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Jan. 16, 2020

Gulf Research Program Awards $7.25 Million to Improve Safety Culture in the Oil and Gas Industry

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced $7.25 million in grant awards to eight new projects aimed at advancing safety culture in the oil and gas industry. The Safer Offshore Energy Systems (SOES) Grants 4 recipients will produce research, tools, and strategies focused on different aspects of safety culture. These priority areas include employee well-being and mindfulness, safety incident data sharing, and measurement of organizational safety culture.

Jan. 15, 2020

Transportation Secretary Chao Highlights Autonomous Vehicles, Innovative Technologies at TRB Annual Meeting 2020

Elaine Chao, TRB 2020 Annual Meeting (photo by Cable Risdon)Autonomous vehicles (AV) took center stage at the Chair’s Luncheon of the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting today. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced “AV 4.0,” a new DOT-White House initiative created to unify AV efforts across 38 federal government entities, focusing chiefly on the potential of increased safety with less human error.

Jan. 15, 2020

New Report Recommends Ways to Improve Safety of Food, Medicines in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

U.S. inspection of produce for import(FDA photo)A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends strategies and a framework that regulatory agencies worldwide can adopt to support the availability of good quality, safe food and medicines globally and identify areas of greatest risk. It also recommends ways that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, international development donors, and the World Health Organization (WHO) can strengthen the capacity of food and drug regulators, particularly those in low- and middle-income countries. The report calls for the expansion of WHO’s quality assurance process to include diabetes and cancer treatments, improved surveillance of informal food and medicines markets, and investments in regulatory science.

Jan. 14, 2020

U.S. Bioeconomy Is Strong, But Faces Challenges; Expanded Efforts in Coordination, Talent, Security, and Fundamental Research Are Needed

Safeguarding the Bioeconomy A new National Academies report says the U.S. is a clear leader in the global bioeconomy landscape, but faces challenges from decentralized leadership, inadequate talent development, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, stagnant investment in fundamental research, and international competition. As a major driver of scientific discoveries, spanning fields from agriculture to pharmaceuticals, a vulnerable bioeconomy puts the country’s economy at risk. The report recommends steps the U.S. should take to address these challenges.

Jan. 9, 2020

The Ford Fellowship Family: Empowering Scholarship and Diversity

Ford Fellows featureFor decades, the Ford Foundation Fellowship programs have contributed to building a more equitable and diverse U.S. higher education system. One of America’s most prestigious and successful fellowship initiatives, the programs now have more than 3,500 alumni, including Juliet García, president of the University of Texas-Brownsville and the first Mexican American woman to lead a U.S. college or university; KT McFarland, former U.S. deputy national security advisor; Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. secretary of state; and Cornel West, civil rights activist and renowned author. Read more about these programs, which have been administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine since 1979.

Jan. 9, 2020

2020 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education Awarded to Stanford Educator

NAE Awards 2020 Gordon Prize to Stanford EducatorThe National Academy of Engineering announced today that the 2020 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education will be awarded to David Kelley of Stanford University “for formalizing the principles and curriculum of ‘design thinking’ to develop innovative engineering leaders with empathy and creative confidence to generate high-impact solutions.” The $500,000 annual award recognizes new methods and concepts in education aimed at developing effective engineering leaders.

Jan. 8, 2020

New Report Recommends Ways to Strengthen the Resilience of Supply Chains After Hurricanes, Based on Lessons Learned From Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria

©Morsa Images/DigitalVision/Getty ImagesA new report from the National Academies recommends ways to make supply chains — the systems that provide populations with critical goods and services, such as food and water, gasoline, and pharmaceuticals and medical supplies — more resilient in the face of hurricanes and other disasters, drawing upon lessons learned from the 2017 hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The report urges FEMA and other organizations to focus more on restoring regular supply chains as soon as possible after a hurricane, and less on the traditional approach of using parallel emergency relief supply chains for an extended period of time.

Jan. 7, 2020

Photoresist Pioneers Receive the 2020 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering

NAE Announces Winners of 2020 Draper PrizeThe National Academy of Engineering announced today that the will be awarded to Jean Fréchet and C. Grant Willson “for the invention, development, and commercialization of chemically amplified materials for micro- and nanofabrication, enabling the extreme miniaturization of microelectronic devices.” The $500,000 biennial award is given to engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society.

Dec. 20, 2019

Panchanathan Nominated to Serve as Next Director of NSF

Sethuraman Panchanathan (ASU photo)Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, executive vice president and chief research and innovation officer at Arizona State University (ASU), and ASU’s named representative to the National Academies’ Government-University-Industry-Research Roundtable (GUIRR), has been nominated by President Trump to serve as the next director of the National Science Foundation. Upon Senate confirmation, Panchanathan will succeed current NSF Director France Córdova, whose term will conclude in spring of 2020.

Dec. 19, 2019

Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science Receives Grant from Arcadia Fund

The National Academies have been awarded a grant for $100,000 from Arcadia — a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin — to support the work of the Academies’ Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science. The roundtable convenes critical stakeholders to discuss the effectiveness of current incentives for adopting open science practices, current barriers of all types, and ways to move forward in order to align reward structures and institutional values. Read More

Dec. 19, 2019

Report Offers Framework for Setting Opioid Prescribing Guidelines for Medical Conditions, Surgeries Associated with Acute Pain

©smartstock/iStock/Getty ImagesFor severe acute pain due to surgeries and medical conditions, there is a lack of guidance on the appropriate type, strength, and amount of opioid medication that clinicians should prescribe to patients, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. A standardized process for developing clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) would provide trustworthy evidence-based criteria for prescribing opioids, help clinicians assess the risks and benefits of prescribing opioids, and identify areas where more evidence and research is needed.

Dec. 12, 2019

Report Offers Promising Approaches to Make HHS Adolescent Health Programs More Effective

©Maskot/Getty ImagesA new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says that says that HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health should focus funding on holistic, evidence-based, population-wide adolescent health programs that consider adolescent risk-taking as normative. The department should ensure its programs promote building-block skills that make healthy behaviors possible for adolescents.

Dec. 11, 2019

International Collaboration, Cross-Disciplinary Workforce Development and Education Needed for U.S. to Maintain Leadership in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Science

Maintaining U.S. Leadership in AMO ScienceThe federal government should foster collaboration and decrease obstacles that can keep foreign atomic, molecular, and optical (AMO) physicists from working in the United States, if the nation is to maintain its position as leader in these fields, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. As AMO science increasingly overlaps with different science disciplines, federal agencies and academia should enable cross-disciplinary workforce and educational cooperation among scientists.

Dec. 10, 2019

First Nobel Prize Summit to Be Held in Washington, D.C. April 29-May 1, 2020

First Nobel Prize Summit to Be Held April 29-May 1 in Washington, D.C The first-ever Nobel Prize Summit, Our Planet, Our Future, will bring together Nobel laureates and other world-renowned experts and leaders to advance new insights into global sustainable development and explore actions that need to be taken to ensure humanity’s future on a prosperous, stable, and resilient planet. The three-day summit will be held at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, with related events expected to be held at other institutions and venues throughout Washington, D.C.

Dec. 4, 2019

One Year After Hong Kong Summit, Developments in Human Genome Editing Underscore Urgency for International Agreement on Standards and Oversight

It has been a little over a year since the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong, where scientist He Jiankui (pictured above) announced the birth of twins whose healthy embryonic genomes had been edited to confer resistance to HIV. The revelation drew condemnation from the summit organizers and much of the international scientific community.

Nov. 21, 2019

Regulating Medicines in a Globalized World

Regulating Medicines in a Globalized World Medicine regulatory authorities (RAs) — including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — should strengthen cooperation with other countries’ regulators to ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of medicines, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Regulating Medicines in a Globalized World: The Need for Increased Reliance Among Regulators contains recommendations to promote information sharing among RAs with the aim of protecting public health, ensuring faster access to critical medicines, and encouraging innovation in medicine and technology.

Nov. 13, 2019

At-Home DNA Tests Still Need the 'Human Touch,' Say Panelists at Genomics Roundtable Workshop

When Sara Altschule took a 23andMe ancestry test, the results confirmed what she already suspected: She is 77 percent Ashkenazi Jew. However, months later, after opting into add-on health tests, she received life-changing news: She had a BRCA2 gene mutation, which is particularly prevalent among Ashkenazi Jewish women. Altschule’s BRCA2 mutation meant her lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is about 69 percent; for ovarian cancer, it is about 17 percent.

While having this knowledge was empowering for her, Altschule also wishes she had received the results from a genetic counselor — not via email, she told attendees at a recent workshop of the Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine where she spoke about her experience with at-home genetic testing.

Nov. 13, 2019

Committee Member Testifies Before Congress on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science

David AllisonDavid Allison, member of the committee that wrote a 2019 National Academies report on reproducibility and replicability in science, appeared on Nov. 13, 2019 before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology to discuss the report’s recommendations and findings. The report recommends ways that researchers, academic institutions, journals, and funders should help strengthen rigor and transparency in order to improve the reproducibility and replicability of scientific research.

Oct. 30, 2019

Mentoring Could Improve Diversity and Inclusion in STEMM But Needs More Attention in Colleges and Universities

©Hero Images/Getty ImagesU.S. colleges and universities should take a more intentional, inclusive, and evidence-based approach to mentoring students in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine) – a shift that could engage and help retain a broader group of students in these fields, says a new National Academies report, which identifies effective mentoring practices. Effective mentoring relationships have an overall positive effect on academic achievement, retention, and degree attainment, as well as on career success and satisfaction.

Oct. 29, 2019

Juvenile Justice - Moving From Punishment to Hope and Healing

Every year in the United States, nearly 250,000 youths are tried, sentenced, or incarcerated as adults. Though the age limit for juvenile court varies from state to state, the cutoff age in most jurisdictions is 18. Frankie Guzman, a lawyer at the National Center for Youth Law who directs its California Youth Justice Initiative and who was incarcerated himself as a youth, calls this cutoff “arbitrary,” because the adolescent brain continues to develop well into one’s 20s.

“It is immoral and unethical to incarcerate children — especially in a system that offers very little in the way of developmentally appropriate services,” said Guzman at a recent National Academies workshop that examined the effects of involvement with the juvenile justice system on the health and well-being of adolescents, families, and communities of color.

Oct. 23, 2019

Reversing Clinician Burnout and Improving Professional Well-Being

Getty ImagesBetween one-third and one-half of U.S. clinicians experience burnout. Addressing the epidemic requires systemic changes by health care organizations, educational institutions, and all levels of government, says a new report from the National Academy of Medicine Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being outlines six goals that these stakeholders should pursue to prevent and mitigate clinician burnout and foster professional well-being.

Burnout, a work-related phenomenon, can jeopardize patient care and cause doctors, nurses, and other clinicians to leave the health care profession altogether. Mounting pressures in the health care system have contributed to burnout – including long hours, extensive documentation requirements, difficulties with work-home balance, unsupportive organizational culture, and ineffective team structures.

Oct. 22, 2019

PFAS: Controlling, Preventing, and Understanding Exposure

PFAS, or perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are ubiquitous fluorinated organic compounds found widely in manufactured products, from firefighting foam to stain-resistant carpets. These water- and oil-repellent compounds are known to degrade slowly over time, and have been found in humans, drinking water, and even in Arctic ecosystems.

What do we know about human exposure to PFAS? How can contaminated media be treated? How can these compounds be controlled, and how can exposure be prevented? Last month, the Environmental Health Matters Initiative of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a two-day workshop that brought together experts and stakeholders from academia, research, government, and industry to address these and other important questions about PFAS.

Oct. 22, 2019

Team From University of Maryland, Baltimore, Wins Grand Prize in 2019 D.C. Public Health Case Challenge

Winners of D.C. Public Health Case Challenge AnnouncedThe winners of the seventh annual D.C. Public Health Case Challenge were announced at this year’s NAM Annual Meeting. The challenge aims to promote interdisciplinary, problem-based learning around a public health issue of importance to the Washington, D.C., community.

The challenge topic was “Reducing Health Disparities in Maternal Mortality by Addressing Unmet Health-Related Social Needs.” The teams from D.C.-area universities -- each composed of four to six members from at least three disciplines -- were given two weeks to develop a solution to this complex problem with a hypothetical $3 million budget to be used during a five-year span. The teams presented their solutions to a panel of expert judges, and teams were evaluated on the interdisciplinary nature of their response, feasibility of implementation, creativity, and practicality.

Oct. 21, 2019

NAM Honors Three Members for Outstanding Service

NAM Honors Three Members for Outstanding Service For their outstanding service, the National Academy of Medicine honored members Cato Laurencin, University Professor and Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut; David Savitz, professor of epidemiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics at Brown University; and Gail Wilensky, economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE.

Oct. 21, 2019

National Academy of Medicine Elects 100 New Members

National Academy of Medicine Elects 100 New MembersThe National Academy of Medicine today announced the election of 90 regular members and 10 international members during its annual meeting. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Oct. 21, 2019

National Academy of Medicine Launches Global Competition Seeking Solutions for Improving Healthy Longevity, More Than $30 Million in Prizes to be Awarded Over Five Years

NAM Launches Healthy Longevity Global Competition The National Academy of Medicine (NAM), in collaboration with eight global organizations representing more than 40 countries and territories, announced today the launch of the Healthy Longevity Global Competition, a multiyear, multimillion-dollar international competition seeking breakthrough innovations to extend human health and function later in life.

Oct. 18, 2019

National Academy of Medicine Annual Meeting Begins

National Academy of Medicine Annual Meeting BeginsNAM is holding its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Events include a scientific program on the evolution of technology in biomedical science and a President’s Forum on the societal implications of emerging science and technology in health and medicine. Agenda | Webcast

Oct. 16, 2019

Recognizing Unconscious Racial Bias: 2019 Henry and Bryna David Lecture Examines Stereotypes and Their Impacts

We tend to think of the process of seeing as fairly objective — that our eyes are similar to cameras, neutrally taking in light and turning it into pictures. But research has shown that biases buried beneath our awareness can powerfully influence how we see. Stanford University social psychologist and NAS member Jennifer Eberhardt delivered the 2019 Henry and Bryna David Lecture last week at the National Academies, offering an overview of research on how biases work beyond the lab and shape our real-world behavior.

Oct. 14, 2019

NAS and Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei Organize Conference on Nuclear Security

NAS and Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei Organize Conference on Nuclear SecurityOn October 7 and 8, NAS and the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei convened a diverse group of experts, eminent scientists, diplomats, and policymakers to discuss nuclear security, arms control, and non-proliferation, and how scientists can help make the world safer and more secure. The XXI Edoardo Amaldi Conference at the Palazzo Corsini in Rome included addresses by the presidents of the Italian and U.S. Academies of Sciences, five Nobel Laureates and Nobel Prize-awarded organizations, and nuclear experts and officials from nearly a dozen countries, such as China, Iran, and Israel, and eight international organizations, including the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, European Commission, and the International Atomic Energy Agency, among others.

“We must do our part to make an increasingly divisive and dangerous world more connected and safe,” said U.S. National Academy of Sciences president Marcia McNutt in her opening remarks. “Science is a common language that every nation in the world speaks. Regardless of a nation’s history, culture, or religion, scientific evidence is a value that everyone shares. For that reason, free, open, and reciprocally beneficial collaborations among scientists around the world based on transparent and mutually respectful interactions are essential, if we want to give science advice on these topics and others.”

Oct. 14, 2019

NAS Member Shares 2019 Nobel in Economics

NAS Member Shares 2019 Nobel in EconomicsOct. 14 - The 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded jointly to Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." Duflo is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Oct. 9, 2019

35th Anniversary Edition of Issues in Science and Technology, a Collaboration of the National Academies and Arizona State University, Launches

35th Anniversary Edition of Issues in Science and Technology LaunchesAs the power and potential of science and technology continue to grow, the insights that motivated the creation of Issues in Science and Technology have become increasingly pertinent. The 35th anniversary issue advances the debate about matters of science and technology policy with independent essays on broadband access, the social sciences, decarbonization, and more.

Read a piece from Issues’ editor-in-chief Daniel Sarewitz and an essay by technology consultant Jeffrey Funk on his plan for encouraging more innovation and countering “technological hype,” which according the author, obscures the fact that many start-ups are losing vast sums of money and true innovation in the tech sector is slowing.

Oct. 9, 2019

NAS/NAE Members Share Chemistry Nobel

Copyright © Nobel Media 2019. Illustration: Niklas ElmehedThe Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2019 was awarded jointly to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino "for the development of lithium-ion batteries." Goodenough is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, and Whittingham is a National Academy of Engineering member.

Oct. 8, 2019

NAS Members Receive 2019 Nobel in Physics

2019 nobel in physicsNational Academy of Sciences member James Peebles has been awarded half of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2019 “for contributions to our understanding of the evolution of the universe and Earth’s place in the cosmos.” The other half is shared jointly by National Academy of Sciences foreign associate Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz “for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star.”

Oct. 7, 2019

NAS/NAM Members Receive 2019 Nobel Prize in Medicine

2019 nobel in medicineThe 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to William G. Kaelin Jr., Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.” They identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen.

Kaelin and Semenza are members of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine.

Oct. 4, 2019

NAE Annual Meeting Examines Apollo Legacy, Future of Human Space Flight

NAE Annual Meeting Examines Apollo Legacy, Future of Human Space FlightNational Academy of Engineering members will gather Oct. 6-7 in Washington, D.C., to induct new members and welcome distinguished speakers who will discuss the legacy of the Apollo missions and the implications for future human space flight exploration, workforce development, and public engagement.

Oct. 4, 2019

National Academy of Engineering Announces Winners of 2019 Simon Ramo Founders and Arthur M. Bueche Awards

NAE Announces Winners of Founders and Bueche AwardsOn Sunday, Oct. 6, during its 2019 annual meeting, the National Academy of Engineering will present two awards for extraordinary impact on the engineering profession. The Simon Ramo Founders Award will be presented to Cato Thomas Laurencin for his research contributions and leadership in engineering. The Arthur M. Bueche Award will be given to Roderic Ivan Pettigrew for his contributions to technology research, policy, and national and international cooperation.

Oct. 2, 2019

Statement on Removal of Web Page on Human Genome Editing

We recently launched a new website intended to highlight the science underlying questions that our research shows Americans have about current issues. We are concerned that content on a page about human genome editing, including a video, left the misimpression that the use of genome editing for the “enhancement” of human traits is permissible or taken lightly. As that was not our intent, we are deleting the page and video (we deleted related social media posts earlier). We apologize for any concern or confusion we caused.

Our 2017 report on the science, ethics, and governance of human genome editing recommended that non-heritable (somatic) genome editing in clinical trials or therapies should be limited to treatment or prevention of disease or disability. Like other scientific and medical organizations, we have stated that heritable (germline) genome editing should not proceed at this time. Human genome editing requires much more research and public discussion of the ethics and governance of its potential uses. Our work to inform this research and discussion continues.

Sept. 23, 2019

Human Rights in Age of Social Media, Big Data, and AI

In just a few years, digital technologies have allowed faster mobilization in response to humanitarian crises, better documentation of war crimes in conflict zones like Syria and Yemen, and more accessible platforms for organizing peaceful demonstrations around the world.

However, while social media and big data can be powerful tools for anticipating, analyzing, and responding to human rights concerns, these technologies also pose unprecedented challenges. Social media has been weaponized to spread disinformation, interfere in elections, and promote and incite violence. And websites and apps are continuously collecting broad swaths of data on their users — often without them being aware of it, or of how or where their personal information is being used or stored.

A recent symposium at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, organized by the Academies’ Committee on Human Rights, brought together leading experts on human rights and technology for an-depth exploration of these issues.

Sept. 26, 2019

Summer Offers Opportunities for Social and Academic Growth, But Can Also Put Disadvantaged Children at Risk

©Hero Images/Getty ImagesSummer is a chance for children and youth to develop. However, for those living in disadvantaged communities, summertime experiences can lead to worse health, social, emotional, academic, and safety outcomes. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine lays out nine recommendations to address obstacles that disadvantaged children can face during the summer, including lack of access to quality programs, food insecurity, and exposure to unsafe and dangerous conditions.

Sept. 25, 2019

Making Social Needs a Standard Part of Health Care Delivery

©Hero Images/Getty ImagesWhether a patient has a safe place to live or healthy food to eat has an important influence on their health, but such nonmedical social needs have not traditionally been addressed in routine health care visits. A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine contains five overarching goals and associated recommendations that health care systems, government agencies, and others should implement to better integrate patients’ social needs into health care delivery.

Sept. 23, 2019

NAS President Co-Authors PNAS Perspective

Read a new Perspective on scientific trustworthiness co-authored by NAS President Marcia McNutt. Appearing in the latest issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the piece recommends that scientific researchers and publishers broadly communicate that the norms of scientific research — culture of critique, replication of results, transparency, self-correction, and safeguards against bias — are being upheld. In addition, an opinion piece co-authored by Dr. McNutt based on the PNAS Perspective appears in STAT.

Sept. 19, 2019

National Academy of Medicine Announces Recipients of Prestigious Awards for Outstanding Achievements in Mental Health and Personal Health Care Fields

2019 Lienhard and Sarnat awards with namesFor her role in transforming a safety net hospital into a national model for high-quality, cost-efficient health care, the National Academy of Medicine today announced Patricia Gabow is the recipient of the 2019 Gustav O. Lienhard Award for Advancement of Health Care. In addition, Daniel Weinberger is the recipient of the 2019 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health, for his fundamental role in elucidating the biological origins and genetic expressions of schizophrenia, and for transforming how clinicians, researchers, and the public understand mental illness. The awards will be presented at the National Academy of Medicine’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21.

Sept. 18, 2019

Expert Group Including NAM President Outlines Steps to Combat Pandemics

NAM President Victor J. Dzau, a member of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), convened by the World Health Organization and the World Bank Group after the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, is among the international expert authors of a new GPMB report that outlines steps to prepare for and mitigate the effects of a widespread global health emergency.

Sept. 12, 2019

Exploring the Complications of Counting Casualties After Natural Disasters

There are many gray areas when collecting data on how and why people died in a disaster. Sometimes, it can take months or even years for a disaster death toll to become fully known. Collecting this information is critical for informing recovery and preparedness efforts, but the challenges of this process have become ever apparent in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian. A National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study that is now underway aims to identify best practices for collecting, recording, and reporting death and illness data during and immediately after large-scale weather disasters.

Sept. 11, 2019

U.S. Should Create National Agenda to Improve Child and Youth Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Health, Says Report

©Hero Images/Getty ImagesA new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for a comprehensive national agenda to improve mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) health in children and youth. Despite advances in research, rates of depression, suicide and self-harm among young people have been increasing. The report finds that new research into factors that influence MEB health, effective interventions, and better ways to implement those interventions on a broad scale are forming a foundation for significantly improving healthy MEB development.

Sept. 10, 2019

Members Receive Prestigious Lasker Award

2019 Lasker AwardsThe Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced today that the 2019 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award goes to NAS/NAM member Max D. Cooper and NAS foreign associate Jacques Miller “for their discovery of the two distinct classes of lymphocytes, B and T cells — a monumental achievement that provided the organizing principle of the adaptive immune system and launched the course of modern immunology.”

Sept. 5, 2019

NAM President Delivers Lecture at Nobel Conference

National Academy of Medicine President Victor Dzau delivered a plenary lecture at the Nobel conference, which was held at the Nobel Forum in Stockholm, Sweden, about major medical breakthroughs and lifesaving therapies, such as penicillin and statins, that are the consequences of basic discovery research on nature.

Sept. 5, 2019

EngineerGirl Announces 2019 Class of Student Ambassadors

EngineerGirlThe National Academy of Engineering today announced the new class of the EngineerGirl Ambassadors program. The 16 selected will participate in a yearlong program designed to build leadership skills in female high school students by helping them promote engineering to younger students in their community.

Sept. 3, 2019

Reproducibility and Replicability in Research

Imagine giving one recipe to 10 different chefs and getting 10 completely different results. This inconsistency could be due to any number of factors — variables that cannot be controlled, omission of details, or shortcomings in design and execution. The same challenges apply to scientific experiments.

One of the ways that scientists confirm the validity of a new discovery is by repeating the research that produced it. A recent National Academies report defines reproducibility and replicability and examines the extent of non-reproducibility and non-replicability. The report also provides recommendations to researchers, academic institutions, journals, and funders on steps they can take to improve reproducibility and replicability in science.

Aug. 26, 2019

NAM Town Halls Explore How New Roles, New Tech, and Social Needs Are Transforming the Nursing Field

Future of Nursing 2020-2030 Nurses are taking on new and expanded roles in health care, a major theme discussed at the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) three recent town halls on the future of nursing. Held in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Seattle, the three town halls will inform NAM’s Future of Nursing 2020-2030 study, which is looking at the opportunities and challenges facing the profession in the next decade.

Aug. 20, 2019

International Commission on Heritable Genome Editing Holds First Public Meeting

Kay E. Davies (left) and Richard P. Lifton (second from left), co-chairsLast week the International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing held its first public meeting at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C. The commission was convened earlier this year by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society of the U.K. With the participation of science and medical academies around the world, the commission will develop a framework for scientists, clinicians, and regulatory authorities to consider when assessing potential clinical applications of human germline genome editing.

Aug. 15, 2019

Review of Report on Supplemental Low-Activity Waste at Hanford Nuclear Site Now Available for Public Comment

Photo credit: Bechtel National IncA new National Academies report — which reviews a separate report by a federally funded laboratory that examines options for treating low-activity radioactive waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation — is available for public comment until Oct. 31. A survey that can be used to comment on the National Academies report or the federally funded laboratory’s report is available online, along with links to both reports.

Aug. 15, 2019

2019 Communication Award Winners Announced

2019 Communication Award Winners AnnouncedThe National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced today the recipients of the 2019 Communication Awards. ‘She Has Her Mother’s Laugh’ has won Best Book Award; NPR, Science News, ProPublica, and GroundTruth Project/Frontline PBS also take top prizes.

Supported by the W.M. Keck Foundation since 2003 as part of the Keck Futures Initiative, these prestigious awards in four categories — each of which includes a $20,000 prize — recognize excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the general public. That program has ended, and this will be the final year of these awards. The winners will be honored during a ceremony on Oct. 16 in Washington, D.C.

Aug. 14, 2019

National Academies Forum Examines Role of Tech and Social Innovation in the Food System


Rev. Heber Brown III wants people to erase the term “food desert” from their vocabulary. “What I would rather say is ‘food apartheid’,” said the pastor of Baltimore’s historically black Pleasant Hope Baptist Church at a recent workshop on food system innovations held by the National Academies’ Food Forum.

Read more about how emerging technologies in the food system could make a big difference for communities like Brown’s.

Aug. 14, 2019

Stronger Policies Needed to Protect the Public From Legionnaires Disease

Credit: CDC; illustration of Legionella pneumophilaThe U.S. needs stronger policies and guidance to combat Legionnaires’ disease, a form of pneumonia caused by inhaling air contaminated with Legionella bacteria from water systems, says a new report from the National Academies. Currently there is an absence of regulations that can broadly control the presence of Legionella in water systems. The report calls for a range of actions to combat the growth of the bacteria, such as ensuring that hot water temperatures in buildings are high enough, requiring a minimum level of disinfectant in public water systems, and providing homeowners with more guidance on how to prevent Legionella.

Aug. 7, 2019

National Academies' Gulf Research Program Announces 2019 Science Policy Fellowship Recipients

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies has announced the nine recipients of its 2019 Science Policy Fellowships. Now in its fifth year, this fellowship program supports the development of future generations of scientists, engineers, and health professionals prepared to work at the intersections of ecosystem health, community health and resilience, and offshore energy system safety in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. coastal regions.

Aug. 6, 2019

National Academies Report Helps Inform Metrics for Healthy People 2030

The National Academies today released Criteria for Selecting the Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2030, the first of two reports that will help inform the development of Healthy People 2030 (HP2030). Every 10 years, Healthy People — a federal initiative aiming to improve the health of all Americans — releases a comprehensive list of goals for health promotion and disease prevention at the national, state, and local levels.

Each edition of Healthy People also includes Leading Health Indicators (LHIs), a select subset of objectives related to high-priority health issues. A National Academies committee was asked to comment on the criteria that will be used to choose the LHIs, before HP2030 is finalized and released next year. In a second report expected later this year, the committee will also recommend a slate of LHIs that are aligned with the vision, mission, and overarching goals of HP2030.

Aug. 2, 2019

Virtual Clinical Trials: A New Model for Patient Engagement

For some patients, the ability to participate in a clinical trial from the comfort of one’s home is becoming a reality.

Nearly 70 percent of potential clinical trial participants live more than two hours away from a study center, limiting their opportunities to benefit from possibly life-changing therapies. For many, getting to the site for one or multiple visits is not an option. However, digital health technologies – including mobile phone apps, fitness trackers and other wearables, and electronic patient portals – are enabling some clinical trials to be conducted partially or entirely remotely.

At a recent National Academies workshop, panelists examined the potential benefits of virtual clinical trials, such as faster participant recruitment and improved retention; fewer geographic, financial, and time barriers for participants; and increased participant diversity and representation.

Aug. 1, 2019

Editorial Marks 40th Anniversary of Landmark Report on Climate Change

© the most recent issue of Science, NAS President Marcia McNutt authored an editorial about the 40th anniversary of a groundbreaking Academy report on climate change. “Fast-forward to 2019, and these calculations of the sensitivity of climate to a doubling of CO2 have proven to be remarkably on target,” writes McNutt. “What else can scientists do to spur action to avert the worst impacts of climate change?”

July 25, 2019

Advancing Health Equity for Kids

© lack of supportive policies for families in the United States, such as paid parental leave, has serious implications for health equity, as it affects families’ overall health and financial stability, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Implementing paid family leave at the federal, state, or local levels could improve workforce participation, sustain household income, and in turn, promote children’s health and well-being, says the report. It also recommends improving financial stability, food security, and housing quality and safety to help families meet basic needs during the prenatal through early childhood periods.

July 23, 2019

New IAP Report Calls for Strengthening Science Support for Africa's Sustainable Development

Strengthening Links Between Science and Policy in AfricaThe InterAcademy Partnership — the global network of over 140 national academies of science, engineering, and medicine — has released a new report making the case for strengthening the science-policy interface in Africa to accelerate the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the African Union’s Strategy for Africa. The report was released in Pretoria, South Africa, at a stakeholder workshop of the Academy of Science of South Africa and a board meeting of the Network of African Science Academies.

July 23, 2019

Global Grand Challenges Summit 2019 Will Bring Over 900 Engineers to London to Address 'Engineering in an Unpredictable World'

September Summit on ‘Engineering in an Unpredictable World’ International thought leaders will join the next generation of engineers in London from Sept. 16 to 18 for the Global Grand Challenges Summit 2019. The summit aims to help inspire and equip future engineering leaders to address the rapidly evolving challenges of an unpredictable world. Over 30 speakers have been announced and former Wired UK editor David Rowan will host the summit.

Jointly hosted by the U.K., U.S. and Chinese academies of engineering, Engineering in an Unpredictable World will challenge engineers to address the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering, as well as the issues set out in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on sustaining a world of 10 billion people, and ensuring that AI and other transformational technologies have a positive impact on humanity. More than 900 participants are expected, including leading and emerging engineers, researchers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and policymakers. Read More

July 19, 2019

Military Families Require More Coordinated Support, Says New Report

©asiseeit/iStock.comThe U.S. Department of Defense’s Military Family Readiness System lacks a comprehensive, coordinated framework to support well-being, resilience, and readiness, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report recommends that DOD programs for military families account for the degree to which family structures within the military community have changed in recent years as a result of changes in American society.

July 11, 2019

Federal Investments Are Imperative for Continued Success in Highway Innovation, Says New Report

The Vital Federal Role in Highway InnovationThe nation’s highways and roads connect almost 330 million Americans and are important to both commerce and national security. Two-thirds of total passenger travel in the country moves along this vast network of roads, as does 60 percent of the weight and almost three-quarters of the value of total U.S. freight transported. The immense value of this system does not come without costs, however, such as congestion, outdated infrastructure, safety, sustainability, and other challenges.

The research, development, and technology (RD&T) programs of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and USDOT’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) work with state and local governments to find solutions. Tasked with evaluating the effectiveness of these programs, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined in a new report that the RD&T programs of the FHWA and ITS JPO continue to meet key criteria set forth by Congress. Despite the beneficial work of these programs, their ability to respond to emerging and rapidly changing critical issues in transportation is constrained by available resources.

July 9, 2019

International Meeting Explores How to Fund Science for Sustainability

The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lays out a range of ambitious goals for global development, from achieving food security to combating climate change to making the world’s cities sustainable. Advances in science and technology will need to play a critical role in meeting these challenges. How can organizations that fund science target and coordinate their efforts in ways that speed progress toward these goals?

An international meeting convened by the International Science Council (ISC) and hosted by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences this week tackled that question, as representatives from over 90 science funders – development agencies, private foundations, governments – gathered to develop a shared vision of how science can help achieve the goals. Sessions explored challenges faced by science systems in striving to meet sustainable development goals, how strategic partnerships can help navigate these challenges, and how to maximizing the impact of research investments.

International Meeting Explores How to Fund Science for Sustainability

July 1, 2019

John L. Anderson Takes Helm at NAE

John L. Anderson Takes Helm at NAEJohn L. Anderson begins a six-year term as president of the National Academy of Engineering today. Anderson, president emeritus and distinguished professor of chemical engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, has been an NAE member for close to 30 years. In addition to his service on the NAE Council, he has served on numerous NAE and National Academies committees.

July 1, 2019

NAE Receives $2 Million to Expand EngineerGirl

NAE Receives $2 Million to Expand EngineerGirlThe National Academy of Engineering announced that it will be receiving a $2 million investment from the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation to support and expand EngineerGirl, NAE’s premier program to promote the exciting opportunities that engineering presents for girls and women. Read More

June 27, 2019

Examining National Cancer Control Efforts

Examining National Cancer Control EffortsCurrent cancer control efforts in the United States typically are fragmented and uncoordinated, but taking a systems approach to establish a U.S. National Cancer Control Plan would address the challenge more holistically, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report recommends a strategy, based on the principles of systems engineering, to coordinate the priorities and actions of multiple stakeholders, improve resource integration, and promote joint accountability for achieving national cancer control goals.

June 26, 2019

Study Committee Members Brief Congress on Election Security

Study Committee Members Brief Congress on Election SecurityAs jurisdictions around the nation explore how to shore up their voting systems against vulnerabilities revealed by the 2016 election, Congress held a hearing yesterday to learn more about cyberthreats and options for thwarting them. Among those offering testimony were two members of the committee that wrote the National Academies’ 2018 report Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy.

“Our report recommends that a detailed set of cybersecurity best practices for state and local election officials be developed, maintained, and incorporated into election operations,” committee member Neal Kelley told members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. Kelley, who is registrar of voters for Orange County, California, also stressed the importance of conducting elections with human-readable paper ballots.

Josh Beneloh, senior cryptographer at Microsoft Research, explained that because most U.S. election jurisdictions are small and have very limited resources, they face an asymmetric battle in trying to fend off threats from foreign nations. “While we cannot guarantee that attacks can be prevented, we can guarantee that they’re detectable.” One way to do this is by using risk-limiting audits, which are recommended in the Academies report, and which have already been piloted in about a dozen U.S. jurisdictions in recent years, Beneloh noted. By examining a sample of paper ballots to determine whether the votes in an election have been tabulated correctly, these audits can help ensure the accuracy of the vote and increase confidence in the outcome of elections.

June 19, 2019

Academies Call for Global Action to Reduce Air Pollution

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and U.S. National Academy of Medicine joined the science academies of South Africa, Brazil, and Germany today in issuing a statement calling for urgent worldwide action to reduce air pollution. The statement was handed over to senior United Nations representatives and diplomats from the four nations at a ceremony today in New York.

Air pollution is a cross-cutting aspect of many UN Sustainable Development Goals. Air pollution is estimated to contribute to the premature deaths of at least 5 million people worldwide per year, as well as to chronic health conditions such as heart disease, asthma, diabetes, and allergies, among others. The global economic burden of disease caused by air pollution across 176 countries in 2015 was estimated to be $3.8 trillion.

In the statement, the five academies propose the adoption of a global compact on air pollution to ensure sustained engagement at the highest level and make air pollution reduction a priority for all. Many technology and policy solutions are available to reduce air pollution, such implementing emission controls for industry and power plants or changing to clean fuels, providing access to clean fuels for households, enforcing rules to eliminate garbage burning, and using agricultural techniques to reduce crop burning.

Air Pollution and Health

June 18, 2019

National Academies Presidents Affirm the Scientific Evidence of Climate Change

Statement by Presidents on Climate ScienceRecently, questions have been raised about climate science. The National Academies have addressed many of these questions in our independent, evidence-based reports. We are speaking out to support the cumulative scientific evidence for climate change and the scientists who continue to advance our understanding.

June 13, 2019

New Report Calls for a National System to Measure Equity in Education, Identify Disparities in Outcomes and Opportunity

© centralized, consistently reported system of indicators of educational equity is needed to bring attention to disparities in the U.S. education system, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Indicators — measures used to track performance and monitor change over time — can help convey why disparities arise, identify groups most affected by them, and inform policy and practice measures to improve equity in pre-K through 12th grade education.

June 12, 2019

Protecting Coral Reefs in a Deteriorating Environment

©Elaine Ross/iStock.comCoral reefs around the world face growing danger from a changing climate, on top of the historic threats from local pollution and habitat destruction. In response, scientists are researching new interventions that have the potential to slow coral reef damage from warming and acidifying oceans. The interventions span a wide range of physical and biological approaches for increasing the stability of coral reefs, but they have only been tested at small scales. A new report from the National Academies examines these resilience tools and provides decision-makers with a process they can follow in considering whether to use one or more of the novel approaches.

May 22, 2019

International Commission Launched on Heritable Human Genome Editing

International Commission Launched on Heritable Human Genome EditingAn international commission has been convened by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society of the U.K., with the participation of science and medical academies around the world, to develop a framework for scientists, clinicians, and regulatory authorities to consider when assessing potential clinical applications of human germline genome editing. The framework will identify a number of scientific, medical, and ethical requirements that should be considered, and could inform the development of a potential pathway from research to clinical use -- if society concludes that heritable human genome editing applications are acceptable.

May 20, 2019

NAS and NAM Presidents Give Commencement Addresses

NAS President Marcia McNutt delivered the commencement address to Boston University graduates on May 19, where she discussed trust in science and evidence, and the importance of making informed decisions.

On May 17, NAM President Victor Dzau spoke to graduates of the Western University Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, urging them to keep their commitment to patients at the forefront as they embark on a career in medicine.

NAS President Marcia McNutt NAM President Victor Dzau

May 16, 2019

New Report Calls for Policies and Practices to Promote Positive Adolescent Development and Close the Opportunity Gap

© changes in brain structure and connectivity that occur between the ages of 10 and 25 present adolescents with unique opportunities for positive, life-shaping development, and for recovering from past adversity, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth provides recommendations for capitalizing on these opportunities, and for addressing inequities — in education, health care, child welfare, and the juvenile justice system — that undermine the well-being of many adolescents and leave them less able to take advantage of the promise offered by this stage of life.

May 15, 2019

EngineerGirl Announces 2019 Writing Contest Winners

2019 EngineerGirl
The National Academy of Engineering today announced the winners of its 2019 EngineerGirl writing competition. This year's contest celebrates engineering design and problem solving, asking students in grades three to 12 to write a creative story in which women and girls save the day with their wits, skill, and whatever resources they can find.

May 15, 2019

Organohalogen Flame Retardants Cannot Be Assessed for Hazards as a Single Class, But Can Be Assessed in

© new National Academies report offers guidance to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on how to conduct a hazard assessment of nonpolymeric, additive organohalogen flame retardants (OFRs), which are used in some consumer products. OFRs cannot be treated as a single class for hazard assessment, the report says, but they can be divided into subclasses based on chemical structure, physical and chemical properties, and predicted biologic activity. The report identifies 14 subclasses that CPSC can use to conduct a class-based hazard assessment of OFRs. Such an approach is likely to be more efficient and less costly than the traditional approach of evaluating each chemical individually.

May 13, 2019

NAE Elects President, Foreign Secretary, and Four Councillors

NAE Elects President, Foreign Secretary, and Four Councillors The National Academy of Engineering has elected John L. Anderson, president emeritus and distinguished professor of chemical engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, to serve a six-year term as the NAE's president. Anderson succeeds C. D. Mote, Jr., who has served one term as president. Elected to serve a four-year term as the NAE's foreign secretary is James M. Tien, distinguished professor and dean emeritus at University of Miami. The Academy also elected four members to its governing Council. All terms begin July 1, 2019.

May 10, 2019

NAE Selects Five Student Teams to Represent U.S. at the 2019 Global Grand Challenges Summit

Global Grand Challenges Summit 2019The U.S. National Academy of Engineering today announced five teams and an alternate, selected from more than two dozen U.S. competitors, to represent the United States in a business plan competition at the 2019 Global Grand Challenges Summit in London on September 12–18, 2019.

May 9, 2019

New Report Identifies Ways Work-Related Disability Determinations Can Collect More Comprehensive Health Information

© of a person's ability to function at work provide important information for disability determinations, and many validated tests are available to assess work-related physical and mental functions. However, because no single test of function is likely to provide all of the information needed to evaluate an individual's ability to work, it is important to consider information from multiple sources, including health records, functional assessments, and standardized reports from the applicant and relevant health care providers, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report contains findings and conclusions regarding the collection of health data and the assessment of functional abilities that can help determine eligibility for Social Security disability benefits.

May 7, 2019

New Report Examines Reproducibility and Replicability in Science, Recommends Ways to Improve Transparency and Rigor in Research

Reproducibility and Replicability in ScienceWhile computational reproducibility in scientific research is generally expected when the original data and code are available, lack of ability to replicate a previous study — or obtain consistent results looking at the same scientific question but with different data — is more nuanced and occasionally can aid in the process of scientific discovery, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report recommends ways that researchers, academic institutions, journals, and funders should help strengthen rigor and transparency in order to improve the reproducibility and replicability of scientific research.

May 6, 2019

G-7 Science Academies Issue Topical Statements

On May 6, the science academies of the G-7 countries issued three joint statements to inform discussions during the G-7 summit to be held in August in France. In the statements, the academies call for strategies to maintain trust in science, manage the societal benefits and risks related to artificial intelligence, and maximize the benefits of citizen science in the Internet era. 

April 30, 2019

National Academy of Sciences Elects Members and Foreign Associates; Historic Number of Women Elected to Its Membership

NAS members electedThe National Academy of Sciences announced today the election of 100 new members and 25 foreign associates in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Forty percent of the newly elected members are women — the most ever elected in any one year to date.

April 28, 2019

NAS Honors Award Winners

NAS AwardsDuring a ceremony at its 156th annual meeting, the National Academy of Sciences presented the 2019 Public Welfare Medal to agricultural scientist, policymaker, and visionary leader Agnes Kalibata "for her work to drive Africa's agricultural transformation through modern science and effective policy, helping to lift more than a million Rwandans out of poverty and scaling impacts for millions more African farmers." NAS also honored 18 other individuals with awards for their outstanding scientific achievements.

April 26, 2019

NAS Annual Meeting Begins

NAS Annual MeetingThe National Academy of Sciences will hold its 156th annual meeting April 27-30. During the meeting, the Academy will elect new members, induct members elected in 2018, and present its 2019 awards recognizing excellence in research or public service. Various presentations and ceremonies will be video webcast. Follow the annual meeting activities on Twitter @theNASciences and join the conversation #NAS156.

April 26, 2019

NAM President Named Honorary Citizen of Singapore

Dzau named honorary citizen of SingaporeNational Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau has been named Honorary Citizen of Singapore — the country's highest honor. Singapore's president Halimah Yacob awarded Dzau and Professor Sir John O'Reilly at a ceremony held at the Istana, the executive state house of Singapore. Read More

Apr 23, 2019

In Remembrance of David A. Hamburg, Former Institute of Medicine President

David HamburgThe National Academies note with great sadness the passing of David A. Hamburg on April 21, 2019. Hamburg served as president of the Institute of Medicine from 1975 to 1980.

As president during its first decade of operation, Hamburg was instrumental in clarifying the role and focus areas of the IOM and laid the groundwork for productive relationships with Congress and federal agencies that remain fruitful to this day. Read More

April 17, 2019

NAM Announces Collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation in the Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge

NAM Announces Collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation in the Healthy LonThe National Academy of Medicine announced yesterday a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation as the principal corporate partner of the Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards in the United States. The Catalyst Awards are part of the Academy's Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge, which aims to create a worldwide movement to improve physical, mental, and social well-being for people as they age.

NAM President Victor J. Dzau and Johnson & Johnson's Global Head of External Innovation William N. Hait formally signed the agreement during a ceremony held April 16, 2019, at the National Academy of Sciences building.

April 12, 2019

Co-Chairs of Forensic Science Report Honored by Innocence Network

Co-Chairs of Forensic Science Report Honored by Innocence NetworkHarry T. Edwards and Constantine Gatsonis, co-chairs of the committee that authored the National Academies' 2009 report Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, have been awarded the Innocence Network's 2018 Champion of Justice Award. Judge Edwards accepted the award at the annual conference of the Innocence Network.

The award "was created to honor individuals who go above and beyond in supporting and championing efforts that free the wrongfully convicted, and/or reform the criminal justice system to prevent wrongful convictions. Their work strengthens the integrity of the justice system, is imbued by their sense of fairness and professionalism, and demonstrates a lasting dedication to the fair execution of the law."

The award pays tribute to the National Academies' report on the 10th anniversary of its publication. (See a timeline of report impacts.) In notifying Edwards and Gatsonis about the award, the Innocence Project thanked the committee for the report, "which has truly transformed the state of forensic science and the involvement of the research community in service of criminal justice reform."

April 12, 2019

Cherry Murray and Peggy Hamburg Elected Co-Chairs of IAP

Cherry Murray and Peggy Hamburg Elected Co-Chairs of IAPCherry Murray, a member of NAS and NAE, and Peggy Hamburg, NAM member and foreign secretary, have been elected as co-chairs of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) at the IAP General Assembly in Songdo, South Korea. IAP is the global network of over 140 science, engineering, and medical academies working together to provide independent, expert advice on scientific, technological, and health issues. Over the course of her career in physics, Murray has held prominent appointments in industry, academia, and the public sector, while Hamburg is a distinguished physician and public health administrator as well as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Murray and Hamburg were nominated by NAS President Marcia McNutt and NAM President Victor Dzau, respectively.

April 10, 2019

NAS Honors 10 U.S. Nobel and Kavli Prize Laureates

Nobel/Kavli Prize Winners Event 2019; photo by Kevin AllenFrom revolutionizing cancer care to modeling the economic impact of climate change, recent winners of Nobel and Kavli Prizes have explored virtually every angle of science. On Tuesday afternoon and evening, the National Academy of Sciences honored 10 of these esteemed individuals at events on Capitol Hill and at the NAS building. Read More

April 10, 2019

VA's Process for Determining Traumatic Brain Injury in Veterans Seeking Disability Compensation Examined in New Report

© DebenportThe U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs should expand the requirement in its disability compensation process regarding who can diagnose traumatic brain injury (TBI) to include any health care professional with pertinent and ongoing brain injury training and experience, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Currently, one of four specialties must diagnose TBI — a neurologist, neurosurgeon, physiatrist, or psychiatrist — but the report says that it is the training and experience, not necessarily the medical specialty that renders a health care provider capable of an accurate diagnosis.

April 10, 2019

National Academies and Academic Institutions Launch Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education

© Academies have joined with over 40 colleges, universities, and research institutions to launch an Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. The purpose of the action collaborative is to bring together academic leaders and key stakeholders to prevent sexual harassment across all disciplines and among all people in higher education. The action collaborative is designed to be an active space where colleges, universities, and research and training organizations can research and develop efforts that move beyond basic legal compliance to evidence-based policies and practices for addressing and preventing all forms of sexual harassment.

April 8, 2019

NAS Signs Cooperation Agreement with Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

right to left: NAS President Marcia McNutt; President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin; and IASH President Nili Cohen (photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt and Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities President Nili Cohen signed a historic cooperation agreement yesterday to benefit outstanding scientists in both countries and to formalize cooperative relations between the two countries' scientific communities. The signing took place in the presence of Reuven Rivlin, president of the State of Israel.

Under the terms of the agreement, annual national scientific conferences with the participation of dozens of leading scientists will take place alternately in Israel and the United States. The accord also provides for annual binational exchanges of eminent scientists and scholars, who will hold meetings and seminars at local academic institutions and deliver public lectures.

April 5, 2019

Dispersants Can Be an Effective Tool for Managing Impacts During a Major Marine Oil Spill

U.S. Air Force photoA new report from the National Academies examines the effects and efficacy of using dispersants in marine oil spill response. Dispersants reduce oil at the water's surface by promoting the formation and diffusion of small oil droplets that may biodegrade more readily. Field and modeling studies show that dispersants can be a useful tool for oil spill response, the report says. By reducing the amount of surface oil, dispersants can reduce response personnel's potential exposure to hazardous compounds in oil and lessen the extent of surface oil encountered by marine species.

March 29, 2019

New Report Calls for Different Approaches to Predict and Understand Urban Flooding

Photo by Dominick Del Vecchio/FEMAUrban flooding is a complex and distinct kind of flooding, compounded by land use and high population density, and it requires a different approach to assess and manage, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report calls for multi-agency and cross-jurisdictional efforts to assess urban flood hazards, advance understanding of social impacts, and effectively communicate urban flood risk.

March 28, 2019

Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of Red Wolf and Mexican Gray Wolf

Photo by B. Bartel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceCurrent evidence supports the classification of the contemporary red wolf as a distinct species of wolf, although additional genomic evidence from historic wolf specimens could change that assessment, says a new National Academies report. It also concludes that the Mexican gray wolf is a valid subspecies of gray wolf.

March 27, 2019

$5 Million in Grants Available to Advance Understanding of U.S. Gulf Coastal Ecosystems and Their Interactions with Natural Processes and Human Activities

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced a new funding opportunity under its Healthy Ecosystems Initiative. Up to $5 million is available to fund research projects that will improve understanding of how coastal ecosystems in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region are affected by or interact with natural processes and human activities for the purpose of informing natural resource decision-making and management practices.

March 20, 2019

Medications to Treat Opioid Addiction Are Effective and Save Lives, But Barriers Prevent Broad Access and Use, Says New Report

© three U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) are safe and effective, most people who could benefit from these treatments do not receive them, and access is inequitable, especially among certain subpopulations, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Save Lives says that withholding or failing to have available these medications for the treatment of OUD in any care or criminal justice setting is denying appropriate medical treatment. 

March 20, 2019

New Report Identifies Ways Communities Can More Effectively Measure Progress Toward Resilience

© A new report from the National Academies recommends steps U.S. communities can take to better measure their progress in building resilience to disasters, including measuring resilience around multiple dimensions of a community, and incentivizing the measurement of resilience. The report also recommends that the National Academies' Gulf Research Program develop a major, coordinated initiative around building or enhancing community resilience across the Gulf of Mexico region.

March 19, 2019

NAS Member Is First Woman to Win the Abel Prize

Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck. Photo credit: Andrea Kane, Institute for Advanced Study. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters will award the Abel Prize in Mathematics for 2019 to Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck of the University of Texas at Austin “for her pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory, and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry, and mathematical physics.”

Established in 2002, the Abel Prize recognizes contributions to the field of mathematics that are of extraordinary depth and influence. The prize amount is NOK 6 million. Visit for more information on the prize.

March 15, 2019

NAE Awards Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grants

Two Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grants of $30,000 each have been awarded to attendees of the National Academy of Engineering’s 2018 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. The grants provide seed funding to enable further pursuit of important new interdisciplinary research and projects stimulated by the symposia.

March 13, 2019

Joint Statement on Need for International Framework on Heritable Genome Editing

© response to a commentary in Nature that calls for a moratorium on clinical uses of heritable genome editing and the establishment of an international governance framework, a statement by the presidents of the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society says that the commentary "underscores the urgent need for an internationally accepted framework that addresses these complex scientific, ethical, and societal issues. 

"Toward that end, the U.S. National Academies and the Royal Society are leading an international commission to detail the scientific and the ethical issues that must be considered in planning any genome editing, and to define specific criteria and standards for evaluating whether proposed clinical trials or applications that involve germline editing should be permitted."

March 13, 2019

Russian and U.S. Academies Sign Agreement to Continue Cooperation

Russian and U.S. Academies Sign Agreement to Continue Cooperation The president of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the presidents of NAS, NAE, and NAM have signed a five-year agreement to continue their cooperation on studies, workshops, and other activities in areas of mutual interest, marking 60 years of cooperation between the Russian and U.S. academies.

March 8, 2019

NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents Highlight Facts on Vaccine Safety in Light of Measles Outbreaks

Facts About Vaccine SafetyThe current measles outbreaks in the United States and elsewhere are being fueled by misinformation about the safety of vaccines. To help counter such misinformation, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine created a website that provides clear, concise, and evidence-based answers to questions about vaccine safety and other commonly asked questions about health and science. The evidence base includes a number of our studies examining vaccine access, safety, scheduling, and possible side effects. Our work has validated that the science is clear — vaccines are extremely safe.

March 7, 2018

2018 Cozzarelli Prize Recipients Announced

The Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has selected six papers published by PNAS in 2018 to receive the Cozzarelli Prize, an award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the scientific disciplines represented by the National Academy of Sciences. Papers were chosen from the more than 3,200 research articles that appeared in the journal last year.

March 6, 2019

NAS President Testifies on Capitol Hill

McNutt before House Science Committee on March 6, 2019 (photo by Cable Risdon)Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, spoke to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee about "Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Science and Technology."

March 6, 2019

G20 Science Academies Release Statement on Threats to Coastal and Marine Ecosystems and Conservation of the Ocean Environment

G20 Science Academies StatementRepresentatives from the national academies of sciences of the G20 countries handed over recommendations for improving marine conservation to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinz┼Ź Abe today in Tokyo, for later consultation at this year's G20 summit. The statement was jointly drafted by the G20 National Academies of Sciences under the leadership of the Science Council of Japan. The G20 summit will take place on June 28 and 29 in Osaka, Japan.

March 6, 2019

$2.5 Million in Grants Available to Advance Understanding and Prediction of Gulf of Mexico Loop Current

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced a new funding opportunity to provide up to $2.5 million in grants to foster innovative approaches that support its ongoing efforts to improve understanding and prediction of the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current System.

March 5, 2019

Sodium and Potassium Dietary Reference Intake Values Updated in New Report; Introduces New Category for Sodium Based on Chronic Disease Risk Reduction

© new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reviews current evidence and updates intake recommendations known as the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for sodium and potassium that were established in 2005. Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium revises the Adequate Intakes (AIs), which are the best estimate of intakes assumed adequate for apparently healthy individuals. The report reaffirms the sodium AI for individuals ages 14-50, decreases the sodium AIs for children age 1-13, increases the sodium AIs for adults ages 51 and older, and decreases the potassium AIs for individuals age 1 and older. The report also uses guidance from a 2017 National Academies report to introduce the first DRI specific to chronic disease risk reduction.

March 5, 2019

New Decadal Survey for the Social and Behavioral Sciences Presents Guidance to the Intelligence Community

© new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that the U.S. Intelligence Community make sustained collaboration with researchers in the social and behavioral sciences a key priority as it develops research objectives for the coming decade.

March 4, 2019

Breakthrough Solutions and Technologies Needed to Speed Cleanup of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Sites

DOE photoA new report from the National Academies recommends changes in the way that the U.S. Department of Energy manages science and technology (S&T) development in order to accelerate the cleanup of radioactive waste and contaminated soil, groundwater, and facilities at U.S. nuclear weapons sites. A portion of DOE's technology development should focus on breakthrough solutions and technologies that can substantially reduce schedules, risks, and uncertainties in the cleanup, the report says. This effort should be managed by ARPA-E, a DOE division that has a record of investing in innovative solutions for complex technical challenges; it would require substantial new funding, along with a different model for managing research and stimulating innovation.

Feb. 28, 2019

Child Poverty Rate Could Be Cut in Half in Next Decade Following Proposals in New Expert Report

© light of the many costs generated by child poverty for the United States, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides evidence-based policy and program packages that could cut the child poverty rate by as much as 50 percent and increase employment and earnings among adults living in low-income families.

Feb. 20, 2019

Improving EPA's Permitting Program for Industrial Stormwater Pollution

©Wavetop/iStock.comA new report from the National Academies offers guidance to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to inform the next revision of a permit program that requires industries to manage stormwater to minimize discharges of pollutants to the environment. The report recommends several ways that EPA can strengthen the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) program to provide its intended environmental protection while balancing the overall burden of monitoring on industry.

Feb. 18, 2019

Tenth Anniversary of Landmark Report on Forensic Science

Ten years ago, Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. This landmark report stimulated a national discussion about the need to reform forensic science, fostered a re-evaluation of how forensic evidence is reported in court, prompted increased funding for forensic science research, and inspired reforms in practice and procedure for forensic science professionals. The report also led to re-examinations of forensic techniques that are frequently used in criminal investigations.

Feb. 13, 2019

National Academy of Sciences Elects Home Secretary and Councilors

NAS Elects Home Secretary and CouncilorsSusan R. Wessler, distinguished professor of genetics and Neil and Rochelle Campbell Presidential Chair for Innovation in Science Education, 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 third four-year term. In addition, four members have been elected to serve on the Academy's governing Council for three years. All terms begin July 1.

The new councilors are:
• Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences and the Bezos Family Foundation Professor of Early Childhood Learning, University of Washington;
• Richard E. Lenski, John Hannah Professor of Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University;
• Sean C. Solomon, director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University; and
• Ruth J. Williams, distinguished professor of mathematics and Charles Lee Powell Chair in Mathematics I, University of California, San Diego.

Feb. 11, 2019

Call for Creation of Research Policy Board

Marcia McNutt. Photo courtesy AAASIn a new Nature commentary, NAS President Marcia McNutt and several colleagues make the case for the creation of a U.S. advisory board for research integrity and quality, which would be "a central resource to which institutional leaders and other members of the scientific enterprise could turn for assistance in creating and sustaining cultures for reliable and efficient research."

Feb. 7, 2019

National Academy of Engineering Elects 86 Members and 18 Foreign Members

NAE Announces 2019 Class of New MembersThe National Academy of Engineering has elected 86 new members and 18 foreign members, announced NAE President C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., today. Election to the Academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.

Feb. 7, 2019

Partnerships Between NASA and Industry Can Support Lunar Exploration, Say Two New Reports

Partnerships Between NASA and Industry Can Support Lunar ExplorationRenewed interest in exploration of the moon has the potential to benefit lunar science greatly and could evolve into a program facilitated by partnerships between commercial companies and NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD), say companion reports by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. However, the two reports find that the activities undertaken to date, although aligned with community consensus for lunar science priorities, do not replace missions recommended in the National Academies' most recent planetary science decadal survey and remain subject to many unknowns, such as the ability of standardized commercial lunar landers to interface with complex science payloads.

Feb. 4, 2019

A Message from the Presidents of the NAS, NAE, and NAM

A Message from the Presidents of the NAS, NAE, and NAMMarcia McNutt, C. D. Mote, Jr., and Victor Dzau share their outlook for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2019.

Jan. 28, 2019

Agnes Kalibata to Receive Public Welfare Medal -- Academy's Most Prestigious Award

Agnes Kalibata to Receive 2019 Public Welfare Medal The National Academy of Sciences is presenting its 2019 Public Welfare Medal to agricultural scientist, policymaker, and visionary leader Agnes Kalibata "for her work to drive Africa's agricultural transformation through modern science and effective policy, helping to lift more than a million Rwandans out of poverty and scaling impacts for millions more African farmers." The medal is the Academy's most prestigious award, established in 1914 and presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good.

"Agnes Kalibata has long championed science and evidence as the basis for practical agricultural policies that have transformed Rwanda to a model of prosperity and security," said Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences. "Her actions exemplify science as a powerful force for growth and well-being, and we are thrilled to present her with our highest award."

Jan. 25, 2019

Academies' Climate Communications Initiative Releases Strategic Plan

Academies' Climate Communications Initiative Releases Strategic PlanThe National Academies established the Climate Communications Initiative (CCI) last year to enable their extensive work on climate science, impacts, and response options to inform decision-makers and the public more effectively. A new strategic plan, which will guide the CCI's efforts going forward, has been developed by an external advisory committee, in cooperation with an Academies staff team. The advisory committee -- composed of experts in climate science, public and environmental health, science education, communication research and practice, brand strategy, industry, policy, and decision making -- will provide ongoing advice as the Academies implement the plan.

Jan. 23, 2019

Academy Honors 18 for Major Contributions to Science

NAS Honors 18 for Major Contributions to Science The National Academy of Sciences will honor 18 individuals with awards in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, and medical sciences. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Sunday, April 28, during the National Academy of Sciences' 156th annual meeting.

Jan. 18, 2019

Report Recommends Martian Moon Samples Be Designated Unrestricted Earth Return

Samples returned from the Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, should be designated unrestricted as the relative influx of Martian microbes from a Phobos/Deimos sample versus the natural influx of direct Mars-to-Earth transfer can be shown to be several orders of magnitude smaller, says a new report from the National Academies. The committee that wrote the report recommends that Phobos and Deimos should not currently be treated differently in their Planetary Protection requirements. The report also states that more research is needed before suggesting refinements in planetary protection requirements that might be needed to accommodate spacecraft missions to and samples returned from Phobos and Deimos. Read More

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