2018

Gulf Research Program Awards $5.3 Million to Enhance Environmental Restoration Outcomes and Improve Oil Spill Risk Assessment


The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced grants totaling $5.3 million awarded for seven new projects. Five of the projects involve developing or testing new technologies or methods for monitoring or evaluating environmental restoration projects to improve future restoration efforts. The remaining two projects focus on improving the information available to decision-makers for evaluating public health risks resulting from oil spills. Read More


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Jan. 23, 2018

One of the Most Comprehensive Studies on Health Effects of E-Cigarettes Finds That Using E-Cigarettes May Lead Youth to Start Smoking, Adults to Stop Smoking


© Paolo_Toffanin/iStock/Getty ImagesEvidence suggests that while e-cigarettes are not without health risks, they are likely to be far less harmful than conventional cigarettes, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. They contain fewer numbers and lower levels of toxic substances than conventional cigarettes, and using e-cigarettes may help adults who smoke conventional cigarettes quit smoking. However, their long-term health effects are not yet clear. Among youth -- who use e-cigarettes at higher rates than adults do -- there is substantial evidence that e-cigarette use increases the risk of transitioning to smoking conventional cigarettes. Although the research base is limited given the relatively short time e-cigarettes have been used, the committee that conducted the study identified and examined over 800 peer-reviewed scientific studies, reaching dozens of conclusions about a range of health impacts. Read More 


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Jan. 22, 2018

Paul Farmer to Receive National Academy of Sciences' Public Welfare Medal


Public Welfare MedalThe National Academy of Sciences is presenting its 2018 Public Welfare Medal to physician, anthropologist, and humanitarian Paul Farmer for "pioneering enduring, community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings in the U.S. and other countries." The medal is the Academy's most prestigious award, established in 1914 and presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. Read More


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Jan. 18, 2018

Integration of a Wide Range of Safety Systems Is Needed to Develop an In-Time Aviation Safety Management System, New Report Says


©wichitS/iStock/Getty ImagesA comprehensive aviation safety system as envisioned by NASA would require integration of a wide range of systems and practices, including building an in-time aviation safety management system (IASMS) that could detect and mitigate high-priority safety issues as they emerge and before they become hazards, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. An IASMS could continuously monitor the national airspace system, assess the data that it has collected, and then either recommend or initiate safety assurance actions as necessary. Read More


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Jan. 17, 2018

New Report Calls for Lowering Blood Alcohol Concentration Levels for Driving, Increasing Federal and State Alcohol Taxes, Increasing Enforcement, Among Other Recommendations


Reducing Alcohol-Impaired Driving FatalitiesDespite progress in recent decades, more than 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities occur each year in the U.S. To address this persistent problem, stakeholders -- from transportation systems to alcohol retailers to law enforcement -- should work together to implement policies and systems to eliminate these preventable deaths, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report recommended a number of actions, such as lowering state laws criminalizing alcohol-impaired driving from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent blood alcohol concentration, increasing alcohol taxes significantly, strengthening policies to prevent illegal alcohol sales to people under 21 and to already-intoxicated adults, enacting all-offender ignition interlock laws, and providing effective treatment for offenders when needed. Read More


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Jan. 17, 2018

Academy Honors 19 for Major Contributions to Science


Academy Honors 19 for Major Contributions to Science The National Academy of Sciences will honor 19 individuals with awards in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, and medical sciences. Read More


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Jan. 16, 2018

Statement by NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents on the Political Review of Scientific Proposals


The highest standards of scientific integrity, transparency, and accountability are critical to maintaining public confidence in our nation’s research enterprise and in the wise use of the public investment in research. The public expects policymakers and agencies to base those investments on independent advice and assessment from unbiased experts without political interference. For these reasons, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine view any political review of scientific proposals as inappropriate, as it gives the appearance of political interference in science. At the same time, we recognize the prerogative of federal agencies to align funding programs with their mission priorities in their calls for proposals and in their requests that reviewers assess the relevance of proposals to agency priorities as one of the criteria in proposal evaluation.

Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Sciences

C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr.
President, National Academy of Engineering

Victor J. Dzau
President, National Academy of Medicine


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Jan. 16, 2018

Prasad Raghavendra, David Steurer to Receive Inaugural Michael and Sheila Held Prize From the National Academy of Sciences


$100,000 Prize Goes to Pair of Computer ScientistsThe National Academy of Sciences will award the first annual Michael and Sheila Held Prize to Prasad Raghavendra, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, and David Steurer, professor of theoretical computer science at ETH Zurich. The pair are receiving the $100,000 prize "for a body of work which revolutionizes our understanding of optimization and complexity" in computer science. The prize honors outstanding, innovative, creative, and influential research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory. Read More


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Jan. 10, 2018

Review of NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks: 2017 Letter Report


NASA asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review more than 30 publicly available evidence reports on human health risks for long-duration and exploration space flight. A new letter report -- the fifth and final in the series -- examines five NASA evidence reports on astronauts’ risk of bone fracture due to spaceflight-induced changes to bone, early onset osteoporosis due to spaceflight, cardiac rhythm problems during spaceflight, renal stone formation, and adverse health outcomes and decreases in performance due to in-flight medical conditions.


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Jan. 9, 2018

NIOSH, BLS, and OSHA Should Strengthen Coordination for Occupational Injury, Illness, and Exposure Surveillance


©GregorBister/iStock/Getty ImagesThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health should lead a collaborative effort with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the states to establish and strengthen regional occupational safety and health surveillance programs, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The nation needs a robust occupational safety and health surveillance system to provide critical information about the relationships between work and injuries and illnesses in order to inform policy development, guide educational and regulatory activities, develop safer technologies, and enable research and prevention strategies that serve and protect all workers. A smarter surveillance system will minimize the undercounting of occupational injuries and illnesses by making strategic use of different datasets and surveys, and will maximize appropriate use of technologies. Read More


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Jan. 9, 2018

National Academies Announce Initiative on Climate Communication; Appoints Advisory Committee


©filo/iStock/Getty ImagesThe National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are launching a major initiative to more effectively enable their extensive body of work on climate science, impacts, and response options to inform the public and decision-makers.

"The National Academies have a vast library of authoritative information to help everyone from savvy citizens to responsible decision-makers understand, prepare, and respond to climate change," said Marcia McNutt, president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. "This initiative facilitates access to that storehouse to help protect the many sectors of human investment from unnecessary surprises."


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Jan. 5, 2018

Reducing Climate Uncertainty, Improving Weather Forecasts, and Understanding Sea-Level Rise Are Among Top Science Priorities for Space-Based Earth Observation Over Next Decade


©AleksandarGeorgiev/iStock/Getty ImagesNASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Geological Survey should implement a coordinated approach for their space-based environmental observations to further advance Earth science and applications for the next decade, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This approach should be based on key scientific questions in areas such as reducing climate uncertainty, improving weather and air quality forecasts, predicting geological hazards, and understanding sea-level rise. The report also recommends building a robust, resilient, and balanced U.S. program of Earth observations from space that will enable the agencies to strategically advance the science and applications with constrained resources. Read More


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Jan. 4, 2018

2018 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education Awarded to Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University's School of Medicine


Paul G. Yock The National Academy of Engineering announced today that the 2018 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education will be awarded to Paul G. Yock of Stanford University "for the development and global dissemination of Biodesign, a biomedical technology program creating leaders and innovations that benefit patients." The $500,000 annual award recognizes new methods and concepts in higher education aimed at developing engineering leaders. Read More


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Jan. 3, 2018

New Report Calls for Comprehensive Research Campaign to Better Understand, Predict Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current System


Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current SystemA new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for an international, multi-institutional comprehensive campaign of research, observation, and analysis activities that would help improve understanding and prediction of the Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current System (LCS). The position, strength, and structure of the LCS -- the dominant ocean circulation feature in the Gulf -- has major implications for oil and gas operations, hurricane intensity, coastal ecosystems, oil spill response, the fishing industry, tourism, and the region's economy. Read More


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Jan. 3, 2018

Computer Science Pioneer to Receive the 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering


Stroustrup to Receive NAE's 2018 Draper PrizeThe National Academy of Engineering announced today that the 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering will be awarded to Bjarne Stroustrup "for conceptualizing and developing the C++ programming language." The $500,000 annual award is given to engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society. Read More


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Dec. 21, 2017

Withdrawal from ITER Could Isolate U.S. Scientists from International Effort on Fusion Energy, New Report Says


U.S. Burning Plasma Research StrategyA decision by the U.S. to withdraw from the ITER project – a large international burning plasma experiment – could isolate scientists from the international effort and require a new domestic approach to study fusion, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This report is the first in a two-phase study examining the state and potential of magnetic fusion research in the U.S. and providing guidance on a long-term strategy for the field.


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Dec. 21, 2017

Statement on Stop-Work Order for National Academies Study on the Department of the Interior's Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Inspection Program


The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has ordered the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to suspend all work on a study to review and update the bureau’s offshore oil and gas operations inspection program to enhance safety. The stop-work order, dated Dec. 7, says that within 90 days the stop-work order will either be lifted and work on the study can resume, or the contract to perform the study will be terminated. The committee conducting the study held its first and only meeting (to date) in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 26-27. Future meetings planned to be held in the Gulf of Mexico region have been put on hold. The National Academies are grateful to the committee members for their service and disappointed that their important study has been stopped. Read More


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Dec. 18, 2017

Statement by NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents on Report of Banned Words at CDC


We are concerned deeply by a report that staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were instructed not to use certain words in budget documents. As leaders of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, we are especially stunned that “evidence-based” and “science-based” are reportedly among the barred terms. Evidence-based advice to inform policymakers and public discourse has been the foundation of National Academies’ counsel since the creation of the NAS more than 150 years ago by Abraham Lincoln. Evidence-based advice drove American prosperity, health, and national security throughout the 20th century, and continues to do so today.

If it is true that the terms “evidence-based” and “science-based” are being censored, it will have a chilling effect on U.S. researchers – who may question whether their advice is still welcome – as well as on the quality of the counsel actually rendered to government. Other supposedly banned words – “diversity,” “entitlement,” “fetus,” “transgender,” and “vulnerable” – are equally important to the CDC research portfolio, and banning them is turning our backs to today’s reality. Such a directive would be unprecedented and contrary to the spirit of scientific integrity that all federal departments embrace. Although the guidance to CDC staff to not use certain words reportedly pertained to budget documents, it also sends a dangerous message that CDC’s broader research and public health mission could be unduly politicized as well.

Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Sciences

C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr.
President, National Academy of Engineering

Victor J. Dzau
President, National Academy of Medicine


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Dec. 15, 2017

NASA Makes Progress Toward Space Exploration Science Priorities Outlined in 2011 Decadal Survey, Should Develop U.S. Strategy for International Space Station Beyond 2024


NASA photoAlthough NASA has made progress toward the overall space exploration science priorities recommended in a 2011 decadal survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the space agency should raise the priority of scientific research that addresses the risks and unknowns of human space exploration. This heightened priority is particularly important given the limited remaining lifetime of the International Space Station (ISS) – the most significant destination for microgravity research – and because the U.S. currently does not have a strategy for the station beyond 2024, says a new midterm assessment report by the National Academies. Read More


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Dec. 13, 2017

Report Offers Guidance on How to Monitor the Quality of STEM Undergraduate Education


©amriphoto/iStock/Getty ImagesMonitoring the quality and impact of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education will require the collection of new national data on changing student demographics, instructors' use of evidence-based teaching approaches, student transfer patterns, and other dimensions of STEM education, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read More


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Dec. 13, 2017

Members in the News


2017 class of National Academy of Inventors FellowsForty-three members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – including National Academy of Engineering President C. D. Mote, Jr. – have been elected to the 2017 class of National Academy of Inventors Fellows. According to the National Academy of Inventors, which is not affiliated with the National Academies, “election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional accolade bestowed to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.


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Dec. 13, 2017

National Academies' Gulf Research Program Launches New Funding Opportunity to Advance Scientific and Environmental Literacy


The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced a new opportunity for nonprofit, state, and local entities to apply for grant funding to advance the scientific and environmental literacy and problem-solving skills of children and youth in the K-12 grade range.


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Dec. 8, 2017

Report Offers Framework to Guide Decisions About Spirit Lake and Toutle River System at Mount St. Helens; Inclusive Decision-Making Process Is Needed


©milehightraveler/iStock/Getty ImagesA new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a framework to guide federal, tribal, state and local agencies, community groups, and other interested and affected parties in making decisions about the Spirit Lake and Toutle River system, near Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington state. The process should include broader participation by groups and parties whose safety, livelihoods, and quality of life are affected by decisions about the lake and river system, the report says. Read More


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Dec. 7, 2017

National Academies' Gulf Research Program Awards $10.8 Million to Address Systemic Risk in Offshore Oil and Gas Operations


The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced awards for six new projects totaling $10.8 million. All six projects involve research to develop new technologies, processes, or procedures that could result in improved understanding and management of systemic risk in offshore oil and gas operations. Read More


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Dec. 6, 2017

Guidance for Academies on Sustainable Development Goals


The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whose realization will require expertise from many sectors, including science, engineering, and medicine. Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals: A Guide for Merit-Based Academies, a new publication from the InterAcademy Partnership, explains why and how academies around the globe can support the Sustainable Development Goals – for example, by providing advice to governments about implementing the goals, and by monitoring and evaluating progress toward the goals. Learn More


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Dec. 6, 2017

U.S. Has Lost Its Dominance in Highly Intense, Ultrafast Laser Technology to Europe and Asia, New Report Says


©ivanstar/iStock/Getty ImagesA new National Academies report offers a roadmap that would improve the nation's position in high-intensity laser science and technology, which has broad applications in manufacturing, medicine, and national security. Currently, 80 percent to 90 percent of the high-intensity laser systems are overseas, and all of the highest power research lasers currently in construction or already built are overseas as well. Some of the report's recommendations are for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to create a broad network to support science, applications, and technology of these lasers, as well as for DOE to plan for at least one large-scale, open-access high-intensity laser facility that leverages other major science infrastructures in the DOE complex. Read More


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Dec. 4, 2017

Academy Members Receive Breakthrough Prizes


NAS members Joanne Chory and Peter Walter as well as Don W. Cleveland, a member of both NAS and NAM, are among those awarded the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. And NAS members Charles L. Bennett, Lyman Page Jr., and David N. Spergel are among recipients of this year's Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The prizes, known as the "Oscars of science," each come with a $3 million award.


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Dec. 4, 2017

Gulf Research Program Accepting Applications for 2018 Fellowships


The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is now accepting applications for its Early-Career Research Fellowships and Science Policy Fellowships for 2018. Both fellowship programs are designed to help early-career scientists hone their skills and build leadership experience while conducting research or working on issues relevant to the GRP’s focus on advancing science, practice, and capacity at the intersections of human health, environmental resources, and offshore energy safety.


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Nov. 30, 2017

Consumer Access to Affordable Medicines Is a Public Health Imperative, Says New Report; Government Negotiation of Drug Prices, Prevention of 'Pay-for-Delay' Agreements, and Increased Financial Transparency Among Recommendations


©mangpor_2004/iStock/Getty ImagesConsumer access to effective and affordable medicines is an imperative for public health, social equity, and economic development, but this need is not being served adequately by the biopharmaceutical sector, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report offers eight recommendations with 27 actions for their implementation to improve the affordability of prescription drugs without discouraging the development of new and more effective drugs for the future.

Over the past several decades, the biopharmaceutical sector in the United States has been successful in developing and delivering effective drugs for improving health and fighting disease, and many medical conditions that were long deemed untreatable can now be cured or managed effectively. However, high and increasing costs of prescription drugs coupled with the broader trends in overall medical expenditures, which now equals 18 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, are unsustainable to society as a whole. Read More


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Nov. 14, 2017

New Report Calls for Greater Oversight of Precursor Chemicals Sold at the Retail Level to Reduce Threats from Improvised Explosive Devices


©nicolas_ and Tero Vesalainen/iStock/Getty ImagesPolicymakers' efforts to reduce threats from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) should include greater oversight of precursor chemicals sold at the retail level – especially over the Internet – that terrorists, violent extremists, or criminals use to make homemade explosives, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. While retail sales of these precursor chemicals present a substantial vulnerability, they have not been a major focus of federal regulations so far. Read More


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Nov. 9, 2017

A Number of Proactive Policing Practices Are Successful at Reducing Crime; Insufficient Evidence on Role of Racial Bias


©dnholm/iStock/Getty ImagesA number of strategies used by the police to proactively prevent crimes have proved to be successful at crime reduction, at least in the short term, and most strategies do not harm communities' attitudes toward police, finds a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. However, the committee that conducted the study and wrote the report said there is insufficient evidence to draw strong conclusions on the potential role of racial bias in the use of proactive policing strategies. Read More


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Nov. 9, 2017

National Academies Serving as New Host for IAP-R Secretariat


National Academies to Host IAP-R SecretariatThe U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are now serving as the host for the InterAcademy Partnership for Research (IAP-R) secretariat. The IAP-R, formerly known as the InterAcademy Council, mobilizes the world's leading experts to produce reports that provide scientific advice on issues critical to the global community. Read More


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Nov. 6, 2017

National Academies' Gulf Research Program Commits $2 Million to Assist Scientific Research Impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma


The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced it will award up to $2 million in fast-track grants to help scientific research efforts recover from the impacts of Gulf Coast hurricanes Harvey and Irma. To be eligible, affected research efforts must be relevant to the GRP’s focus on enhancing human health, environmental resources, and offshore energy safety in the Gulf of Mexico region. Read More


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Nov. 3, 2017

Statement on Wall Street Journal Op-Ed on National Academies' Review of Climate Science Special Report


An op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal questions the conclusions of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine analysis, issued earlier this year, of a draft of the federal government's U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Climate Science Special Report (CSSR). The National Academies' analysis -- authored by a committee of 11 renowned experts and subjected to the Academies' rigorous independent external peer-review process -- is a comprehensive assessment of the draft CSSR. The analysis provides more than 100 pages of comments on the draft CSSR with the intention of improving the accuracy of the final version of the CSSR, released by the federal government today. The National Academies stand by their analysis. In particular, we stand by the committee's conclusion that the CSSR chapter on sea-level rise accurately reflects the current scientific literature. Scientists have high confidence in recent estimates of sea-level rise, because multiple lines of corroborating evidence are available, including data from satellites, tidal gauges, and a global array of thousands of profiling floats. Together these lines of evidence provide strong support for the conclusion that sea-level rise is accelerating because of the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, along with continued thermal expansion of ocean waters. The committee's analysis of the draft CSSR can be read here.


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Nov. 1, 2017

Public Safety During Severe Weather and Other Disasters Could Be Improved With Better Alert Systems and Improved Understanding of Social and Behavioral Factors


©simonkr/iStock/Getty ImagesA more cohesive alert and warning system that integrates public and private communications mechanisms and adopts new technologies quickly is needed to deliver critical information during emergency situations. At the same time, better understanding of social and behavioral factors would improve the ways we communicate about hazards, inform response decisions such as evacuations, develop more resilient urban infrastructure, and take other steps to improve weather readiness. Two reports by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine propose steps to improve public safety and resilience in the face of extreme weather and other disasters. Read More


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Oct. 26, 2017

Opioid Epidemic in the News


President Trump today declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. A recent National Academies report presents a national strategy to reduce the opioid epidemic. The report says it is possible to stem the still-escalating prevalence of opioid use disorder and other opioid-related harms without foreclosing access for patients suffering from pain. Read the full report


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Oct. 26, 2017

Colleges and Universities Should Take Action to Address Surge of Enrollments in Computer Science


©skynesher/iStock/Getty ImagesU.S. colleges and universities should respond with urgency to the current surge in undergraduate enrollments in computer science courses and degree programs, which is straining resources at many institutions, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It examines the benefits and drawbacks of a range of strategies that institutions could pursue in response – such as adding faculty and resources, imposing targeted controls on enrollment, or using innovative technologies to deliver instruction to large numbers of students, among other options. An important factor driving the enrollment surge is the labor market, where the number of computing jobs far exceeds the number of computer science graduates being produced. Read More


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Oct. 20, 2017

U.S. Ocean Observation Critical to Understanding Climate Change, But Lacks Long-Term National Planning


Part of a buoy array designed to better understand and predict climate variations related to El Niño and the Southern Oscillation; NOAA photoOcean observing systems provide information essential for monitoring and forecasting changes in Earth's climate. A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine finds that continuity of ocean observations is vital to gain an accurate understanding of the climate, and calls for a decadal, national plan that is adequately resourced and implemented to ensure critical ocean information is available to understand and predict future changes. The report notes that federal activities provide an opportunity for sustained and coordinated ocean-observing in the U.S., but require coordinated and high-level leadership to be effective. Additional benefits of this observational system include improvements in weather forecasting, marine resource management, and maritime navigation. Read More


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Oct. 16, 2017

NAM Elects 80 New Members


The National Academy of Medicine today announced the names of 80 new members at its 47th annual meeting. Election to the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Annual Meeting Page


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Oct. 16, 2017

NAM Announces Recipients of Awards, Honors


The National Academy of Medicine presented two prestigious awards at its annual meeting today, as well as announced the 2017 class of NAM Fellows.

The 2017 Gustav O. Lienhard Award for Advancement of Health Care was given to Diane Meier, professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, for her leading role in driving awareness and adoption of palliative care services in the United States.

In addition, the Academy awarded the 2017 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health was awarded to Joseph Coyle, whose research laid the foundation for integrating neuroscience and clinical psychiatry and shifted psychiatry's emphasis toward empirically based brain research; and to the team of Catherine Lord and Matthew State, whose work revolutionized the study of autism and related neuropsychiatric disorders. NAM Fellows News Release | Lienhard News Release | Sarnat News Release | Annual Meeting Page


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Oct. 16, 2017

Winners of 2017 D.C. Public Health Case Challenge Announced


The winners of the fifth annual D.C. Public Health Case Challenge were announced at this year's National Academy of Medicine Annual Meeting. The challenge aims to promote interdisciplinary, problem-based learning around a public health issue of importance to the local Washington, D.C. community. Read More


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Oct. 16, 2017

NAM Honors Members for Outstanding Service


For their outstanding service, the National Academy of Medicine honored members Barbara J. McNeil, Ridley Watts Professor and founding head of the department of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and professor of radiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital; Richard O. Hynes, investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Ruth R. Faden, Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and founder of the Berman Center for Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. News Release | Annual Meeting Page


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Oct. 13, 2017

Annual Meeting of National Academy of Medicine


Annual Meeting of National Academy of MedicineThe 2017 NAM Annual Meeting will feature a daylong public program on Oct. 16 about behavioral disorders, including a discussion with the nation's top health and government leaders about the U.S. opioid epidemic. In addition, NAM President Victor J. Dzau will welcome the newest class of members and present this year's awards.


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