Author Archives: Barb Murphy

About Barb Murphy

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Human Gene Editing: The Issues Behind the Progress in Genetics

gene_169470

A major component of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine’s Human Gene-Editing Initiative was the International Summit on Human Gene Editing that took place this past week. Co-hosted with the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the U.K.’s Royal Society, the summit convened experts from around the world to discuss the scientific, ethical, and governance issues associated with human gene-editing research. The Summit Statement is available here, and the video and slides of the Summit will be permanently available at the summit website.

Below is a list of our titles that were either directly mentioned in presentations, or are related to this topic. All are free to download.

2008 Amendments to the National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (2008)


ISBN 978-0-309-12220-7

In 2005, the National Academies released the report Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, which offered a common set of ethical standards for a field that, due to the absence of comprehensive federal funding, was lacking national …

[more]

Potential Risks and Benefits of Gain-of-Function Research: Summary of a Workshop (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-36783-7

On October 17, 2014, spurred by incidents at U.S. government laboratories that raised serious biosafety concerns, the United States government launched a one-year deliberative process to address the continuing controversy surrounding so-called …

[more]

Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism (2004)


ISBN 978-0-309-08977-7

In recent years much has happened to justify an examination of biological research in light of national security concerns. The destructive application of biotechnology research includes activities such as spreading common pathogens or …

[more]

Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences (2006)


ISBN 978-0-309-10032-8

Biomedical advances have made it possible to identify and manipulate features of living organisms in useful ways&#8212leading to improvements in public health, agriculture, and other areas. The globalization of scientific and technical expertise …

[more]

Improving the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Genomic Science Translation: Workshop Summary (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-29453-9

The process for translating basic science discoveries into clinical applications has historically involved a linear and lengthy progression from initial discovery to preclinical testing, regulatory evaluation and approval, and, finally, use in …

[more]

Conflict of Interest and Medical Innovation: Ensuring Integrity While Facilitating Innovation in Medical Research: Workshop Summary (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-30168-8

Scientific advances such as the sequencing of the human genome have created great promise for improving human health by providing a greater understanding of disease biology and enabling the development of new drugs, diagnostics, and preventive …

[more]

A Survey of Attitudes and Actions on Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences: A Collaborative Effort of the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009)


ISBN 978-0-309-12510-9

The same technologies that fuel scientific advances also pose potential risks–that the knowledge, tools, and techniques gained through legitimate biotechnology research could be misused to create biological weapons or for bioterrorism. This is …

[more]

Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-15840-4

The Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences workshop was held to engage the life sciences community on the particular security issues related to research with dual use potential. More than 60 …

[more]

Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Embedding a Culture of Science and Technology Throughout the Department of State (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-37313-5

Diplomacy for the 21st Century recommends steps that the Department of State should embrace to take full advantage of the leading science and technology (S&T) capabilities of the United States. These capabilities provide the department …

[more]

Public Engagement on Genetically Modified Organisms: When Science and Citizens Connect: A Workshop Summary (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-37421-7

The National Research Council’s Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences held a 2-day workshop on January 15-16, 2015, in Washington, DC to explore the public interfaces between scientists and citizens in the context of genetically …

[more]

Trust and Confidence at the Interfaces of the Life Sciences and Society: Does the Public Trust Science? A Workshop Summary (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-37792-8

Does the public trust science? Scientists? Scientific organizations? What roles do trust and the lack of trust play in public debates about how science can be used to address such societal concerns as childhood vaccination, cancer screening, and …

[more]

Improving Genetics Education in Graduate and Continuing Health Professional Education: Workshop Summary (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-31605-7

Many health care providers do not have either the knowledge or the tools they need in order to apply genetic information in their day-to-day practices. This lack of support is contributing to a substantial delay in the translation of genetic …

[more]

The Value of Genetic and Genomic Technologies: Workshop Summary (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-15771-1

Knowing one’s genetic disposition to a variety of diseases, including common chronic diseases, can benefit both the individual and society at large. The IOM’s Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health held a workshop on March …

[more]

Genomics-Enabled Learning Health Care Systems: Gathering and Using Genomic Information to Improve Patient Care and Research: Workshop Summary (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-37112-4

The inclusion of genomic data in a knowledge-generating health care system infrastructure is one promising way to harness the full potential of that information to provide better patient care. In such a system, clinical practice and research …

[more]

Assessing Genomic Sequencing Information for Health Care Decision Making: Workshop Summary (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-30494-8

Rapid advances in technology have lowered the cost of sequencing an individual’s genome from the several billion dollars that it cost a decade ago to just a few thousand dollars today and have correspondingly greatly expanded the use of genomic …

[more]

Integrating Large-Scale Genomic Information into Clinical Practice: Workshop Summary (2012)


ISBN 978-0-309-22034-7

The initial sequencing of the human genome, carried out by an international group of experts, took 13 years and $2.7 billion to complete. In the decade since that achievement, sequencing technology has evolved at such a rapid pace that today a …

[more]

Assessing Genetic Risks: Implications for Health and Social Policy (1994)


ISBN 978-0-309-08660-8

Raising hopes for disease treatment and prevention, but also the specter of discrimination and “designer genes,” genetic testing is potentially one of the most socially explosive developments of our time. This book presents a current assessment of …

[more]

Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security: A Framework for Addressing Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-29334-1

Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security is a study on the ethical, legal, and societal issues relating to the research on, development of, and use of rapidly changing technologies with low barriers of entry that …

[more]

Lessons from Katrina for Community Disaster Recovery

Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip
Credit: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall in southeast Louisiana. Katrina had a disaster area of 90,000 square miles, creating community-wide and regional response issues. In the devastation that followed, there was an acute need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery systems, and other critical recovery needs. A new report from the Institute of Medicine aims to increase the nation’s resilience at federal, state, local, and community levels through actionable recommendations and guidance on the best approaches to reduce adverse impacts from hazards and disasters.

According to Reed Tuckson, Chair of the authoring committee of Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters:

“As the nation focuses on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we should appreciate the important lessons learned from this tragedy that other communities can use to enhance the resiliency of their health infrastructures and lead to better health for all community members. The Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Post-Disaster Recovery of a Community’s Public Health, Medical and Social Services utilized the Katrina experience as an important component in formulating its recommendations on the importance and processes of preparing for disasters, and how to thoughtfully use the resources associated with disaster recovery to advance the long-term health of communities and their residents. It is our hope that, as we remember the Katrina experience, the community leaders will take the opportunity to review the 12 recommendations in our report, Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters, and apply them as appropriate to their circumstances.”

This book and all our reports on disaster resilience are free to download.

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery …

[more]

Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation …

[more]

Launching a National Conversation on Disaster Resilience in America: Workshop Summary

With the increasing frequency of natural and human-induced disasters and the increasing magnitude of their consequences, a clear need exists for governments and communities to become more resilient. The National Research Council’s 2012 report …

[more]

Building Community Disaster Resilience Through Private-Public Collaboration

Natural disasters–including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods–caused more than 220,000 deaths worldwide in the first half of 2010 and wreaked havoc on homes, buildings, and the environment. To withstand and recover from …

[more]

Environmental Public Health Impacts of Disasters: Hurricane Katrina, Workshop Summary

Public health officials have the traditional responsibilities of protecting the food supply, safeguarding against communicable disease, and ensuring safe and healthful conditions for the population. Beyond this, public health today is challenged …

[more]

Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters: The Perspective from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi: Summary of a Workshop

Natural disasters are having an increasing effect on the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. Every decade, property damage caused by natural disasters and hazards doubles or triples in the United States. More than half …

[more]

Sending the Kids Back to School? Get the Science Behind Testing, Vaccinations, and Sports Safety

Credit: Norman Public School.

Credit: Norman Public School.

By now you’re in back to school prep mode – time to complete forms, schedule doctor’s appointments, and find out just how much your kids grew this summer. Whether it’s your child’s first day of preschool or their last year of high school, there are a lot of issues for parents to think about. Our reports provide the science base for discussion of vaccinations, safety in sports, testing, bullying, and more. All are free to download.

The Childhood Immunization Schedule and Safety: Stakeholder Concerns, Scientific Evidence, and Future Studies

Vaccines are among the most safe and effective public health interventions to prevent serious disease and death. Because of the success of vaccines, most Americans today have no firsthand experience with such devastating illnesses as polio or …

[more]

Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture

In the past decade, few subjects at the intersection of medicine and sports have generated as much public interest as sports-related concussions – especially among youth. Despite growing awareness of sports-related concussions and campaigns to …

[more]

Building Capacity to Reduce Bullying: Workshop Summary

Bullying – long tolerated as just a part of growing up – finally has been recognized as a substantial and preventable health problem. Bullying is associated with anxiety, depression, poor school performance, and future delinquent behavior among …

[more]

Snooze… or Lose!: 10 “No-War” Ways to Improve Your Teen’s Sleep Habits

Walk into any first-period high school classroom and it’s obvious: teenagers are exhausted. Sleep deprivation is an epidemic as widespread as obesity and just as damaging. Fortunately, science has answers and Dr. Helene Emsellem has solutions …

[more]

Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century

Americans have long recognized that investments in public education contribute to the common good, enhancing national prosperity and supporting stable families, neighborhoods, and communities. Education is even more critical today, in the face of …

[more]

Student Mobility: Exploring the Impact of Frequent Moves on Achievement: Summary of a Workshop

Many low-income families struggle with stable housing and frequently have to move due to foreclosures, rent increases, or other financial setbacks. Children in these families can experience lasting negative effects, especially those who are young …

[more]

Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education

In recent years there have been increasing efforts to use accountability systems based on large-scale tests of students as a mechanism for improving student achievement. The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a prominent example of such …

[more]

Myths and Tradeoffs: The Role of Tests in Undergraduate Admissions

More than 8 million students enrolled in 4-year, degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States in 1996. The multifaceted system through which these students applied to and were selected by the approximately 2,240 institutions in …

[more]

The Science of Adolescent Risk-Taking: Workshop Report

Adolescence is a time when youth make decisions, both good and bad, that have consequences for the rest of their lives. Some of these decisions put them at risk of lifelong health problems, injury, or death. The Institute of Medicine held three …

[more]

Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality

In 1900, for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, 100 would die before their first birthday, often due to infectious diseases. Today, vaccines exist for many viral and bacterial diseases. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, passed …

[more]

Resources to Improve Undergrad STEM Education

As the chart below indicates, STEM education will continue to significantly contribute to the nation’s economy and prosperity. In an environment of increasing tuition and shrinking public funding, the most successful colleges and universities will be the ones that promote excellent teaching and support students as they work toward their degrees. Our reports discuss changing pathways to degrees and methods to improve teaching beyond the lecture hall. All are free to download.

Credit: U.S. Department of Education

Credit: U.S. Department of Education

Reaching Students: What Research Says About Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering

The undergraduate years are a turning point in producing scientifically literate citizens and future scientists and engineers. Evidence from research about how students learn science and engineering shows that teaching strategies that motivate …

[more]

Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering

The National Science Foundation funded a synthesis study on the status, contributions, and future direction of discipline-based education research (DBER) in physics, biological sciences, geosciences, and chemistry. DBER combines knowledge of …

[more]

Enhancing the Community College Pathway to Engineering Careers

Community colleges play an important role in starting students on the road to engineering careers, but students often face obstacles in transferring to four-year educational institutions to continue their education. Enhancing the Community …

[more]

Colloquy on Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

On August 8-12, 2010 the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), convened the Colloquy on Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), following the release of …

[more]

Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education

Higher education is a linchpin of the American economy and society: teaching and research at colleges and universities contribute significantly to the nation’s economic activity, both directly and through their impact on future growth; federal …

[more]

Adapting to a Changing World–Challenges and Opportunities in Undergraduate Physics Education

Adapting to a Changing World was commissioned by the National Science Foundation to examine the present status of undergraduate physics education, including the state of physics education research, and, most importantly, to develop a …

[more]

Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults

Young adulthood – ages approximately 18 to 26 – is a critical period of development with long-lasting implications for a person’s economic security, health and well-being. Young adults are key contributors to the nation’s workforce and military …

[more]

Science on Floods: Risks, National Insurance, and Resilience

UntitledAccording to FEMA, floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. Property owners who live in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can purchase affordable protection to protect against loss. The NFIP is a cornerstone in the U.S. strategy to assist communities to prepare for, mitigate against, and recover from flood disasters. At the request of Congress, several recent reports have examined the current state of the program and options to improve it. These books and others on floods and disaster resilience are all free to download.

A Community-Based Flood Insurance Option

River and coastal floods are among the nation’s most costly natural disasters. One component in the nation’s approach to managing flood risk is availability of flood insurance policies, which are offered on an individual basis primarily through …

[more]

Tying Flood Insurance to Flood Risk for Low-Lying Structures in the Floodplains

Floods take a heavy toll on society, costing lives, damaging buildings and property, disrupting livelihoods, and sometimes necessitating federal disaster relief, which has risen to record levels in recent years. The National Flood Insurance …

[more]

Affordability of National Flood Insurance Program Premiums: Report 1

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is housed within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and offers insurance policies that are marketed and sold through private insurers, but with the risks borne by the U.S. federal …

[more]

Levees and the National Flood Insurance Program: Improving Policies and Practices

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is a cornerstone in the U.S. strategy to assist communities to prepare for, …

[more]

Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice

Although advances in engineering can reduce the risk of dam and levee failure, some failures will still occur. Such events cause impacts on social and physical infrastructure that extend far beyond the flood zone. Broadening dam and levee safety …

[more]

Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts

Hurricane- and coastal-storm-related losses have increased substantially during the past century, largely due to increases in population and development in the most susceptible coastal areas. Climate change poses additional threats to coastal …

[more]

Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative

No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation …

[more]

Mapping the Zone: Improving Flood Map Accuracy

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps portray the height and extent to which flooding is expected to occur, and they form the basis for setting flood insurance premiums and regulating development in the floodplain. …

[more]

Elevation Data for Floodplain Mapping

Floodplain maps serve as the basis for determining whether homes or buildings require flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Approximately $650 billion in insured assets …

[more]

Kepler and the Search for Earth-like Planets

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

This week NASA announced the discovery of Kepler 452-B, the most Earth-like exoplanet found to date through the Kepler project. What technology do we need in order to learn about this planet? How can we look for more planets like this, in the “goldilocks” habitable zone of their solar systems? The Panel Reports for the decadal survey New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics addressed these questions and made recommendations for research and technology needs to advance our knowledge. These books as well as others in our collection on Space Exploration are free to download.

Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Every 10 years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, titled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall priorities and recommendations for the field …

[more]

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically during the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to physics, chemistry, biology, and computer …

[more]

Beyond Pluto: Science and Future Exploration in the Kuiper Belt

KB-objects

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC

Today’s flyby of Pluto and its system of moons by New Horizons finishes our initial reconnaissance of the classical solar system, and begins our exploration of the Kuiper Belt. This large area beyond Neptune’s orbit remains mysterious and unknown. National Academy of Sciences reports have ranked the exploration of this region as a research priority for the coming decade. Why is the Kuiper Belt important? What new discoveries do we expect to make? Find out here.

Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022

In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon’s poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life …

[more]

Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Spacecraft Missions to Icy Solar System Bodies

NASA’s exploration of planets and satellites during the past 50 years has led to the discovery of traces of water ice throughout the solar system and prospects for large liquid water reservoirs beneath the frozen ICE shells of multiple satellites …

[more]

Grading NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program: A Midterm Review

The NASA Authorization Act of 2005 directed the agency to ask the NRC to assess the performance of each division in the NASA Science directorate at five-year intervals. In this connection, NASA requested the NRC to review the progress the Planetary …

[more]

New Frontiers in the Solar System: An Integrated Exploration Strategy

Solar system exploration is that grand human endeavor which reaches out through interplanetary space to discover the nature and origins of the system of planets in which we live and to learn whether life exists beyond Earth. It is an international …

[more]

New Frontiers in Solar System Exploration

Over the last four decades, robotic spacecraft have visited nearly every planet, from torrid Mercury to frigid Neptune. The data returned by these Pioneers, Mariners, Vikings, and Voyagers have revolutionized our understanding of the solar …

[more]

Optimizing the U.S. Ground-Based Optical and Infrared Astronomy System

New astronomical facilities, such as the under-construction Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and planned 30-meter-class telescopes, and new instrumentation on existing optical and infrared (OIR) telescopes, hold the promise of groundbreaking …

[more]

The Depths of Space: The Story of the Pioneer Planetary Probes

The first spacecraft to explore the secrets of the Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and the void beyond Pluto, the Pioneer space probes have been the trailblazers of the space age, truly going where no man has gone before.

Emblazoned with the …

[more]

A Woman’s Place in STEM: Achieving an Equal Workplace

image001
Marie Curie

Unquestionably, women’s participation in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has increased over the past few decades. In order for the United States to maintain the global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology that are critical to achieving national goals, we must continue to encourage the growth of a diverse STEM workforce. Reports from the National Research Council and the National Academy of Engineering explore the unique challenges for women as they pursue careers in STEM fields. All are free to download.

Career Choices of Female Engineers: A Summary of a Workshop

Despite decades of government, university, and employer efforts to close the gender gap in engineering, women make up only 11 percent of practicing engineers in the United States. What factors influence women graduates’ decisions to enter the …

[more]

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia: Summary of a Conference

Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia is the summary of a 2013 conference convened by the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine of the National Research Council to discuss …

[more]

Blueprint for the Future: Framing the Issues of Women in Science in a Global Context: Summary of a Workshop

The scientific work of women is often viewed through a national or regional lens, but given the growing worldwide connectivity of most, if not all, scientific disciplines, there needs to be recognition of how different social, political, and …

[more]

From Science to Business: Preparing Female Scientists and Engineers for Successful Transitions into Entrepreneurship: Summary of a Workshop

Scientists, engineers, and medical professionals play a vital role in building the 21st- century science and technology enterprises that will create solutions and jobs critical to solving the large, complex, and interdisciplinary problems faced …

[more]

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads

In order for the United States to maintain the global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology that are critical to achieving national goals, we must invest in research, encourage innovation, and grow a strong and talented science …

[more]

Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty

Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty presents new and surprising findings about career differences between female and male full-time, tenure-track, and tenured faculty …

[more]

To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering

Although more women than men participate in higher education in the United States, the same is not true when it comes to pursuing careers in science and engineering. To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering …

[more]

The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited

The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited builds on the 2000 report Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers. That ground-breaking report assessed the postdoctoral experience and provided principles, action …

[more]

The Arc of the Academic Research Career: Issues and Implications for U.S. Science and Engineering Leadership: Summary of a Workshop

America’s research universities have undergone striking change in recent decades, as have many aspects of the society that surrounds them. This change has important implications for the heart of every university: the faculty. To sustain their …

[more]

Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering

Can the United States continue to lead the world in innovation? The answer may hinge in part on how well the public understands engineering, a key component of the ‘innovation engine’. A related concern is how to encourage young …

[more]

Messaging for Engineering: From Research to Action

For those in the broad engineering community–those who employ, work with, and/or educate engineers, and engineers themselves–there is no need to explain the importance and value of engineering. They understand that engineers help make the world …

[more]

Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

The United States economy relies on the productivity, entrepreneurship, and creativity of its people. To maintain its scientific and engineering leadership amid increasing economic and educational globalization, the United States must aggressively …

[more]

From Scarcity to Visibility: Gender Differences in the Careers of Doctoral Scientists and Engineers

Although women have made important inroads in science and engineering since the early 1970s, their progress in these fields has stalled over the past several years. This study looks at women in science and engineering careers in the 1970s and 1980s, …

[more]

25 Years of the Hubble Space Telescope – What’s Next?

Happy 25th Birthday, Hubble Space Telescope! Launched into orbit on this date in 1990, the Hubble has made a vital contribution to research and inspired the public with its breathtaking images. Its scientific successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is scheduled for launch in 2018. Our reports informed the development, operation, and research direction for the Hubble, and they also discuss development and promise of the James Webb Space Telescope. All are free to download.

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically during the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections …

[more]

Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Every 10 years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, titled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides …

[more]

Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey

The 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (NWNH), outlines a scientifically exciting and programmatically integrated plan for both ground- and space-based astronomy …

[more]

NASA’s Strategic Direction and the Need for a National Consensus

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is widely admired for astonishing accomplishments since its formation in 1958. Looking ahead over a comparable period of time, what can the nation and the world expect of NASA? What will be …

[more]

Forging the Future of Space Science: The Next 50 Years

From September 2007 to June 2008 the Space Studies Board conducted an international public seminar series, with each monthly talk highlighting a different topic in space and Earth science. The principal lectures from the series are compiled in …

[more]

Assessment of Options for Extending the Life of the Hubble Space Telescope: Final Report

The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) has operated continuously since 1990. During that time, four space shuttle-based service missions were launched, three of which added major observational capabilities. A fifth SM-4 was intended to replace key …

[more]

Sharing the Adventure with the Public: The Value and Excitement of ‘Grand Questions’ of Space Science and Exploration Summary of a Workshop

On November 8-10, 2010, the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board (SSB) held a public workshop on how NASA and its associated science and exploration communities communicate with the public about major NASA activities and programs. The …

[more]

Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium

In this new book, a distinguished panel makes recommendations for the nation’s programs in astronomy and astrophysics, including a number of new initiatives for observing the universe. With the goal of optimum value, the recommendations address the …

[more]

The Decade of Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Astronomers and astrophysicists are making revolutionary advances in our understanding of planets, stars, galaxies, and even the structure of the universe itself. The Decade of Discovery presents a survey of this exciting field of science and …

[more]

U.S. Astronomy and Astrophysics: Managing an Integrated Program

In its fiscal year 2002 budget summary document the Bush administration expressed concern-based in part on the findings and conclusions of two National Research Council studies-about recent trends in the federal funding of astronomy and …

[more]

Deepwater Horizon 5 Years Later

Deepwater_Horizon_offshore_drilling_unit_on_fire_2010Five years ago today, firefighters were struggling in vain to extinguish a fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The blowout of the Macondo well caused the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, killing 11 crewmen and igniting a fireball visible from 40 miles away. On 22 April 2010, Deepwater Horizon sank, leaving the well gushing at the seabed and causing the largest oil spill in U.S. waters. It would be nearly three months before the well could be completely killed, during which time, nearly 5 million barrels of oil spilled into the gulf. Reports from the National Research Council, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and Transportation Research Board provided analysis of the spill and guidance for policy making, health care monitoring, and environmental protection. As part of the legal settlements with the companies held responsible, the federal government has asked the National Academy of Sciences to form and administer a 30-year program to enhance oil system safety, human health, and environmental resources in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. continental shelf areas where offshore oil and gas exploration and production occur or are under consideration. Reports from the Gulf Research Program focus on research and development, education and training, and environmental monitoring. All are free to download.

Macondo Well Deepwater Horizon Blowout: Lessons for Improving Offshore Drilling Safety

The blowout of the Macondo well on April 20, 2010, led to enormous consequences for the individuals involved in the drilling operations, and for their families. Eleven workers on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig lost their lives and 16 others …

[more]

An Ecosystem Services Approach to Assessing the Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

As the Gulf of Mexico recovers from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural resource managers face the challenge of understanding the impacts of the spill and setting priorities for restoration work. The full value of losses resulting from the …

[more]

Assessing the Effects of the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill on Human Health: A Summary of the June 2010 Workshop

From the origin of the leak, to the amount of oil released into the environment, to the spill’s duration, the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill poses unique challenges to human health. The risks associated with extensive, prolonged use of …

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Transportation Research Board Special Report 309: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems

TRB Special Report 309: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Offshore Safety and Environmental Management Systems recommends that the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) take a holistic approach to evaluating the …

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Gulf Research Program: A Strategic Vision

In 2010 the Deepwater Horizon explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico caused the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, resulting in significant impacts on the region’s environment and residents. Legal settlements with the …

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Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Community Resilience and Health: Summary of a Workshop

There are many connections between human communities and their surrounding environments that influence community resilience and health in the Gulf of Mexico. The impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Gulf communities and ecosystems …

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Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Monitoring Ecosystem Restoration and Deep Water Environments: A Workshop Summary

Environmental monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico poses extensive challenges and significant opportunities. Multiple jurisdictions manage this biogeographically and culturally diverse region, whose monitoring programs tend to be project-specific by …

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Opportunities for the Gulf Research Program: Middle-Skilled Workforce Needs: Summary of a Workshop

During the period 1990 to 2010, U.S. job growth occurred primarily in the high-skilled and low-skilled sectors. Yet, one-third of projected job growth for the period 2010-2020 will require middle-skilled workers — who will earn strong …

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