Neil deGrasse Tyson to Receive Public Welfare Medal, Academy's Most Prestigious Award

Feb. 26, 2015

In recognition of his extraordinary role in exciting the public about the wonders of science, the National Academy of Sciences is presenting its 2015 Public Welfare Medal to astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium of the American Museum of Natural History. Established in 1914, the medal is the Academy's most prestigious award and is presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. Read More

Possible Regulation of Cigarettes Not Likely to Significantly Change U.S. Illicit Tobacco Market

Feb. 19, 2015

Although there is insufficient evidence to draw firm conclusions about how the U.S. illicit tobacco market would respond to any new regulations that modify cigarettes -- for example, by lowering nicotine content -- limited evidence suggests that demand for illicit versions of conventional cigarettes would be modest, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine.

NAE Launches Next MacGyver Competition for New TV Series With Female Engineer Lead

Feb. 19, 2015

In celebration of National Engineers Week, the National Academy of Engineering and the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering, in collaboration with the MacGyver Foundation and Lee Zlotoff (creator of the TV series "MacGyver"), announced today the launch of a worldwide crowdsourcing competition called The Next MacGyver. Read More

Proposed Climate Intervention Techniques Not Ready for Wide-Scale Deployment

Feb. 10, 2015

Reducing carbon dioxide emissions is still the most effective, least risky way to mitigate the negative consequences of climate change, concludes a two-volume report from a National Research Council committee that evaluated proposed techniques to either remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or increase the ability of Earth or clouds to reflect incoming sunlight.Carbon dioxide removal and albedo-modification strategies have been grouped until now under the common term "geoengineering," but the committee believed the approaches are more accurately defined as "climate intervention" strategies, and found that the two classes of techniques vary widely with respect to environmental risks, socio-economic impacts, cost, and research needs. Currently proposed carbon dioxide removal strategies are limited by cost and technological immaturity, but they could contribute to a broader portfolio of climate change responses with further research and development. Albedo-modification technologies, however, pose significant risks and should not be deployed at this time. Watch the webcast

ME/CFS Is a Legitimate Disease That Needs Proper Diagnosis, Treatment

Feb. 10, 2015

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome -- commonly referred to as ME/CFS -- is a legitimate, serious, and complex systemic disease that frequently and dramatically limits the activities of affected individuals, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The committee that wrote the report developed new diagnostic criteria for the disorder that includes five main symptoms. In addition, it recommended that the disorder be renamed “Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease” and be assigned a new code in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition. Watch the webcast

National Academy of Sciences Elects Home Secretary and Councilors

Feb. 5, 2015

Susan R. Wessler, Distinguished Professor of Genetics in the department of botany and plant sciences at the University of California, Riverside, has been re-elected as home secretary for the National Academy of Sciences. Wessler will continue to be responsible for the membership activities of the Academy during her second four-year term beginning July 1.Four members have been elected to serve on the Academy's governing Council for three years beginning July 1. The new councilors are: Sylvia T. Ceyer, head, department of chemistry, and J.C. Sheehan Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Jeffrey M. Friedman, investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Marilyn M. Simpson Professor, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, The Rockefeller University; Susan Hanson, Distinguished University Professor Emerita, School of Geography, Clark University; and Peter S. Kim, member, Stanford ChEM-H and Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine. Read More

NAE Elects 67 Members and 12 Foreign Members

Feb. 5, 2015

The National Academy of Engineering has elected 67 new members and 12 foreign members, announced NAE President C.D. (Dan) Mote Jr. today. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,263 and the number of foreign members to 221.Election to the National Academy of Engineering 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.

MIT's Robert Langer Wins Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Feb. 4, 2015

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, Robert Langer has been awarded the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering for his revolutionary advances and leadership in engineering at the interface with chemistry and medicine. Langer was the first person to engineer polymers to control the delivery of large molecular weight drugs for the treatment of diseases such as cancer and mental illness. Over 2 billion lives have been improved worldwide by the technologies that Langer's lab has created. The QEPrize is a global £1 million prize that celebrates engineers responsible for a ground-breaking innovation of global benefit to humanity. The prize was established to raise the public profile of engineering and inspire young people to become engineers.

White Potatoes Should Be Allowed Under WIC

Feb. 3, 2015

The U.S. Department of Agriculture should allow white potatoes as a vegetable eligible for purchase with vouchers issued by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants, and Children (WIC), says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. If relevant changes occur in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the recommendation should be re-evaluated. Read More

DOE Should Maintain Sole Ownership of National Nuclear Security Administration Laboratories

Jan. 23, 2015

The U.S. Department of Energy should remain the sole sponsor of Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratories -- known collectively as the National Nuclear Security Administration laboratories -- but should also maintain a formally recognized strategic partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. intelligence community to help the NNSA labs understand the larger national security agenda and meet future national security needs, says a new report from the National Research Council. The report also identifies six key principles that any new governance model for the NNSA laboratories should observe.

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