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NAS President Issues Statement on New White House Climate Change and National Security Initiative

Sept. 21, 2016

Today President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum to address climate change and national security. In a brief statement from National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt, she states, "The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine look forward to taking the lead in engaging the academic community in efforts to guide this initiative, and are well-positioned to tap the broad, multidisciplinary expertise of researchers across the nation." Read More(image)



Immigration's Long-Term Impacts on Overall Wages and Employment of Native-Born U.S. Workers Very Small, Although Low-Skilled Workers May Be Affected, New Report Finds; Impacts on Economic Growth Positive, While Effects on Government Budgets Mixed
A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides a comprehensive assessment of economic and demographic trends of U.S. immigration over the past 20 years, its impact on the labor market and wages of native-born workers, and its fiscal impact at the national, state, and local levels. Among the report's key findings and conclusions: When measured over a period of 10 years or more, the impact of immigration on the wages of native-born workers overall is very small. To the extent that negative impacts occur, they are most likely to be found for prior immigrants or native-born workers who have not completed high school — who are often the closest substitutes for immigrant workers with low skills. There is little evidence that immigration significantly affects the overall employment levels of native-born workers. As with wage impacts, there is some evidence that recent immigrants reduce the employment rate of prior immigrants. In addition, recent research finds that immigration reduces the number of hours worked by native teens (but not their employment levels). Some evidence on inflow of skilled immigrants suggests that there may be positive wage effects for some subgroups of native-born workers, and other benefits to the economy more broadly.  Immigration has an overall positive impact on long-run economic growth in the U.S.(image)



Up to 16 Million Americans Have Uncorrected Vision Impairment; Report Calls for Transformation in Population Health Efforts to Eliminate Correctable and Avoidable Vision Impairments by 2030
Despite the importance of eyesight, millions of people grapple with undiagnosed or untreated vision impairments -- ranging from mild conditions to total blindness -- and eye and vision health remain relatively absent from national health priority lists, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report calls for transforming vision impairments from common to rare and eliminating correctable and avoidable vision impairments in the U.S. by 2030.(image)



Former NAS President Bruce Alberts Receives 2016 Lasker Award; Three Other NAS and NAM Members Also Honored
Former National Academy of Sciences President Bruce Alberts has received the prestigious 2016 Lasker-Koshland Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science "for fundamental discoveries in DNA replication and protein biochemistry; for visionary leadership in directing national and international scientific organizations to better people's lives; and for passionate dedication to improving education in science and mathematics," the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced today. Currently, the Chancellor's Leadership Chair in Biochemistry and Biophysics for Science and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, Alberts served as president of the NAS from 1993 to 2005, where he was instrumental in developing the landmark National Science Education standards that have been implemented in school systems nationwide. Also announced today, the 2016 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award is being presented to National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine members William Kaelin Jr. of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard Medical School and Gregg Semenza of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, along with Peter Ratcliffe of the University of Oxford/Francis Crick Institute, "for the discovery of the pathway by which cells from humans and most animals sense and adapt to changes in oxygen availability – a process essential for survival." And along with two other researchers, NAS member Charles M. Rice of the Rockefeller University is receiving the 2016 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award "for development of a system to study the replication of the virus that causes hepatitis C and for use of this system to revolutionize the treatment of this chronic, often lethal disease."(image)



Nearly 18 Million Americans Care for Family Members 65 and Older, But Pool of Potential Family Caregivers Is Shrinking; Systemwide Reorientation Needed to Account for Health Care and Support of Both Elders and Family Caregivers
The demand for family caregivers for adults who are 65 or older is increasing significantly, and family caregivers need more recognition, information, and support to fulfill their responsibilities and maintain their own health, financial security, and well-being, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Although caregivers' individual circumstances vary, family caregiving can negatively affect caregivers' mental and physical health as well cause economic harm, including loss of income and career opportunities. The report calls for health care delivery system reform that elevates family-centered care alongside person-centered care to better account for the roles of family caregivers and support their involvement in the care delivery process.(image)



New Report Warns of Potential Supply Shortage of the Medical Isotopes Molybdenum-99 and Technetium-99m in U.S.
Although the current supply of molybdenum-99 and technetium-99m – isotopes used worldwide in medical diagnostic imaging – is sufficient to meet domestic and global demand, changes to the supply chain before year-end could lead to severe shortages and impact the delivery of medical care, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read More(image)



The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey Wins Best Book Award From Academies; NPR, Mother Jones, ProPublica Also Take Top Prizes
The recipients of the 2016 Communication Awards were announced today by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Supported by the W.M. Keck Foundation since 2003 as part of the Keck Futures Initiative, these prestigious awards — each of which includes a $20,000 prize — recognize excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the general public. The winners will be honored during a ceremony on Oct. 26 in Washington, D.C. Read More(image)



Support Needed for Innovation in Increasingly Clean Electric Power Technologies
A new report urges Congress, federal and state agencies, and regulatory institutions to significantly increase their support for innovation for "increasingly clean" electric power technologies – nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, and renewables such as solar and wind. Some of these technologies have seen recent cost and price declines and are cost-competitive in certain locations. But significantly greater market penetration of these technologies will be required to help address the worst impacts of climate change, as well as harms to human health such as asthma and premature death caused by pollution. Read More(image)



Triennial Review of National Nanotechnology Initiative
A new Academies report makes recommendations to improve the value of the NNI's strategy and portfolio for research and applications of nanotechnology.(image)



New Report Identifies Research Priorities for the Field of Atmospheric Chemistry
To advance the understanding of atmospheric chemistry and improve its research infrastructure, a new Academies report proposes priorities and strategic steps for the field in the next decade.(image)



National Security Space Defense and Protection: Public Report
The rapidly growing global reliance on space systems to facilitate vital societal functions such as commerce, food production, electricity distribution, transportation, and weather assessment has outpaced the creation of national strategies and policies to protect this critical infrastructure. A new Academies report assesses currently available options for addressing threats to space systems and recommend strategies for increasing resiliency.(image)



New Report Assesses Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Goals
While scientists have made remarkable advancements in astronomy and astrophysics since the beginning of this decade, a new Academies report calls for federal agencies to maintain, and in some cases adjust, their programs in order to meet 2010 decadal survey's scientific objectives. Read More(image)



General Support for Science Does Not Always Correlate With Attitudes Toward Specific Science Issues, Says New Report; Offers Conceptual Framework for Science Literacy Research
U.S. adults perform comparably to adults in other economically developed countries on most measures of science knowledge and support science in general, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. However, attitudes toward some specific issues, such as climate change or genetic engineering, may be shaped by factors such as values and beliefs rather than knowledge of the science alone. Despite popular assumptions, research shows that increasing science literacy will not lead to appreciably greater support for science. Read More(image)



New Report Calls for Rigorous Monitoring to Evaluate Ecological Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico
To improve and ensure the efficacy of restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico following Deepwater Horizon – the largest oil spill in U.S. history – a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends a set of best practices for monitoring and evaluating ecological restoration activities. Read More(image)



NAM and FDA Select Four Individuals for 2016-2017 Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellows
The National Academy of Medicine along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) have named the 2016-2017 class of FDA Tobacco Regulatory Science Fellows. Four individuals were selected through a highly selective national competition based on their exceptional and diverse professional qualifications to contribute to the work of CTP. Read More(image)