News from the National Academies en-us News from the National Academies New Report Calls for Greater Oversight of Precursor Chemicals Sold at the Retail Level to Reduce Threats from Improvised Explosive Devices Policymakers' 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 Tue, 14 Nov 2017 11:00 EDT A Number of Proactive Policing Practices Are Successful at Reducing Crime; Insufficient Evidence on Role of Racial Bias A 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 Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:00 EDT National Academies Serving as New Host for IAP-R Secretariat The 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 Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:00 EDT 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 Mon, 06 Nov 2017 11:00 EDT 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. Fri, 03 Nov 2017 11:00 EDT Public Safety During Severe Weather and Other Disasters Could Be Improved With Better Alert Systems and Improved Understanding of Social and Behavioral Factors A 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 Wed, 01 Nov 2017 11:00 EDT 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 Thu, 26 Oct 2017 03:30 EDT Colleges and Universities Should Take Action to Address Surge of Enrollments in Computer Science U.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 Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:00 EDT U.S. Ocean Observation Critical to Understanding Climate Change, But Lacks Long-Term National Planning Ocean 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 Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:00 EDT 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 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:00 EDT 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 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:00 EDT 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 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:00 EDT 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 Mon, 16 Oct 2017 09:00 EDT