Category Archives: New Publications

Research Universities: Higher Education’s Role in Our Nation’s Prosperity

Today, Americans are feeling the gradual and subtle effects of globalization that challenge the economic and strategic leadership that the United States has enjoyed since World War II. A substantial portion of our workforce finds itself in direct competition for jobs with lower-wage workers around the globe, and leading-edge scientific and engineering work is being accomplished in many parts of the world. The National Academy of Sciences has produced a number of reports that examine this problem and make recommendations to enhance the science and technology enterprise so that the United States can successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st century.

The newly released Research 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 in the world, our nation’s research universities today confront significant financial pressures, important advances in technology, a changing demographic landscape, and increased international competition. This report provides a course of action for ensuring our universities continue to produce the knowledge, ideas, and talent the United States needs to be a global leader in the 21st century.

Research Universities and the Future of America examines trends in university finance, prospects for improving university operations, opportunities for deploying technology, and improvement in the regulation of higher education institutions. It also explores ways to improve pathways to graduate education, take advantage of opportunities to increase student diversity, and realign doctoral education for the careers new doctorates will follow. In the first video below, members of the authoring committee share their insights. The second video is a recording of the release event, with more in-depth perspectives from the committee.

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads explores the role of diversity in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce and its value in keeping America innovative and competitive. The video below is of the report release event.

Both of these titles follow up on the findings of the landmark study Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future. Published in 2007, that congressionally requested report made four recommendations along with 20 implementation actions that federal policy-makers should take to create high-quality jobs and focus new science and technology efforts to maintain America’s competitiveness in the global marketplace. A podcast and videos of Congressional hearing about this report are available:

These reports and others are available to read or download at no charge at our website.

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 Security227 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]

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 Security: Summary24 pages | Not for SaleResearch 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]

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation

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Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads286 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.00In 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 and… [more]

Rising Above the Gathering Storm

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Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future592 pages | Not for SaleIn a world where advanced knowledge is widespread and low-cost labor is readily available, U.S. advantages in the marketplace and in science and technology have begun to erode. A comprehensive and coordinated federal effort is urgently needed to bolster U.S…. [more]

Rising Above the Gathering Storm Two Years Later

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Rising Above the Gathering Storm Two Years Later: Accelerating Progress Toward a Brighter Economic Future. Summary of a Convocation24 pages | Not for SaleRising Above the Gathering Storm Two Years Later: Accelerating Progress Toward a Brighter Economic Future summarizes a convocation held in April 2008 to commemorate the release of the original Gathering Storm report. The convocation featured… [more]

Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited

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Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5104 pages | Paperback | Price: $17.95In the face of so many daunting near-term challenges, U.S. government and industry are letting the crucial strategic issues of U.S. competitiveness slip below the surface. Five years ago, the National Academies prepared Rising Above the Gathering… [more]

Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited

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Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5: Condensed Version16 pages | Not for SaleIn 2005 the National Academies released Rising Above the Gathering Storm, a book focused on the ability of all Americans to compete for quality jobs in the evolving global economy. Rising Above the… [more]

Is America Falling Off the Flat Earth?

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Is America Falling Off the Flat Earth?92 pages | Not for SaleThe aviation and telecommunication revolutions have conspired to make distance increasingly irrelevant. An important consequence of this is that US citizens, accustomed to competing with their neighbors for jobs, now must compete with candidates from all… [more]

New Report States Smoking and Obesity Shrink U.S. Lifespans

A new report released Tuesday says that the nation’s history of heavy smoking is a major reason why lifespans in the U.S. fall short of those in many other high-income nations, and evidence suggests that current obesity levels also play a substantial part. According to Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries, three to five decades ago smoking was much more widespread in the U.S. than in Europe or Japan, and the health consequences are still playing out in today’s mortality rates. Smoking appears to be responsible for a good deal of the differences in life expectancy, especially for women. Obesity’s contribution to lagging life expectancies in the U.S. also appears to be significant. It may account for a fifth to a third of the shortfall in longevity in the U.S. compared to other nations. And if the obesity trend in the U.S. continues, it may offset the longevity improvements expected from reductions in smoking.

The Institute of Medicine has published a number of books that address the problem of smoking in our nation. The most recent, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence addresses health effects of secondhand smoke. This book assesses the relationship between secondhand smoke exposure and acute coronary events. It also surveys critical epidemiological studies on the effects of smoking bans and evidence of links between secondhand smoke exposure and cardiovascular events.

The health and well-being of children in the United States are threatened by the ever-increasing number and percentage who are overweight and obese—now at one in four children. Childhood and adolescent obesity has increased dramatically in just three decades. Obese children and adolescents are more likely to have hypertension, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes when they are young, and they also are more likely to be obese when they are adults. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity serves as a tool for local government officials and those who work in partnership with them to help in tackling the prevention of childhood obesity in their jurisdictions.

These books and others from the Institute of Medicine provide information, recommendations, and analysis to assist decision-makers.

Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries

Over the last 25 years, life expectancy at age 50 in the U.S. has been rising, but at a slower pace than in many other high-income countries, such as Japan and Australia. This difference is particularly notable given that the U.S. spends more on health care…
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Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Cardiovascular Effects: Making Sense of the Evidence

Data suggest that exposure to secondhand smoke can result in heart disease in nonsmoking adults. Recently, progress has been made in reducing involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke through legislation banning smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and other…
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Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity

The prevalence of childhood obesity is so high in the United States that it may reduce the life expectancy of today’s generation of children. While parents and other adult caregivers play a fundamental role in teaching children about healthy behaviors, even…
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Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations

The health and economic costs of tobacco use in military and veteran populations are high. In 2007, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) requested that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) make recommendations on how to…
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Ending the Tobacco Problem Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation

The nation has made tremendous progress in reducing tobacco use during the past 40 years. Despite extensive knowledge about successful interventions, however, approximately one-quarter of American adults still smoke. Tobacco-related illnesses and death place a…
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Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention: A Framework to Inform Decision Making

To battle the obesity epidemic in America, health care professionals and policymakers need relevant, useful data on the effectiveness of obesity prevention policies and programs. Bridging the Evidence Gap in Obesity Prevention identifies a new…
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Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?

The remarkable increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and youth in the United States over a relatively short timespan represents one of the defining public health challenges of the 21st century. The country is beginning to recognize childhood…
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Seven New Books: Sea Turtles, Space Exploration, and more

This past week, there were seven new publications on the NAP site, six of which have free PDFs. There were prepublications covering space exploration, climate, and sea turtles.

All New Publications This Week

Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millenia (prepublication)

Assessment of Sea-Turtle Status and Trends: Integrating Demography and Abundance (prepublication)

Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report (prepublication)

Controlling Cost Growth of NASA Earth and Space Science Missions (prepublication)

A Scientific Assessment of Alternatives for Reducing Water Management Effects on Threatened and Endangered Fishes in California’s Bay Delta (final)

A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension (final)

Final Report of The National Academies’ Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee and 2010 Amendments to the National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (final)

Five New Books: Weather Science, Drug Safety, and more

Our usual collection of the new publications to NAP.edu this week includes a number of books on health and medicine, as well as a prepublication on weather. Four of the five new books this week have Free PDFs available to download.

All New Publications This Week

When Weather Matters: Science and Service to Meet Critical Societal Needs (prepublication)

Ethical Issues in Studying the Safety of Approved Drugs: A Letter Report (final)

Mental, Neurological, and Substance Use Disorders in Sub-Saharan Africa: Reducing the Treatment Gap, Improving Quality of Care: Workshop Summary (prepublication)

Strategic Approach to the Evaluation of Programs Implemented Under the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (prepublication)

A National Cancer Clinical Trials System for the 21st Century: Reinvigorating the NCI Cooperative Group Program (final)

16 New Books: Greenhouse Gases, Gulf War and Health, Helium Reserve, and more

I hope that those of you in the U.S. had a happy and relaxing Independence Day weekend. We welcome you back to the working week with one of the biggest lists of new books that we’ve had since we’ve started posting them once a week here on Notes From NAP. There’s sixteen of them, the vast majority of which have free PDFs available.

Because of the high number of new books this week, we’re going to present it here as a simple list. If you have any comments or questions about Notes From NAP, feel free to contact us through this form. We’d love to get any feedback you might have.

New Publications This Week

Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies–Report 2 (final)

A Foundation for Evidence-Driven Practice: A Rapid Learning System for Cancer Care: Workshop Summary (final)

Strengthening the National Institute of Justice (prepublication)

Steps Toward Large-Scale Data Integration in the Sciences: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Review of the Research Program of the FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: Third Report (prepublication)

International Differences in Mortality at Older Ages: Dimensions and Sources (prepublication)

Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century (final)

Demographic Changes, a View from California: Implications for Framing Health Disparities: Workshop Summary (final)

Selling the Nation’s Helium Reserve (final)

Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy (final)

Verifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Methods to Support International Climate Agreements (final)

Certifiably Sustainable?: The Role of Third-Party Certification Systems: Report of a Workshop (final)

Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World: A Critical Challenge to Achieve Global Health (final)

Realizing the Energy Potential of Methane Hydrate for the United States (final)

Gulf War and Health: Volume 8: Update of Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf War (final)

Envisioning the 2020 Census (final)

Eight New Books: Health Care, Mental Health Counseling, and more…

Another Monday brings us another roundup of the new books on the NAP website in the past week. As always, any books that have Free PDFs are labeled as such below.

As a side note, we set up a simple contact form here on Notes From NAP. If you have any suggestions or feedback, we’d love to hear it at notes.nap.edu/contact. Are these lists of the new publications on our site useful to you? Are there other features you’d like to see?  Fill out the form and let us know!

Featured Publication

Accounting for Health and Health Care: Approaches to Measuring the Sources and Costs of Their Improvement (prepublication)

It has become trite to observe that increases in health care costs have become unsustainable. How best for policy to address these increases, however, depends in part on the degree to which they represent increases in the real quantity of medical services as opposed to increased unit prices of existing services. And an even more fundamental question is the degree to which the increased spending actually has purchased improved health.

Accounting for Health and Health Care addresses both these issues. The government agencies responsible for measuring unit prices for medical services have taken steps in recent years that have greatly improved the accuracy of those measures. Nonetheless, this book has several recommendations aimed at further improving the price indices.

All New Publications This Week

Conducting Biosocial Surveys: Collecting, Storing, Accessing, and Protecting Biospecimens and Biodata (prepublication)

Waste Forms Technology and Performance: Interim Report (final)

Provision of Mental Health Counseling Services Under TRICARE (final)

Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Final Report (final)

Understanding the Changing Planet: Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences (final)

NOAA’s Education Program: Review and Critique (final)

Evaluation of Biomarkers and Surrogate Endpoints in Chronic Disease (final)

Six New Books: Health Care, Science Careers, and more…

There are six new books to the NAP website, all of which are final versions. Frequent readers of Notes From NAP may notice that the titles usually have “(final)” or “(prepublication)” after the title. We often release “prepublication” versions, which are uncorrected proofs of the books in order to get the research to the public more quickly, and then release the final versions. Because many people wait for the final version to purchase the books, we like to give notices of both the prepublication and the final version. So if you’ve been wondering what those qualifiers are, wonder no more!

Featured Publication

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

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 in science, engineering, and mathematics at the nation’s top research universities. Much of this congressionally mandated book is based on two unique surveys of faculty and departments at major U.S. research universities in six fields: biology, chemistry, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics, and physics. A departmental survey collected information on departmental policies, recent tenure and promotion cases, and recent hires in almost 500 departments. A faculty survey gathered information from a stratified, random sample of about 1,800 faculty on demographic characteristics, employment experiences, the allocation of institutional resources such as laboratory space, professional activities, and scholarly productivity.

This book paints a timely picture of the status of female faculty at top universities, clarifies whether male and female faculty have similar opportunities to advance and succeed in academia, challenges some commonly held views, and poses several questions still in need of answers. This book will be of special interest to university administrators and faculty, graduate students, policy makers, professional and academic societies, federal funding agencies, and others concerned with the vitality of the U.S. research base and economy.

All New Publications This Week

Report of the Treasurer of the National Academy of Sciences: For the Year Ended December 31, 2009 (final)

Toxicity Pathway-Based Risk Assessment: Preparing for Paradigm Change: A Symposium Summary (final)

Leadership Commitments to Improve Value in Healthcare: Toward Common Ground: Workshop Summary (final)

Engineering, Social Justice, and Sustainable Community Development: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Review of the WATERS Network Science Plan (final)

Four New Science Books: Food Safety, Energy Efficiency, and more…

Last week brought us four new reports to the NAP site, including our featured publication in the Food and nutrition topic, Enhancing Food Safety, covering an important topic with a snappy book cover.

Featured Publication

Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration (prepublication)

Recent outbreaks of illnesses traced to contaminated sprouts and lettuce illustrate the holes that exist in the system for monitoring problems and preventing foodborne diseases. Although it is not solely responsible for ensuring the safety of the nation’s food supply, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees monitoring and intervention for 80 percent of the food supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s abilities to discover potential threats to food safety and prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness are hampered by impediments to efficient use of its limited resources and a piecemeal approach to gathering and using information on risks. Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration, a new book from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, responds to a congressional request for recommendations on how to close gaps in FDA’s food safety systems.

Enhancing Food Safety begins with a brief review of the Food Protection Plan (FPP), FDA’s food safety philosophy developed in 2007. The lack of sufficient detail and specific strategies in the FPP renders it ineffectual. The book stresses the need for FPP to evolve and be supported by the type of strategic planning described in these pages. It also explores the development and implementation of a stronger, more effective food safety system built on a risk-based approach to food safety management. Conclusions and recommendations include adopting a risk-based decision-making approach to food safety; creating a data surveillance and research infrastructure; integrating federal, state, and local government food safety programs; enhancing efficiency of inspections; and more.

Although food safety is the responsibility of everyone, from producers to consumers, the FDA and other regulatory agencies have an essential role. In many instances, the FDA must carry out this responsibility against a backdrop of multiple stakeholder interests, inadequate resources, and competing priorities. Of interest to the food production industry, consumer advocacy groups, health care professionals, and others, Enhancing Food Safety provides the FDA and Congress with a course of action that will enable the agency to become more efficient and effective in carrying out its food safety mission in a rapidly changing world.

All New Publications This Week

Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies–Report 2 (forthcoming)

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States (final)

The Domestic and International Impacts of the 2009-H1N1 Influenza A Pandemic: Global Challenges, Global Solutions: Workshop Summary (final)

Ten New Science Books: Lab Animals, Vaccines, Cancer Care, and more…

We’ve been a little quiet lately here at Notes From NAP, due largely to some technical tinkering we’ve needed to do as the summer quietly moves in, so our apologies. We’re back with a bang, though: Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals was released last week, and is our featured publication of the week. See more publications in the topic of Lab Animal Research.

Featured Publication

Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (prepublication)

A respected resource for decades, the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals has been updated by a committee of experts, taking into consideration input from the scientific and laboratory animal communities and the public at large. The Guide incorporates new scientific information on common laboratory animals, including aquatic species, and includes extensive references. It is organized around major components of animal use:

Key concepts of animal care and use. The Guide sets the framework for the humane care and use of laboratory animals.

Animal care and use program. The Guide discusses the concept of a broad Program of Animal Care and Use, including roles and responsibilities of the Institutional Official, Attending Veterinarian and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Animal environment, husbandry, and management. A chapter on this topic is now divided into sections on terrestrial and aquatic animals and provides recommendations for housing and environment, husbandry, behavioral and population management, and more.

Veterinary care. The Guide discusses veterinary care and the responsibilities of the Attending Veterinarian. It includes recommendations on animal procurement and transportation, preventive medicine (including animal biosecurity), and clinical care and management. The Guide addresses distress and pain recognition and relief, and issues surrounding euthanasia.

Physical plant. The Guide identifies design issues, providing construction guidelines for functional areas; considerations such as drainage, vibration and noise control, and environmental monitoring; and specialized facilities for animal housing and research needs.

The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals provides a framework for the judgments required in the management of animal facilities. This updated and expanded resource of proven value will be important to scientists and researchers, veterinarians, animal care personnel, facilities managers, institutional administrators, policy makers involved in research issues, and animal welfare advocates.

All New Publications This Week

Considerations for Ensuring Safety and Efficacy of Vaccines and Therapeutic Proteins Manufactured by Using Platform Approaches: Summary of a Workshop (forthcoming)

A Foundation for Evidence-Drive Practice: A Rapid Learning System for Cancer Care: Workshop Summary (prepublication)

Assessment of Technologies for Improving Light Duty Vehicle Fuel Economy (prepublication)

A Summary of the December 2009 Forum on the Future of Nursing: Care in the Community (final)

Residential Energy Consumption Letter Report (final)

Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use (final)

Achieving Effective Acquisition of Information Technology in the Department of Defense (final)

The Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise: Innovative Strategies to Enhance Products from Discovery Through Approval: Workshop Summary (final)

Regionalizing Emergency Care: Workshop Summary (final)

A Collection Of Books On The Science Of Climate Change

As part of its most comprehensive study of climate change to date, the National Research Council today issued three reports emphasizing why the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. The reports are part of a congressionally requested suite of five studies known as America’s Climate Choices.

In addition to these titles, we’ve picked related climate change titles—all of them available to read for free online.

Advancing the Science of Climate Change

Limiting the Magnitude of Climate Change

Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change

Related Books On Climate Change

Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years

Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate

Global Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events: Understanding the Contributions to Infectious Disease Emergence: Workshop Summary

Potential Impacts of Climate Change on U.S. Transportation: Special Report 290

Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World

Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age

Understanding And Responding To Climate Change