Dec. 4, 2013
Gathering survey data on "experienced" well-being -- the self-reported levels of contentment, joy, stress, frustration, and other feelings people experience throughout the day and while engaged in various activities -- would be valuable to inform policies, says a new report from the National Research Council. In particular, data on specific actions intended to improve the living and working conditions of different population groups, including children or older adults, show promise in developing policies and practices in such areas as end-of-life care, commuting, child custody laws, and city planning, for example. Read More
Dec. 3, 2013
Abrupt climate changes and impacts, such as disappearance of late-summer Arctic sea ice and an increase in extinction rates, are already under way, while other rapid changes may be likely to happen this century. Even gradual changes that happen over many decades or centuries can trigger abrupt ecological or socio-economic changes once a tipping point is reached. With this knowledge, a new National Research Council report says, it is therefore critical an early warning system be developed that could help society better anticipate these changes. Further research and enhanced monitoring may allow time for adaptation or possibly mitigation. Read more
Dec. 2, 2013
The Executive Committee of the Transportation Research Board has identified a list of critical issues in transportation in order to focus attention on their possible impacts on the nation's economy and quality of life. Critical Issues in Transportation: 2013 is designed to stimulate awareness and debate and to focus research on improving transportation system performance and resiliency, reducing transportation injuries and fatalities, and mitigating unsustainable environmental impacts.
Nov. 20, 2013
At a White House ceremony today, recipients of the 2013 Presidential Medal of Freedom were honored, including Daniel Kahneman (NAS member) and Mario Molina (NAS/IOM member). The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. This year marks 50 years since the medal was established. Read more
Nov. 20, 2013
Sen. Mark Warner (D.-Va.) hosted the Virginia Summit on Science, Engineering, and Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences last week to initiate a new effort to elevate the state's research enterprise. The daylong summit also served as the launch event for the newly formed Virginia Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, which is made up of the state's 122 members of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. Photos The senator told attendees, which included several university and business leaders, that he expects the new academy to foster collaboration among researchers in different fields and spur innovation that leads to new business opportunities in Virginia. He also said that he hopes it helps the state to recruit top scientists, engineers, and medicine and health professionals, groom a new generation of such experts, and increase the number of its residents who are elected to one of the national academies. Attracting more research funding to the state also is a goal.Speaking at the opening of the summit, NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone noted that the formation of the Virginia academy is part of a recent trend of state academies being established, including in Texas and Washington, to bring together local members of the NAS, NAE, and IOM to focus on ways to accelerate research and innovation at the state level. He said that the Virginia academy, with Sen. Warner's leadership, could help ensure that the state is a magnet for advanced research and cutting-edge businesses of the future.
National Crime Victimization Survey Is Likely Undercounting Rape and Sexual Assault; Justice Department Should Create New, Separate Survey
Nov. 19, 2013
The National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) is widely considered the best source of information for many kinds of criminal victimizations. Data from the survey are vital for directing resources for law enforcement and support services, but the NCVS is likely undercounting incidences of rape and sexual assault, a new report from the National Research Council concludes. The panel that wrote the report recommended that the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics establish a separate survey for measuring rape and sexual assault. Read More
Nov. 18, 2013
IAP - The Global Network of Science Academies - and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) today issued a joint statement on "Antimicrobial Resistance: A Call for Action" in which the groups highlight the critical role that antimicrobial (including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiparasitic) drugs play in today's medical practices and the dramatic increases in the number of pathogens developing resistance to these drugs. IAP and IAMP propose 10 recommendations to reduce the current major public health problem of antimicrobial resistance and avert a much worse crisis. In parallel with the release of the statement, a commentary is being published by The Lancet Global Health. The statement also coincides European Antibiotic Awareness Day. Read News Release | Joint Statement
Nov. 12, 2013
Super Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines on Nov. 8, causing vast destruction on the island nation. In the U.S., local, state, and federal leaders as well as community groups and businesses are working to strengthen the nation's resilience to future disasters, such a Superstorm Sandy, which hit the eastern United States one year ago. Learn more about the reports and activities from the National Academies that can help advance the conversation.
Nov. 10, 2013
Leaders of science academies from several African nations are gathered in Addis Ababa for the ninth annual meeting of African science academies, hosted by the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences, which was founded in 2010 and is a new partner in the African Science Academy Development Initiative. The deputy prime minister of Ethiopia spoke at the opening ceremony for the conference, the theme of which is "biotechnology for Africa's development." Read More
New Report Recommends Data-Driven Approach Over Default Practices for Assessing Health Effects of Inorganic Arsenic
Nov. 7, 2013
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS) assessments identify disease hazards and characterize associations with adverse health outcomes for a wide variety of chemicals. The new National Research Council interim report reviews the agency's draft plan for carrying out its IRIS assessment of inorganic arsenic and recommends alternative statistical approaches over EPA's current methods for estimating risk. Read More