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News from the National Academies





 



National Academies' Presidents Comment on Proposal for New Questions for Visa Applicants

Fri, 19 May 2017 17:15 EDT

In a letter to the U.S. Department of State, the presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine expressed concern that a proposal to add supplemental questions for visa applicants, published in the Federal Register on May 4, "will have significant negative unintended consequences on the nation's international leadership in research, innovation, and education." The presidents warned that the proposal could discourage leading researchers from coming to the U.S. and could lead science, engineering, and medical societies to hold meetings elsewhere. International collaborations in science, engineering, and medicine have increased dramatically in the last two decades and are critical to the U.S. research enterprise, the presidents wrote. They also emphasized the important contributions of foreign students studying and working in laboratories here, who they fear may no longer see the United States as "a welcoming country." Approximately 25 percent of the members of NAS, NAE, and NAM who are U.S. citizens were born outside the country, the letter notes.(image)



Actions Needed to Strengthen U.S. Skilled Technical Workforce

Wed, 17 May 2017, 11:00 EDT

Policymakers, employers, and educational institutions should take steps to strengthen the nation's skilled technical workforce, says a new report. Action is needed to support students in completing education and training programs and workers in upgrading their skills throughout their lives. Evidence suggests that as a nation, the United States is not adequately developing and sustaining a workforce with the skills needed to compete in the 21st century. Read More(image)



New Report Recommends Priority Actions to Achieve Global Health Security, Protect U.S. Position as Global Health Leader, and Safeguard Billions of Dollars in Health Investments

Mon, 15 May 2017, 11:00 EDT

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies global health priorities in light of current and emerging health challenges and makes recommendations to address these challenges, while maintaining U.S. status as a world leader in global health. Prioritization of resources for each issue or disease is necessary, and it is also essential to embrace a systems-focused approach to capacity building and partnership to achieve results more comprehensively. The committee that wrote the report identified four priority areas encompassing 14 recommendations for global health action: achieve global health security, maintain a sustained response to the continuous threats of communicable diseases, save and improve the lives of women and children, and promote cardiovascular health and prevent cancer. Read More(image)



Gulf Research Program Awards $3.2 Million in Capacity-Building Grants to Benefit Coastal Communities

Thu, 11 May 2017, 14:30 EDT

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced today the recipients of 12 capacity-building grants, totaling almost $3.2 million. These competitive grants support community organizations as they conduct science-based projects designed to benefit their coastal communities from the Gulf of Mexico to Maine to Alaska.(image)



New Report Examines How Assistive Technologies Can Enhance Work Participation for People With Disabilities

Tue, 09 May 2017, 11:00 EDT

Assistive products and technologies -- such as wheelchairs, upper-limb prostheses, and hearing and speech devices -- hold promise for partially or fully mitigating the effects of impairments and enabling people with disabilities to work, but in some cases environmental and personal factors create additional barriers to employment, says a new report from the National Academies. Read More(image)



G7 Academies Release Statements on Cultural Heritage, Economic Growth, Neurodegenerative Diseases

Wed, 03 May 2017, 01:30 EDT

Joint statements from the national science academies of the G7 nations were delivered today to the Italian government in advance of the G7 Summit to be held in Taormina, Italy, at the end of May. The statements, which are intended to inform discussions at the summit, call for actions to protect cultural heritage from natural disasters; invest in science, technology, and infrastructure to drive economic growth; and address the growing burden of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and other neurodegenerative disorders. G7 Academies’ Joint Statements 2017: Cultural heritage: building resilience to natural disastersNew economic growth: the role of science, technology, innovation and infrastructureThe challenge of neurodegenerative diseases in an aging population(image)



Academy Elects New Members, Foreign Associates

Tue, 02 May 2017, 09:30 EDT

The 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(image)



NAS President Marcia McNutt Delivers Her First Annual Address to Members

Mon, 01 May 2017, 12:00 EDT

Today during the National Academy of Sciences' 154th annual meeting, in her first speech to the members of the Academy, NAS President Marcia McNutt stressed the ongoing vitality of America’s scientific enterprise, and called on the country to strengthen its support for science and to continue to turn to science for solutions to the nation’s and the world’s most pressing challenges. Read More(image)



Kavli Portrait Unveiled

Mon, 01 May 2017 10:00 EDT

A portrait commemorating the late physicist, entrepreneur, innovator, business leader, and philanthropist Fred Kavli was unveiled at the National Academy of Sciences 154th Annual Meeting. It can be found at the entrance of the Academy's Fred Kavli Auditorium, newly named in honor of a generous $10.5 million gift from The Kavli Foundation. Read More(image)



NAS Honors Award Winners

Mon, 01 May 2017, 09:00 EDT

During a ceremony at its 154th annual meeting, the National Academy of Sciences presented the 2017 Public Welfare Medal to Jane Lubchenco for her "successful efforts in bringing together the larger research community, its sponsors, and the public policy community to focus on urgent issues related to global environmental change." NAS also honored 21 other individuals with awards for their outstanding scientific achievements. News Release - Public Welfare MedalNews Release - Awards(image)



U.S. DRIVE Partnership Makes Significant Technology Advancements for Light-Duty Vehicles; Lack of Infrastructure for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles Remains a Challenge

Tue, 25 Apr 2017, 11:00 EDT

The U.S. DRIVE Partnership -- a government-industry partnership that fosters the development of precompetitive and innovative technologies for clean and efficient light-duty vehicles -- has made significant progress in many technical areas including advanced combustion technologies, durability and cost of hydrogen fuel cells, and electric drive systems such as motors, power electronics, and batteries, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. However, high costs for essentially all the technologies under development and lack of a hydrogen fuel infrastructure for deployment of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles remain challenges. Read More(image)



NAE Elects Treasurer and Four Councillors

Fri, 21 Apr 2017, 18:00 EDT

The National Academy of Engineering has re-elected Martin B. Sherwin, retired vice president of W.R. Grace, to serve a four-year term as the NAE's treasurer. Re-elected to second terms as councillors are Frances S. Ligler, Lampe Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the joint department of biomedical engineering at the North Carolina State University College of Engineering and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and H. Vincent Poor, Michael Henry Strater University Professor at Princeton University. And newly elected councillors are Katharine G. Frase, retired vice president of education business development at International Business Machines Corporation, and Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. All terms begin July 1, 2017. Read More(image)



Report Identifies Grand Challenges for Scientific Community to Better Prepare for Volcanic Eruptions

Wed, 19 apr 2017 11:00 EDT

Despite broad understanding of volcanoes, our ability to predict the timing, duration, type, size, and consequences of volcanic eruptions is limited, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. To improve eruption forecasting and warnings to save lives, the report identifies research priorities for better monitoring of volcanic eruptions and three grand challenges facing the volcano science community. Read More(image)



The Kavli Foundation Gives $10.5 Million to the National Academy of Sciences to Establish Fred Kavli Endowment Fund; NAS Auditorium to Be Renamed in Kavli's Honor

Mon, 17 apr 2017 11:00 EDT

The National Academy of Sciences announced today that it has received a $10.5 million gift from The Kavli Foundation to establish the Fred Kavli Endowment Fund, which honors the late physicist, entrepreneur, innovator, business leader, and philanthropist. To recognize Kavli's generous and unwavering support for science, the auditorium of the historic National Academy of Sciences building will be renamed the Fred Kavli Auditorium. A portrait of Fred Kavli and a commemorative plaque will be unveiled at the NAS annual meeting, which will take place April 29-May 2.(image)



Integrating Clinical Research Into Epidemic Response

Tue, 12 apr 2017 11:00 EDT

Mobilization of a rapid and robust clinical research program to combat the next infectious disease epidemic will depend on strengthening capacity in low-income countries for response and research, engaging people living in affected communities, and conducting safety trials before an epidemic, says a new report from the National Academies. Read More(image)



Actions Needed to Protect Integrity in Research

TUE, 11 APR 2017 14:00 EDT

Stakeholders in the scientific research enterprise -- researchers, institutions, publishers, funders, scientific societies, and federal agencies -- should improve their practices and policies to respond to threats to the integrity of research, says a new report from the National Academies. Actions are needed to ensure the availability of data necessary for reproducing research, clarify authorship standards, protect whistleblowers, and make sure that negative as well as positive research findings are reported, among other steps. The report also recommends the establishment of an independent, nonprofit advisory board to support ongoing efforts to strengthen research integrity. Read More(image)



U.S. Could Be Rid of Hepatitis B and C as Public Health Problems

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:00 EDT

A new report from the National Academies presents a strategy to eliminate hepatitis B and C as serious public health problems -- diseases that kill more than 20,000 people every year in the U.S. -- and prevent nearly 90,000 deaths by 2030. Read More(image)



New Report Finds EPA's Controlled Human Exposure Studies of Air Pollution Are Warranted

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 11:00 EDT

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency carries out experiments in which volunteer participants agree to be intentionally exposed by inhalation to specific pollutants at restricted concentrations over short periods to obtain important information about the effects of outdoor air pollution on human health. A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine finds these studies are warranted and recommends that they continue under two conditions: when they provide additional knowledge that informs policy decisions and regulation of pollutants that cannot be obtained by other means, and when it is reasonably predictable that the risks for study participants will not exceed biomarker or physiologic responses that are of short duration and reversible. Read More(image)



New Guidebook for Educators Outlines Ways to Better Align Student Assessments With New Science Standards

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:00 EDT

A new book from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine outlines how educators can develop and adapt student assessments for the classroom that reflect the approach to learning and teaching science described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and similar standards, which stress the integration of knowledge of science with scientific and engineering practices.(image)



Decision Framework for DOD Regarding Genetic Tests in Clinical Care

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 11:00 EDT

Advances in genetics and genomics are transforming medical practice, resulting in the dramatic growth of genetic testing, which includes testing for inherited cancer syndromes, predictive testing of newborns for evidence of treatable diseases, and prenatal testing to detect abnormalities in the genes or chromosomes of a fetus. Given the rapid pace in the development of genetic tests and new testing technologies – both laboratory developed tests and those marketed directly to the consumer – and the lack of federal regulation governing genetic tests, the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Health Affairs asked the National Academies to recommend a framework for DOD decision making regarding the use of genetic tests in clinical care. A new report lays out the decision framework.(image)



G20 Science Academies Issue Statement on Global Health

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 11:00 EDT

At the Science20 Dialogue Forum held today at the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, a statement on improving global health was handed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel by representatives of the G20 science academies. The statement recommends actions to combat communicable and non-communicable diseases, which endanger individual well-being and threaten the global economy. It is intended to inform discussions during the G20 Summit, which will be held in July in Hamburg, Germany.(image)



Vital Directions to Improve Nation's Health System

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 02:00 EDT

The National Academy of Medicine today released a new publication that provides a succinct blueprint to address challenges to Americans' health and health care that span beyond debates over insurance coverage. The paper is part of the NAM's Vital Directions for Health and Health Care Initiative, which conducted a comprehensive national health and health care assessment over the past 18 months. Written by the initiative's bipartisan steering committee, the publication presents a streamlined framework of eight policy directions, consisting of four priority actions and four essential infrastructure needs. Read More(image)



New Report Outlines Research Agenda to Address Impact of Technology on Workforce

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 12:00 EDT

Federal agencies or other organizations responsible for sponsoring research or collecting data on technology and the workforce should establish a multidisciplinary research program that addresses unanswered questions related to the impact of changing technology on the nature of work and U.S. national economy, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read more(image)