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Statement by NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents on the Political Review of Scientific Proposals

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:00 EST

The highest standards of scientific integrity, transparency, and accountability are critical to maintaining public confidence in our nation’s research enterprise and in the wise use of the public investment in research. The public expects policymakers and agencies to base those investments on independent advice and assessment from unbiased experts without political interference. For these reasons, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine view any political review of scientific proposals as inappropriate, as it gives the appearance of political interference in science. At the same time, we recognize the prerogative of federal agencies to align funding programs with their mission priorities in their calls for proposals and in their requests that reviewers assess the relevance of proposals to agency priorities as one of the criteria in proposal evaluation. Marcia McNutt President, National Academy of Sciences C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr. President, National Academy of Engineering Victor J. Dzau President, National Academy of Medicine

Prasad Raghavendra, David Steurer to Receive Inaugural Michael and Sheila Held Prize From the National Academy of Sciences

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:00 EST

The National Academy of Sciences will award the first annual Michael and Sheila Held Prize to Prasad Raghavendra, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, and David Steurer, professor of theoretical computer science at ETH Zurich. The pair are receiving the $100,000 prize "for a body of work which revolutionizes our understanding of optimization and complexity" in computer science. The prize honors outstanding, innovative, creative, and influential research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory. Read More

Review of NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks: 2017 Letter Report

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:00 EST

NASA asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review more than 30 publicly available evidence reports on human health risks for long-duration and exploration space flight. A new letter report -- the fifth and final in the series -- examines five NASA evidence reports on astronauts’ risk of bone fracture due to spaceflight-induced changes to bone, early onset osteoporosis due to spaceflight, cardiac rhythm problems during spaceflight, renal stone formation, and adverse health outcomes and decreases in performance due to in-flight medical conditions.

NIOSH, BLS, and OSHA Should Strengthen Coordination for Occupational Injury, Illness, and Exposure Surveillance

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 11:00 EST

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health should lead a collaborative effort with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the states to establish and strengthen regional occupational safety and health surveillance programs, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The nation needs a robust occupational safety and health surveillance system to provide critical information about the relationships between work and injuries and illnesses in order to inform policy development, guide educational and regulatory activities, develop safer technologies, and enable research and prevention strategies that serve and protect all workers. A smarter surveillance system will minimize the undercounting of occupational injuries and illnesses by making strategic use of different datasets and surveys, and will maximize appropriate use of technologies. Read More

National Academies Announce Initiative on Climate Communication; Appoints Advisory Committee

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 10:00 EST

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are launching a major initiative to more effectively enable their extensive body of work on climate science, impacts, and response options to inform the public and decision-makers. "The National Academies have a vast library of authoritative information to help everyone from savvy citizens to responsible decision-makers understand, prepare, and respond to climate change," said Marcia McNutt, president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. "This initiative facilitates access to that storehouse to help protect the many sectors of human investment from unnecessary surprises."

Reducing Climate Uncertainty, Improving Weather Forecasts, and Understanding Sea-Level Rise Are Among Top Science Priorities for Space-Based Earth Observation Over Next Decade

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 11:00 EST

NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Geological Survey should implement a coordinated approach for their space-based environmental observations to further advance Earth science and applications for the next decade, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This approach should be based on key scientific questions in areas such as reducing climate uncertainty, improving weather and air quality forecasts, predicting geological hazards, and understanding sea-level rise. The report also recommends building a robust, resilient, and balanced U.S. program of Earth observations from space that will enable the agencies to strategically advance the science and applications with constrained resources. Read More

2018 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education Awarded to Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University's School of Medicine

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 11:00 EST

The National Academy of Engineering announced today that the 2018 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education will be awarded to Paul G. Yock of Stanford University "for the development and global dissemination of Biodesign, a biomedical technology program creating leaders and innovations that benefit patients." The $500,000 annual award recognizes new methods and concepts in higher education aimed at developing engineering leaders. Read More

New Report Calls for Comprehensive Research Campaign to Better Understand, Predict Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current System

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:00 EST

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for an international, multi-institutional comprehensive campaign of research, observation, and analysis activities that would help improve understanding and prediction of the Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current System (LCS). The position, strength, and structure of the LCS -- the dominant ocean circulation feature in the Gulf -- has major implications for oil and gas operations, hurricane intensity, coastal ecosystems, oil spill response, the fishing industry, tourism, and the region's economy. Read More

Computer Science Pioneer to Receive the 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:00 EST

The National Academy of Engineering announced today that the 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering will be awarded to Bjarne Stroustrup "for conceptualizing and developing the C++ programming language." The $500,000 annual award is given to engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society. Read More

Withdrawal from ITER Could Isolate U.S. Scientists from International Effort on Fusion Energy, New Report Says

Thu, 21 Dec 2017 14:00 EST

A decision by the U.S. to withdraw from the ITER project – a large international burning plasma experiment – could isolate scientists from the international effort and require a new domestic approach to study fusion, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This report is the first in a two-phase study examining the state and potential of magnetic fusion research in the U.S. and providing guidance on a long-term strategy for the field.

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