Category Archives: General Topics

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Challenges Facing the CDC’s Research Laboratories as They Review Lab Safety

Following several recent incidents of possible exposure to dangerous diseases, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced last week that it has halted operations at its bioterrorism rapid-response lab and an influenza lab and imposed a moratorium on any biological material leaving numerous other CDC labs. National Research Council reports discuss operational safety and security and measures for encouraging a culture of responsible conduct when working with select agents. These titles can provide insight into the challenges facing these laboratories. All are free to download.

Biosecurity Challenges of the Global Expansion of High-Containment Biological Laboratories

During July 10-13, 2011, 68 participants from 32 countries gathered in Istanbul, Turkey for a workshop organized by the United States National Research Council on Anticipating Biosecurity Challenges of the Global Expansion of High-containment Biological Laboratories. The United States Department of State’s Biosecurity Engagement Program sponsored the workshop, which was held in partnership with the Turkish Academy of Sciences. The international workshop examined biosafety and biosecurity …

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Perspectives on Research with H5N1 Avian Influenza: Scientific Inquiry, Communication, Controversy: Summary of a Workshop

When, in late 2011, it became public knowledge that two research groups had submitted for publication manuscripts that reported on their work on mammalian transmissibility of a lethal H5N1 avian influenza strain, the information caused an international debate about the appropriateness and communication of the researchers’ work, the risks associated with the work, partial or complete censorship of scientific publications, and dual-use research of concern in general.

Recognizing that …

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Evaluation of the Updated Site-Specific Risk Assessment for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas

Safeguarding U.S. agriculture from foreign animal diseases and protecting our food system require cutting-edge research and diagnostic capabilities. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have embarked on an important mission to replace the aging Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) with a new facility, the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF). When operational, this new facility would be the world’s fourth biosafety level-4 …

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Responsible Research with Biological Select Agents and Toxins

The effort to understand and combat infectious diseases has, during the centuries, produced many key advances in science and medicine–including the development of vaccines, drugs, and other treatments. A subset of this research is conducted with agents that, like anthrax, not only pose a severe threat to the health of humans, plants, and animals but can also be used for ill-intended purposes. Such agents have been listed by the government as biological select agents and toxins. The 2001 …

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Protecting the Frontline in Biodefense Research: The Special Immunizations Program

The U.S. Army’s Special Immunizations Program is an important component of an overall biosafety program for laboratory workers at risk of exposure to hazardous pathogens. The program provides immunizations to scientists, laboratory technicians and other support staff who work with certain hazardous pathogens and toxins. Although first established to serve military personnel, the program was expanded through a cost-sharing agreement in 2004 to include other government and civilian workers, …

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Sequence-Based Classification of Select Agents: A Brighter Line

Select Agents are defined in regulations through a list of names of particularly dangerous known bacteria, viruses, toxins, and fungi. However, natural variation and intentional genetic modification blur the boundaries of any discrete Select Agent list based on names. Access to technologies that can generate or ‘synthesize’ any DNA sequence is expanding, making it easier and less expensive for researchers, industry scientists, and amateur users to create organisms without needing to obtain …

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Research in the Life Sciences with Dual Use Potential: An International Faculty Development Project on Education About the Responsible Conduct of Science

In many countries, colleges and universities are where the majority of innovative research is done; in all cases, they are where future scientists receive both their initial training and their initial introduction to the norms of scientific conduct regardless of their eventual career paths. Thus, institutions of higher education are particularly relevant to the tasks of education on research with dual use potential, whether for faculty, postdoctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate …

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Happy 10-Year Anniversary, Mars Rovers!

marsrover-800wJanuary marks the 10-year anniversary of the landings on Mars of rovers Spirit and Opportunity. These marvels of engineering have inspired students all over the world to continue in the quest for understanding of the solar system. We’ve produced a number of reports that have helped to define the scientific goals and objectives for exploration of Mars. All are free to download.

An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars Three recent developments have greatly increased interest in the search for life on Mars. The first is new information about the Martian environment including evidence of a watery past and the possibility of atmospheric methane. The second is the … [more]
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]
Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars Recent spacecraft and robotic probes to Mars have yielded data that are changing our understanding significantly about the possibility of existing or past life on that planet. Coupled with advances in biology and life-detection techniques, these … [more]
Assessment of NASA’s Mars Architecture 2007-2016 The United States and the former Soviet Union have sent spacecraft to mars as early as 1966, with Mars’ exploration being priority for NASA spacecraft. Both sides, however, have failed as well as succeed. The inability to determine if life exists … [more]
Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample Return Missions NASA maintains a planetary protection policy to avoid the forward biological contamination of other worlds by terrestrial organisms, and back biological contamination of Earth from the return of extraterrestrial materials by spaceflight missions. … [more]
Assessment of Mars Science and Mission Priorities Within the Office of Space Science of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) special importance is attached to exploration of the planet Mars, because it is the most like Earth of the planets in the solar system and the place … [more]

Announcing the Winners of the Next Generation Science Standards Give-away

The results are in for our first Next Generation Science Standards give-away. Congratulations to our grand prize winner: Kirsten P.! She will receive the Next Generation Science Standards Teacher Prize Pack.

Congratulations as well to our four additional winners, who will each receive their own copy of Next Generation Science Standards:

  • Roberta H.
  • Camilo S.
  • Glenda D. F.
  • Tonalee F.

If you didn’t win this time, don’t worry. There will be more opportunities to win a Teacher Prize Pack or a print copy of Next Generation Science Standards.

Growing Old on Planet Earth: Impacts of a Growing Elderly Population

According to a recent UN Population Fund/HelpAge International report, the population of planet Earth is aging quickly. The Global AgeWatch Index studies the social and economic well-being of elders in 91 countries and finds that, by the year 2050, seniors over the age of 60 will make up one fifth of the population. What are the implications of a growing elderly population? The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine have produced studies that focus on economic, health care, and social challenges we can anticipate. All are free to download.

Aging and the Macroeconomy: Long-Term Implications of an Older Population (2012)

Paperback: $49.00
ISBN 978-0-309-26196-8

The United States is in the midst of a major demographic shift. In the coming decades, people aged 65 and over will make up an increasingly large percentage of the population: The ratio of people … [more]

The Future of the Sociology of Aging: An Agenda for Action (2013)

Paperback: $37.00
ISBN 978-0-309-29297-9

The aging of the population of the United States is occurring at a time of major economic and social changes. These economic changes include consideration of increases in the age of eligibility … [more]

Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis (2013)

Paperback: $74.00
ISBN 978-0-309-28660-2

In the United States, approximately 14 million people have had cancer and more than 1.6 million new cases are diagnosed each year. However, more than a decade after the Institute of Medicine (IOM) … [more]

The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands? (2012)

Paperback: $69.00
ISBN 978-0-309-25665-0

At least 5.6 million to 8 million–nearly one in five–older adults in America have one or more mental health and substance use conditions, which present unique challenges for their care. With the … [more]

Fostering Independence, Participation, and Healthy Aging Through Technology: Workshop Summary (2013)

Paperback: $36.00
ISBN 978-0-309-28517-9

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National Research Council (NRC) have had prominent roles in discussions of aging, disability, and technology for decades. In 1978, Aging and Medical … [more]

Nutrition and Healthy Aging in the Community: Workshop Summary (2012)

Paperback: $40.00
ISBN 978-0-309-25310-9

The U.S. population of older adults is predicted to grow rapidly as “baby boomers” (those born between 1946 and 1964) begin to reach 65 years of age. Simultaneously, advancements in medical care … [more]

Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce (2008)

Hardcover: $29.95
ISBN 978-0-309-11587-2

As the first of the nation’s 78 million baby boomers begin reaching age 65 in 2011, they will face a health care workforce that is too small and woefully unprepared to meet their specific health … [more]

Enter to Win A Copy of the Next Generation Science Standards Book

Whether your state has already adopted the Next Generation Science Standards or is still waiting in line, you need to be prepared for the changes ahead. And we’re offering the chance to win a prize pack with all the resources you’ll need to implement the NGSS.

The first step is simple. Using the widget at the bottom of this post, tell us what inspired you to get involved in science education and you’ll instantly have three entries in the bag. You can earn extra entries by liking us on Facebook, tweeting, following our Pinterest boards, and more. The more you do, the better your chance of winning one of our five prizes.

One grand prize winner will receive the Next Generation Science Standards Teacher Prize Pack:

grandprize

  • The print version of Next Generation Science Standards
  • A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas
  • Ready, Set, Science!
  • A Disappearing Dinosaur Mug
  • Three finger puppets: Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and George Washington Carver
  • All included in a limited-edition 150th Anniversary National Academy of Sciences tote bag!

Plus, four more winners will receive their own copy of Next Generation Science Standards.

You only have two weeks to improve your chances. At midnight, October 19, the giveaway will end and we’ll randomly select the winners.

Don’t get left behind, start earning entries now. And good luck!

Enter National Academy Press’ NGSS Giveaway

Happy Birthday Leonardo da Vinci!

Happy Birthday Leonardo da Vinci!

On April 15, 1452, the ultimate Renaissance Man, Leonardo da Vinci, was born in Italy. Throughout his extraordinary life, he excelled in many diverse fields in the arts and sciences, such as architecture, mathematics, engineering, writing, painting, music, botany, sculpture, geology, anatomy, geology, and cartography. Celebrate the life of one of the greatest inventors to ever live by reading this unique collection of related titles. And what kind of celebration would be complete without a da Vinci finger puppet?

davinci_fp_thumb Leonardo da Vinci Finger Puppet

 

Underground Engineering for Sustainable Urban Development

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Underground Engineering for Sustainable Urban Development230 pages | Paperback | Price: $53.10For thousands of years, the underground has provided humans refuge, useful resources, physical support for surface structures, and a place for spiritual or artistic expression. More recently, many urban services have been placed underground. Over this time,… [more]
Optics and Photonics

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Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation360 pages | Paperback | Price: $58.50Optics and photonics technologies are ubiquitous: they are responsible for the displays on smart phones and computing devices, optical fiber that carries the information in the internet, advanced precision manufacturing, enhanced defense capabilities, and a… [more]
Frontiers of Engineering

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Frontiers of Engineering: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2012 Symposium169 pages | Paperback | Price: $40.50This volume highlights the papers presented at the National Academy of Engineering’s 2012 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. Every year, the symposium brings together 100 outstanding young leaders in engineering to share their cutting-edge research and… [more]
Educating Engineers: Preparing 21st Century Leaders in the Context of New Modes of Learning

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Educating Engineers: Preparing 21st Century Leaders in the Context of New Modes of Learning: Summary of a Forum36 pages | Paperback | Price: $28.80The National Academy of Engineering’s 2012 forum, “Educating Engineers: Preparing 21st Century Leaders in the Context of New Modes of Learning,” opened with presentations by six speakers who looked at the future of engineering and engineering education from… [more]
Assessment of Advanced Solid State Lighting

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Assessment of Advanced Solid State Lighting126 pages | Paperback | Price: $40.50The standard incandescent light bulb, which still works mainly as Thomas Edison invented it, converts more than 90% of the consumed electricity into heat. Given the availability of newer lighting technologies that convert a greater percentage of electricity… [more]
The Secret Life of Numbers

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The Secret Life of Numbers: 50 Easy Pieces on How Mathematicians Work and Think224 pages | Hardcover | Price: $22.45Most of us picture mathematicians laboring before a chalkboard, scribbling numbers and obscure symbols as they mutter unintelligibly. This lighthearted (but realistic) sneak-peak into the everyday world of mathematicians turns that stereotype on its head.Most… [more]
The Mathematical Sciences in 2025

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The Mathematical Sciences in 2025191 pages | Paperback | Price: $41.40The mathematical sciences are part of nearly all aspects of everyday life–the discipline has underpinned such beneficial modern capabilities as Internet search, medical imaging, computer animation, numerical weather predictions, and all types of digital… [more]
Solar and Space Physics

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Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society454 pages | Paperback | Price: $60.30From the interior of the Sun, to the upper atmosphere and near-space environment of Earth, and outward to a region far beyond Pluto where the Sun’s influence wanes, advances during the past decade in space physics and solar physics–the disciplines NASA… [more]
Fueling Innovation and Discovery

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Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century57 pages | Paperback | Price: $17.95The mathematical sciences are part of everyday life. Modern communication, transportation, science, engineering, technology, medicine, manufacturing, security, and finance all depend on the mathematical sciences. Fueling Innovation and Discovery[more]
Empire of Light

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Empire of Light: A History of Discovery in Science and Art248 pages | Paperback | Price: $22.45In Empire of Light, Sidney Perkowitz combines the expertise of a physicist with the vision of an art connoisseur and the skill of an accomplished writer to offer a unique view of the most fundamental feature of the universe: light.Empire of… [more]

Happy Pi Day!

 Happy Pi Day!

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How do you celebrate Pi Day? From recitation contests to pi conversion games to baking a pi pie, there are an infinite number of ways for math and science enthusiasts to celebrate 3/14. The date also marks the anniversary of the birth of Albert Einstein, one of the greatest minds in math and science ever to live.

If you are celebrating Pi Day or Einstein’s Birthday, think about giving a gift to your favorite mathematician or physicist, our gift to you is a 25% off discount on these items through the end of March. Just use discount code PD2013 when you check out. Be sure to take a look at these resources from NAP whether you’re celebrating Pi Day, Einstein’s birthday, or both!

 

Fueling Innovation and Discovery

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Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century57 pages | Paperback | Price: $17.95The mathematical sciences are part of everyday life. Modern communication, transportation, science, engineering, technology, medicine, manufacturing, security, and finance all depend on the mathematical sciences. Fueling Innovation and Discovery[more]

The Mathematical Sciences in 2025

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The Mathematical Sciences in 2025191 pages | Paperback | Price: $41.40The mathematical sciences are part of nearly all aspects of everyday life–the discipline has underpinned such beneficial modern capabilities as Internet search, medical imaging, computer animation, numerical weather predictions, and all types of digital… [more]

The Secret Life of Numbers

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The Secret Life of Numbers: 50 Easy Pieces on How Mathematicians Work and Think224 pages | Hardcover | Price: $22.45Most of us picture mathematicians laboring before a chalkboard, scribbling numbers and obscure symbols as they mutter unintelligibly. This lighthearted (but realistic) sneak-peak into the everyday world of mathematicians turns that stereotype on its head.Most… [more]

Einstein Defiant

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Einstein Defiant: Genius Versus Genius in the Quantum Revolution356 pages | Hardcover | Price: $25.15“I find the idea quite intolerable that an electron exposed to radiation should choose of its own free will, not only its moment to jump off, but also its direction. In that case, I would rather be a cobbler, or even an employee in a gaming house, than a… [more]

Unknown Quantity

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Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra390 pages | Hardcover | Price: $25.15Prime Obsession taught us not to be afraid to put the math in a math book. Unknown Quantity heeds the lesson well. So grab your graphing calculators, slip out the slide rules, and buckle up! John Derbyshire is introducing us to algebra through… [more]

Prime Obsession

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Prime Obsession: Bernhard Riemann and the Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics448 pages | Hardcover | Price: $25.15In August 1859 Bernhard Riemann, a little-known 32-year old mathematician, presented a paper to the Berlin Academy titled: “On the Number of Prime Numbers Less Than a Given Quantity.” In the middle of that paper, Riemann made an incidental remark � a guess, a… [more]

A Beautiful Math

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A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature272 pages | Hardcover | Price: $25.15Millions have seen the movie and thousands have read the book but few have fully appreciated the mathematics developed by John Nash’s beautiful mind. Today Nash’s beautiful math has become a universal language for research in the social sciences and has… [more]

Struck by Lightning

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Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities270 pages | Paperback | Price: $20.65From terrorist attacks to big money jackpots, Struck by Lightning deconstructs the odds and oddities of chance, examining both the relevant and irreverent role of randomness in our everyday lives. Human beings have long been both fascinated and… [more]

Schrödinger's Rabbits

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Schrödinger’s Rabbits: The Many Worlds of Quantum282 pages | Hardcover | Price: $22.45For the better part of a century, attempts to explain what was really going on in the quantum world seemed doomed to failure. But recent technological advances have made the question both practical and urgent. A brilliantly imaginative group of physicists at… [more]

Einstein's Unfinished Symphony

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Einstein’s Unfinished Symphony: Listening to the Sounds of Space-Time266 pages | Hardcover | Price: $22.45A new generation of observatories, now being completed worldwide, will give astronomers not just a new window on the cosmos but a whole new sense with which to explore and experience the heavens above us. Instead of collecting light waves or radio waves, these… [more]

Assessing the Reliability of Complex Models

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Assessing the Reliability of Complex Models: Mathematical and Statistical Foundations of Verification, Validation, and Uncertainty Quantification131 pages | Paperback | Price: $37.80Advances in computing hardware and algorithms have dramatically improved the ability to simulate complex processes computationally. Today’s simulation capabilities offer the prospect of addressing questions that in the past could be addressed only  by… [more]

Helping Children Learn Mathematics

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Helping Children Learn Mathematics52 pages | Paperback | Price: $9.00Results from national and international assessments indicate that school children in the United States are not learning mathematics well enough. Many students cannot correctly apply computational algorithms to solve problems. Their understanding and use of… [more]

Mathematics and 21st Century Biology

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Mathematics and 21st Century Biology162 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50The exponentially increasing amounts of biological data along with comparable advances in computing power are making possible the construction of quantitative, predictive biological systems models. This development could revolutionize those biology-based fields… [more]

Adding It Up

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Adding It Up: Helping Children Learn Mathematics480 pages | Hardcover | Price: $31.45Adding It Up explores how students in pre-K through 8th grade learn mathematics and recommends how teaching, curricula, and teacher education should change to improve mathematics learning during these critical years.

The committee… [more]

How Students Learn

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How Students Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom272 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.45How Students Learn: Mathematics in the Classroom builds on the discoveries detailed in the best-selling How People Learn. Now these findings are presented in a way that teachers can use immediately, to revitalize their work in the classroom for… [more]

Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood

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Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity398 pages | Hardcover | Price: $49.45Early childhood mathematics is vitally important for young children’s present and future educational success. Research demonstrates that virtually all young children have the capability to learn and become competent in mathematics. Furthermore, young… [more]

Ready, Set, SCIENCE!

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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms220 pages | Paperback | Price: $20.65What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators, teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, and school administrators need to know… [more]

Surrounded by Science

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Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments240 pages | Paperback | Price: $22.45Practitioners in informal science settings–museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens–are interested in finding out what learning looks like, how to measure it, and… [more]

A Framework for K-12 Science Education

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A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas400 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity’s most pressing current and future challenges. The United States’ position in the global economy is declining, in part because U.S…. [more]

Successful K-12 STEM Education

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Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics44 pages | Paperback | Price: $11.65Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are cultural achievements that reflect our humanity, power our economy, and constitute fundamental aspects of our lives as citizens, consumers, parents, and members of the workforce. Providing all… [more]

Engineering in K-12 Education

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Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects234 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.45Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other STEM subjects–science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student learning… [more]

Surrounded by Science

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Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments240 pages | Paperback | Price: $22.45Practitioners in informal science settings–museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens–are interested in finding out what learning looks like, how to measure it, and… [more]

 

Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood Podcast

Ready, Set, Science Podcast 

Framework for K-12 Science Education Additional Resources Page

Surrounded by Science Podcast 

Einstein T-shirt

Pi Shirt

Einstein Puppet

Einstein Sticky Notes

Relativity Watch

Prime Time Watch

Schrodinger’s Cat Finger Puppet

Moleskin Notebook (to write out all the digits of Pi!)

Math Mug 

Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln!

Happy Birthday President Abe Lincoln!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences, a landmark that would not be possible without the perseverance and courage of President Abraham Lincoln.  In 1863, during the Civil War, President Lincoln founded the National Academy of Science in order to add “the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery… of new and useful things.”  We would like wish a very special Happy Birthday to President Lincoln who was born on this day in 1809. To celebrate this day, check out our favorite Lincoln video and memorabilia.

Lincoln Finger Puppet

Lincoln and the Founding of the National Academy of Sciences

Collection of Artwork of the National Academy of Sciences

Top Titles of 2012

“Mendel’s concept of the laws of genetics was lost to the world for a generation because his publication did not reach the few who were capable of grasping and extending it.” – Vannevar Bush

Science has the power to change the world–but only if people know about it. We want everyone in the world to have access to the scientific knowledge we have to share. To help people discover information and ideas that can make this world a better place, we decided last year to make the great majority of our reports—more than 5,000 of them–free to download from our website. This year alone, there were over 1.5 million downloads from NAP.edu. That’s twice as many as the year before!

Curious to see what grabbed our readers’ attention most in our first full year of offering PDFs free to download? What were the hottest topics for NAP.edu visitors this year? We compiled a list of the top 50 most downloaded reports throughout 2012.

 

Happy New Year!
The National Academies Press

 

A Framework for K-12 Science Education

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A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas400 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity’s most pressing current and future challenges. The United States’ position in the global economy is declining, in part because U.S…. [more]

Best Care at Lower Cost

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Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America450 pages | Hardcover | Price: $71.10America’s health care system has become too complex and costly to continue business as usual. Best Care at Lower Cost explains that inefficiencies, an overwhelming amount of data, and other economic and quality barriers hinder progress in improving… [more]

Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention

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Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation462 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10One-third of adults are now obese, and children’s obesity rates have climbed from 5 to 17 percent in the past 30 years. The causes of the nation’s obesity epidemic are multi-factorial, having much more to do with the absence of sidewalks and the limited… [more]

Education for Life and Work

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Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century256 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.95Americans 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 economic,… [more]

Research Universities and the Future of America

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Research Universities and the Future of America: Ten Breakthrough Actions Vital to Our Nation’s Prosperity and Security250 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10Research Universities and the Future of America presents critically important strategies for ensuring that our nation’s research universities contribute strongly to America’s prosperity, security, and national goals. Widely considered the best… [more]

Primary Care and Public Health

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Primary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health192 pages | Paperback | Price: $40.50Ensuring that members of society are healthy and reaching their full potential requires the prevention of disease and injury; the promotion of health and well-being; the assurance of conditions in which people can be healthy; and the provision of timely,… [more]

Discipline-Based Education Research

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Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering263 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10The 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 teaching and… [more]

Living Well with Chronic Illness

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Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action350 pages | Paperback | Price: $56.70In the United States, chronic diseases currently account for 70 percent of all deaths, and close to 48 million Americans report a disability related to a chronic condition. Today, about one in four Americans have multiple diseases and the prevalence and… [more]

Health IT and Patient Safety

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Health IT and Patient Safety: Building Safer Systems for Better Care211 pages | Paperback | Price: $43.20IOM’s 1999 landmark study To Err is Human estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 lives are lost every year due to medical errors. This call to action has led to a number of efforts to reduce errors and provide safe and effective health care…. [more]

Crisis Standards of Care

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Crisis Standards of Care: A Systems Framework for Catastrophic Disaster Response516 pages | Hardcover | Price: $80.10Catastrophic disasters occurring in 2011 in the United States and worldwide–from the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, to the earthquake in New Zealand–have demonstrated that even prepared communities can be overwhelmed…. [more]

For the Public's Health

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For the Public’s Health: Investing in a Healthier Future296 pages | Paperback | Price: $52.20The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to examine three topics in relation to public health: measurement, the law, and funding. IOM prepared a three report series–one report on each topic–that contains actionable… [more]

NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities

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NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities: Restoring NASA’s Technological Edge and Paving the Way for a New Era in Space122 pages | Paperback | Price: $34.20NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT) has begun to rebuild the advanced space technology program in the agency with plans laid out in 14 draft technology roadmaps. It has been years since NASA has had a vigorous, broad-based program in advanced space… [more]

Water Reuse

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Water Reuse: Potential for Expanding the Nation’s Water Supply Through Reuse of Municipal Wastewater262 pages | Hardcover | Price: $57.60Expanding water reuse–the use of treated wastewater for beneficial purposes including irrigation, industrial uses, and drinking water augmentation–could significantly increase the nation’s total available water resources. Water Reuse presents a… [more]

Evolution of Translational Omics

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Evolution of Translational Omics: Lessons Learned and the Path Forward338 pages | Paperback | Price: $57.60Technologies collectively called omics enable simultaneous measurement of an enormous number of biomolecules; for example, genomics investigates thousands of DNA sequences, and proteomics examines large numbers of proteins. Scientists are using these… [more]

Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education

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Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education230 pages | Paperback | Price: $42.30Higher 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 and state… [more]

Disaster Resilience

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Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative244 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10No 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 and its… [more]

Measuring Progress in Obesity Prevention

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Measuring Progress in Obesity Prevention: Workshop Report158 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10Nearly 69 percent of U.S. adults and 32 percent of children are either overweight or obese, creating an annual medical cost burden that may reach $147 billion. Researchers and policy makers are eager to identify improved measures of environmental and policy… [more]

Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington

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Sea-Level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future201 pages | Paperback | Price: $48.60Tide gages show that global sea level has risen about 7 inches during the 20th century, and recent satellite data show that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating. As Earth warms, sea levels are rising mainly because ocean water expands as it warms; and… [more]

Thinking Evolutionarily

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Thinking Evolutionarily: Evolution Education Across the Life Sciences: Summary of a Convocation96 pages | Paperback | Price: $32.40Evolution is the central unifying theme of biology. Yet today, more than a century and a half after Charles Darwin proposed the idea of evolution through natural selection, the topic is often relegated to a handful of chapters in textbooks and a few class… [more]

Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies

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Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies300 pages | Paperback | Price: $51.30In the past several years, some energy technologies that inject or extract fluid from the Earth, such as oil and gas development and geothermal energy development, have been found or suspected to cause seismic events, drawing heightened public… [more]

Assessing the Reliability of Complex Models

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Assessing the Reliability of Complex Models: Mathematical and Statistical Foundations of Verification, Validation, and Uncertainty Quantification131 pages | Paperback | Price: $37.80Advances in computing hardware and algorithms have dramatically improved the ability to simulate complex processes computationally. Today’s simulation capabilities offer the prospect of addressing questions that in the past could be addressed only  by… [more]

Adverse Effects of Vaccines

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Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality892 pages | Hardcover | Price: $71.95In 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 in 1986, was… [more]

Fueling Innovation and Discovery

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Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century57 pages | Paperback | Price: $17.95The mathematical sciences are part of everyday life. Modern communication, transportation, science, engineering, technology, medicine, manufacturing, security, and finance all depend on the mathematical sciences. Fueling Innovation and Discovery[more]

Ethical and Scientific Issues in Studying the Safety of Approved Drugs

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Ethical and Scientific Issues in Studying the Safety of Approved Drugs275 pages | Paperback | Price: $49.50An estimated 48 percent of the population takes at least one prescription drug in a given month. Drugs provide great benefits to society by saving or improving lives. Many drugs are also associated with side effects or adverse events, some serious and some… [more]

Optics and Photonics

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Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation280 pages | Paperback | Price: $48.60Optics and photonics technologies are ubiquitous: they are responsible for the displays on smart phones and computing devices, optical fiber that carries the information in the internet, advanced precision manufacturing, enhanced defense capabilities, and a… [more]

Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and Veteran Populations

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Treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Military and Veteran Populations: Initial Assessment396 pages | Paperback | Price: $56.70Prior to the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars and conflicts have been characterized by such injuries as infectious diseases and catastrophic gunshot wounds. However, the signature injuries sustained by United States military personnel in these… [more]

Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense

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Making Sense of Ballistic Missile Defense: An Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives296 pages | Paperback | Price: $55.80The Committee on an Assessment of Concepts and Systems for U.S. Boost-Phase Missile Defense in Comparison to Other Alternatives set forth to provide an assessment of the feasibility, practicality, and affordability of U.S. boost-phase missile defense compared… [more]

A Research Strategy for Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials

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A Research Strategy for Environmental, Health, and Safety Aspects of Engineered Nanomaterials212 pages | Paperback | Price: $51.30The nanotechnology sector, which generated about $225 billion in product sales in 2009, is predicted to expand rapidly over the next decade with the development of new technologies that have new capabilities. The increasing production and use of engineered… [more]

Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences

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Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences200 pages | Paperback | Price: $45.00New research opportunities to advance hydrologic sciences promise a better understanding of the role of water in the Earth system that could help improve human welfare and the health of the environment. Reaching this understanding will require both… [more]

Solar and Space Physics

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Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society454 pages | Paperback | Price: $60.30From the interior of the Sun, to the upper atmosphere and near-space environment of Earth, and outward to a region far beyond Pluto where the Sun’s influence wanes, advances during the past decade in space physics and solar physics–the disciplines NASA… [more]

Ecosystem Services

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Ecosystem Services: Charting a Path to Sustainability121 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.90Natural environments provide enormously valuable, but largely unappreciated, services that aid humans and other earthlings. It is becoming clear that these life-support systems are faltering and failing worldwide due to human actions that disrupt nature’s… [more]

Improving Adult Literacy Instruction

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Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Options for Practice and Research504 pages | Paperback | Price: $58.50A high level of literacy in both print and digital media is required for negotiating most aspects of 21st-century life, including supporting a family, education, health, civic participation, and competitiveness in the global economy. Yet, more than 90 million… [more]

Improving the Decision Making Abilities of Small Unit Leaders

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Improving the Decision Making Abilities of Small Unit Leaders115 pages | Paperback | Price: $37.80For the past decade, the U.S. Marine Corps and its sister services have been engaged in what has been termed “hybrid warfare,” which ranges from active combat to civilian support. Hybrid warfare typically occurs in environments where all modes of war are… [more]

The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence

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The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence: Workshop Summary110 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10Recent research suggests that obesity and excess weight can play a prominent role in the incidence and progression of various cancers. Obesity results from an energy imbalance – that is, energy intake that is higher than energy expenditure – could also… [more]

Frontiers of Engineering 2011

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Frontiers of Engineering 2011: Reports on Leading-Edge Engineering from the 2011 Symposium174 pages | Paperback | Price: $40.50The practice of engineering is continually changing. Engineers today must be able not only to thrive in an environment of rapid technological change and globalization, but also to work on interdisciplinary teams. Cutting-edge research is being done at the… [more]

Earth Science and Applications from Space

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Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Midterm Assessment of NASA’s Implementation of the Decadal Survey124 pages | Paperback | Price: $40.50Understanding the effects of natural and human-induced changes on the global environment and their implications requires a foundation of integrated observations of land, sea, air and space, on which to build credible information products, forecast models, and… [more]

Continuing Innovation in Information Technology

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Continuing Innovation in Information Technology42 pages | Paperback | Price: $24.30Information technology (IT) is widely understood to be the enabling technology of the 21st century. IT has transformed, and continues to transform, all aspects of our lives: commerce and finance, education, employment, energy, health care, manufacturing,… [more]

Genome-Based Diagnostics

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Genome-Based Diagnostics: Clarifying Pathways to Clinical Use: Workshop Summary83 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50The sequencing of the human genome and the identification of associations between specific genetic variants and diseases have led to an explosion of genomic-based diagnostic tests. These tests have the potential to direct therapeutic interventions, predict… [more]

In the Light of Evolution V

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In the Light of Evolution V: Cooperation and Conflict466 pages | Hardcover | Price: $80.77Biodiversity–the genetic variety of life–is an exuberant product of the evolutionary past, a vast human-supportive resource (aesthetic, intellectual, and material) of the present, and a rich legacy to cherish and preserve for the future. Two urgent… [more]

Epilepsy Across the Spectrum

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Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding537 pages | Not for SaleAlthough epilepsy is one of the nation’s most common neurological disorders, public understanding of it is limited. Many people do not know the causes of epilepsy or what they should do if they see someone having a seizure. Epilepsy is a complex spectrum of… [more]

Essential Health Benefits

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Essential Health Benefits: Balancing Coverage and Cost256 pages | Paperback | Price: $48.60In 2010, an estimated 50 million people were uninsured in the United States. A portion of the uninsured reflects unemployment rates; however, this rate is primarily a reflection of the fact that when most health plans meet an individual’s needs, most times,… [more]

Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy

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Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy110 pages | Paperback | Price: $34.20Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy encourages scientists to think differently about the use of scientific evidence in policy making. This report investigates why scientific evidence is important to policy making and argues that an extensive… [more]

Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations Near Nuclear Facilities

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Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations Near Nuclear Facilities: Phase I412 pages | Paperback | Price: $61.20In the late 1980s, the National Cancer Institute initiated an investigation of cancer risks in populations near 52 commercial nuclear power plants and 10 Department of Energy nuclear facilities (including research and nuclear weapons production facilities and… [more]

Exposure Science in the 21st Century

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Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy196 pages | Paperback | Price: $42.30From the use of personal products to our consumption of food, water, and air, people are exposed to a wide array of agents each day–many with the potential to affect health. Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and A Strategy investigates… [more]

A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling

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A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling300 pages | Paperback | Price: $55.80As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms, the need for detailed projections is growing across all sectors, including agriculture, insurance, and emergency preparedness planning. A National Strategy for Advancing Climate… [more]

Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels

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Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels246 pages | Paperback | Price: $57.60Biofuels made from algae are gaining attention as a domestic source of renewable fuel. However, with current technologies, scaling up production of algal biofuels to meet even 5 percent of U.S. transportation fuel needs could create unsustainable demands for… [more]

Deterrence and the Death Penalty

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Deterrence and the Death Penalty144 pages | Paperback | Price: $37.80Many studies during the past few decades have sought to determine whether the death penalty has any deterrent effect on homicide rates. Researchers have reached widely varying, even contradictory, conclusions. Some studies have concluded that the threat of… [more]

Rising to the Challenge

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Rising to the Challenge: U.S. Innovation Policy for Global Economy573 pages | Paperback | Price: $64.80America’s position as the source of much of the world’s global innovation has been the foundation of its economic vitality and military power in the post-war. No longer is U.S. pre-eminence assured as a place to turn laboratory discoveries into new commercial… [more]

Computing Research for Sustainability

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Computing Research for Sustainability155 pages | Paperback | Price: $43.20A broad and growing literature describes the deep and multidisciplinary nature of the sustainability challenges faced by the United States and the world. Despite the profound technical challenges involved, sustainability is not, at its root, a technical… [more]

Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape

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Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: Summary of a Summit156 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.90The National Research Council (NRC) and National Academy of Engineering (NAE) have released a new report, Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: Summary of a Summit. Based on a national summit that was supported by the National… [more]

Science Debate 2012: Critical Natural Resources

The leading U.S. science and engineering organizations developed a list of 14 science policy questions facing the U.S. in 2012. You can read these questions–and the Presidential candidates’ answers–at ScienceDebate.org.

For each of the Science Debate 2012 questions, we’re going to provide you a selection of the authoritative and unbiased resources of the National Academies to help inform your response to the candidates’ answers. Today, we’re looking at this ScienceDebate question on Critical Natural Resources:

Supply shortages of natural resources affect economic growth, quality of life, and national security; for example China currently produces 97% of rare earth elements needed for advanced electronics. What steps should the federal government take to ensure the quality and availability of critical natural resources?

How would you respond? Download these reports for free at NAP.edu or purchase a print copy to read.

Understanding the Changing Planet

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Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences172 pages | Paperback | Price: $39.60From the oceans to continental heartlands, human activities have altered the physical characteristics of Earth’s surface. With Earth’s population projected to peak at 8 to 12 billion people by 2050 and the additional stress of climate change, it is more… [more]

Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. Economy

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Minerals, Critical Minerals, and the U.S. Economy264 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10Minerals are part of virtually every product we use. Common examples include copper used in electrical wiring and titanium used to make airplane frames and paint pigments. The Information Age has ushered in a number of new mineral uses in a number of products… [more]

Confronting the Nation's Water Problems

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Confronting the Nation’s Water Problems: The Role of Research324 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10In order to confront the increasingly severe water problems faced by all parts of the country, the United States needs to make a new commitment to research on water resources. A new mechanism is needed to coordinate water research currently fragmented among… [more]

Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences

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Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences200 pages | Paperback | Price: $45.00New research opportunities to advance hydrologic sciences promise a better understanding of the role of water in the Earth system that could help improve human welfare and the health of the environment. Reaching this understanding will require both… [more]

Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century

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Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century598 pages | Paperback | Price: $58.50In the last 20 years, there has been a remarkable emergence of innovations and technological advances that are generating promising changes and opportunities for sustainable agriculture, yet at the same time the agricultural sector worldwide faces numerous… [more]