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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.
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
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
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
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
Research shows that when parents know more about child development, they are more likely to have quality interactions with their child and to act in ways that support their child's healthy development. Also, when parents have knowledge of specific evidence-based parenting practices, they are more likely to engage in those practices. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies a core set of parenting practices associated with positive child outcomes, such as routines and reduced household chaos; shared book reading and talking to children; use of appropriate (less-harsh) discipline; and practices that promote health and safety such as prenatal care, breast-feeding, vaccination, and children's adequate nutrition.
A new Academies report says that Medicare's value-based payment programs could take into account social risk factors -- such as low socio-economic position, residence in disadvantaged neighborhoods, or race and ethnicity -- but any proposal to do so will entail both advantages and disadvantages that need to be carefully considered. This is the third report in a series of five that addresses social risk factors that affect the health care outcomes of Medicare beneficiaries and ways to account for them in Medicare payment programs. It was outside the study's statement of task to recommend whether social risk factors should be accounted for in Medicare's value-based payment or how. Read More
The National Academy of Sciences announced today the creation of a new prize, the NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences, to be presented annually beginning in 2017 with an award of $100,000. The prize is being endowed through generous gifts from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences will recognize research by a mid-career scientist at a U.S. institution who has made an extraordinary contribution to agriculture or to the understanding of the biology of a species fundamentally important to agriculture or food production. The prize may also be shared by two or more scientists who collaborated closely on the discovery or accomplishment to be recognized. For the purpose of the prize, areas of science with applications to agriculture include plant and animal sciences, microbiology, nutrition and food science, soil science, entomology, veterinary medicine, and agricultural economics. Nominations for the inaugural prize will be accepted online until Oct. 1, 2016.
On July 1, Marcia McNutt begins a six-year term as the 22nd president of the National Academy of Sciences. She succeeds Ralph J. Cicerone, who served two terms as president, the maximum allowed by the Academy's bylaws. "The Academy will be in good hands for years to come," said Cicerone. "Marcia McNutt is an energetic, thoughtful, and respected leader. She will be a strong advocate for the advancement of science and for its application for public benefit." McNutt Bio
A series of educational modules has been developed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to help students in professional schools -- law, public policy, medicine, journalism, and business -- understand science and its role in decision making. The nine sample modules, which explore topics such as shale gas development ("fracking"), vaccines, forensic pattern evidence, and scientific modeling, are intended for use by professional-school faculty who wish to help their students understand basic scientific principles and approaches and assess the evidence underlying scientific claims. Read More