Category Archives: Science Resources

A category for posts that group books by topic or expanded writings on posts from other places, such as email newsletters or Twitter.

The NAP Guide to the 2015 State of the Union Address

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans:

We are 15 years into this new century. Fifteen years that dawned with terror touching our shores; that unfolded with a new generation fighting two long and costly wars; that saw a vicious recession spread across our nation and the world. It has been, and still is, a hard time for many.

But tonight, we turn the page. Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before. More of our people are insured than ever before. And we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.

Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over. Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain. And we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 Generation who has served to keep us safe. We are humbled and grateful for your service.

Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families (2013)


ISBN 978-0-309-26427-3

As of December 2012, Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in Iraq have resulted in the deployment of about 2.2 million troops; there have been 2,222 US fatalities in OEF and Operation New Dawn (OND)1 …

[more]

Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Preliminary Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-14763-7

Nearly 1.9 million U.S. troops have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since October 2001. Many service members and veterans face serious challenges in readjusting to normal life after returning home. This initial book presents findings on …

[more]

America, for all that we have endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this: The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.

At this moment — with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, booming energy production — we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth. It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next 15 years and for decades to come.

Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?

Will we approach the world fearful and reactive, dragged into costly conflicts that strain our military and set back our standing? Or will we lead wisely, using all elements of our power to defeat new threats and protect our planet?

Will we allow ourselves to be sorted into factions and turned against one another? Or will we recapture the sense of common purpose that has always propelled America forward?

In two weeks, I will send this Congress a budget filled with ideas that are practical, not partisan. And in the months ahead, I’ll crisscross the country making a case for those ideas. So tonight, I want to focus less on a checklist of proposals, and focus more on the values at stake in the choices before us.

It begins with our economy. Seven years ago, Rebekah and Ben Erler of Minneapolis were newlyweds. She waited tables. He worked construction. Their first child, Jack, was on the way. They were young and in love in America. And it doesn’t get much better than that. “If only we had known,” Rebekah wrote to me last spring, “what was about to happen to the housing and construction market.”

As the crisis worsened, Ben’s business dried up, so he took what jobs he could find, even if they kept him on the road for long stretches of time. Rebekah took out student loans and enrolled in community college, and retrained for a new career. They sacrificed for each other. And slowly, it paid off. They bought their first home. They had a second son, Henry. Rebekah got a better job and then a raise. Ben is back in construction — and home for dinner every night.

“It is amazing,” Rebekah wrote, “what you can bounce back from when you have to…we are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times.” We are a strong, tight-knit family who has made it through some very, very hard times.

America, Rebekah and Ben’s story is our story. They represent the millions who have worked hard and scrimped, and sacrificed and retooled. You are the reason that I ran for this office. You are the people I was thinking of six years ago today, in the darkest months of the crisis, when I stood on the steps of this Capitol and promised we would rebuild our economy on a new foundation. And it has been your resilience, your effort that has made it possible for our country to emerge stronger.

We believed we could reverse the tide of outsourcing and draw new jobs to our shores. And over the past five years, our businesses have created more than 11 million new jobs.

We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet. And today, America is number one in oil and gas. America is number one in wind power. Every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008. And thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save about $750 at the pump.

The Future of Photovoltaic Manufacturing in the United States (2011)


ISBN 978-0-309-14214-4

Technological innovation and growth are critical to U.S. competitiveness in a global economy. One means of facilitating growth and improving competitiveness is to foster more robust innovation ecosystems through the development of public-private …

[more]

Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels in the United States (2012)


ISBN 978-0-309-26032-9

Biofuels 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 …

[more]

Electricity from Renewable Resources: Status, Prospects, and Impediments (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-13708-9

A component in the America’s Energy Future study, Electricity from Renewable Resources examines the technical potential for electric power generation with alternative sources such as wind, solar-photovoltaic, geothermal, solar-thermal, …

[more]

We believed we could prepare our kids for a more competitive world. And today, our younger students have earned the highest math and reading scores on record. Our high school graduation rate has hit an all-time high. More Americans finish college than ever before.

We believed that sensible regulations could prevent another crisis, shield families from ruin, and encourage fair competition. Today, we have new tools to stop taxpayer-funded bailouts, and a new consumer watchdog to protect us from predatory lending and abusive credit card practices. And in the past year alone, about 10 million uninsured Americans finally gained the security of health coverage.

At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious; that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. Instead, we’ve seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health care inflation at its lowest rate in 50 years. This is good news, people.

Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-14723-1

A mismatch between the federal government’s revenues and spending, now and in the foreseeable future, requires heavy borrowing, leading to a large and increasing federal debt. That increasing debt raises a serious challenge to all of the goals …

[more]

So the verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work as long as politics don’t get in the way. We can’t slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns. We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got to fix a broken system. And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, I will veto it. It will have earned my veto.

Today, thanks to a growing economy, the recovery is touching more and more lives. Wages are finally starting to rise again. We know that more small business owners plan to raise their employees’ pay than at any time since 2007. But here’s the thing: Those of us here tonight, we need to set our sights higher than just making sure government doesn’t screw things up; that government doesn’t halt the progress we’re making. We need to do more than just do no harm. Tonight, together, let’s do more to restore the link between hard work and growing opportunity for every American.

Because families like Rebekah’s still need our help. She and Ben are working as hard as ever, but they’ve had to forego vacations and a new car so that they can pay off student loans and save for retirement. Friday night pizza, that’s a big splurge. Basic childcare for Jack and Henry costs more than their mortgage, and almost as much as a year at the University of Minnesota. Like millions of hardworking Americans, Rebekah isn’t asking for a handout, but she is asking that we look for more ways to help families get ahead.

And in fact, at every moment of economic change throughout our history, this country has taken bold action to adapt to new circumstances and to make sure everyone gets a fair shot. We set up worker protections, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid to protect ourselves from the harshest adversity. We gave our citizens schools and colleges, infrastructure and the Internet — tools they needed to go as far as their effort and their dreams will take them.

That’s what middle-class economics is — the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, everyone plays by the same set of rules. We don’t just want everyone to share in America’s success, we want everyone to contribute to our success.

So what does middle-class economics require in our time?

First, middle-class economics means helping working families feel more secure in a world of constant change. That means helping folks afford childcare, college, health care, a home, retirement. And my budget will address each of these issues, lowering the taxes of working families and putting thousands of dollars back into their pockets each year.

Here’s one example. During World War II, when men like my grandfather went off to war, having women like my grandmother in the workforce was a national security priority — so this country provided universal childcare. In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality childcare more than ever.

It’s not a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have. So it’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or as a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us. And that’s why my plan will make quality childcare more available and more affordable for every middle-class and low-income family with young children in America — by creating more slots and a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child, per year.

Here’s another example. Today, we are the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers. Forty-three million workers have no paid sick leave — 43 million. Think about that. And that forces too many parents to make the gut-wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home. So I’ll be taking new action to help states adopt paid leave laws of their own. And since paid sick leave won where it was on the ballot last November, let’s put it to a vote right here in Washington. Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do.

Of course, nothing helps families make ends meet like higher wages. That’s why this Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work. It’s 2015. It’s time. We still need to make sure employees get the overtime they’ve earned. And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.

Now, these ideas won’t make everybody rich, won’t relieve every hardship. That’s not the job of government. To give working families a fair shot, we still need more employers to see beyond next quarter’s earnings and recognize that investing in their workforce is in their company’s long-term interest. We still need laws that strengthen rather than weaken unions, and give American workers a voice.

But you know, things like childcare and sick leave and equal pay; things like lower mortgage premiums and a higher minimum wage — these ideas will make a meaningful difference in the lives of millions of families. That’s a fact. And that’s what all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike, were sent here to do.

Second, to make sure folks keep earning higher wages down the road, we have to do more to help Americans upgrade their skills. America thrived in the 20th century because we made high school free, sent a generation of GIs to college, trained the best workforce in the world. We were ahead of the curve. But other countries caught on. And in a 21st century economy that rewards knowledge like never before, we need to up our game. We need to do more.

Education for Life and Work: Developing Transferable Knowledge and Skills in the 21st Century (2012)


ISBN 978-0-309-25649-0

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]

Assessing 21st Century Skills: Summary of a Workshop (2011)


ISBN 978-0-309-21790-3

The routine jobs of yesterday are being replaced by technology and/or shipped off-shore. In their place, job categories that require knowledge management, abstract reasoning, and personal services seem to be growing. The modern workplace requires …

[more]

Envisioning A 21st Century Science and Engineering Workforce for the United States: Tasks for University, Industry, and Government (2003)


ISBN 978-0-309-08856-5

At the request of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR), Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, presents in this brief paper her views of the challenges of the 21st century for the science and …

[more]

By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education — two in three. And yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need. It’s not fair to them, and it’s sure not smart for our future. That’s why I’m sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college — to zero.

Keep in mind 40 percent of our college students choose community college. Some are young and starting out. Some are older and looking for a better job. Some are veterans and single parents trying to transition back into the job market. Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy without a load of debt. Understand, you’ve got to earn it. You’ve got to keep your grades up and graduate on time.

Tennessee, a state with Republican leadership, and Chicago, a city with Democratic leadership, are showing that free community college is possible. I want to spread that idea all across America, so that two years of college becomes as free and universal in America as high school is today. Let’s stay ahead of the curve. And I want to work with this Congress to make sure those already burdened with student loans can reduce their monthly payments so that student debt doesn’t derail anyone’s dreams.

Thanks to Vice President Biden’s great work to update our job training system, we’re connecting community colleges with local employers to train workers to fill high-paying jobs like coding, and nursing, and robotics. Tonight, I’m also asking more businesses to follow the lead of companies like CVS and UPS, and offer more educational benefits and paid apprenticeships — opportunities that give workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs even if they don’t have a higher education.

Community Colleges in the Evolving STEM Education Landscape: Summary of a Summit (2012)


ISBN 978-0-309-25654-4

The 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 …

[more]

Enhancing the Community College Pathway to Engineering Careers (2005)


ISBN 978-0-309-09534-1

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]

And as a new generation of veterans comes home, we owe them every opportunity to live the American Dream they helped defend. Already, we’ve made strides towards ensuring that every veteran has access to the highest quality care. We’re slashing the backlog that had too many veterans waiting years to get the benefits they need. And we’re making it easier for vets to translate their training and experience into civilian jobs. And Joining Forces, the national campaign launched by Michelle and Jill Biden — thank you, Michelle; thank you, Jill — has helped nearly 700,000 veterans and military spouses get a new job. So to every CEO in America, let me repeat: If you want somebody who’s going to get the job done and done right, hire a veteran.

Finally, as we better train our workers, we need the new economy to keep churning out high-wage jobs for our workers to fill. Since 2010, America has put more people back to work than Europe, Japan, and all advanced economies combined.

Our manufacturers have added almost 800,000 new jobs. Some of our bedrock sectors, like our auto industry, are booming. But there are also millions of Americans who work in jobs that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago — jobs at companies like Google, and eBay, and Tesla.

So no one knows for certain which industries will generate the jobs of the future. But we do know we want them here in America. We know that. And that’s why the third part of middle-class economics is all about building the most competitive economy anywhere, the place where businesses want to locate and hire.

Making Value: Integrating Manufacturing, Design, and Innovation to Thrive in the Changing Global Economy (2012)


ISBN 978-0-309-26448-8

Manufacturing is in a period of dramatic transformation. But in the United States, public and political dialogue is simplistically focused almost entirely on the movement of certain manufacturing jobs overseas to low-wage countries. The true …

[more]

Making Things: 21st Century Manufacturing and Design: Summary of a Forum (2012)


ISBN 978-0-309-22559-5

More than two decades ago, a commission of 17 MIT scientists and economists released a report, Made in America, which opened with the memorable phrase, “To live well, a nation must produce well.” Is that still true? Or can the United …

[more]

Envisioning A 21st Century Science and Engineering Workforce for the United States: Tasks for University, Industry, and Government (2003)


ISBN 978-0-309-08856-5

At the request of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR), Shirley Ann Jackson, President of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, presents in this brief paper her views of the challenges of the 21st century for the science and …

[more]

Twenty-first century businesses need 21st century infrastructure — modern ports, and stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest Internet. Democrats and Republicans used to agree on this. So let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline. Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than 30 times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come. Let’s do it. Let’s get it done. Let’s get it done.

Twenty-first century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas. Today, our businesses export more than ever, and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages. But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region. That would put our workers and our businesses at a disadvantage. Why would we let that happen? We should write those rules. We should level the playing field. That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but are also fair. It’s the right thing to do.

Look, I’m the first one to admit that past trade deals haven’t always lived up to the hype, and that’s why we’ve gone after countries that break the rules at our expense. But 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders. We can’t close ourselves off from those opportunities. More than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking to bring jobs back from China. So let’s give them one more reason to get it done.

Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation (2013)


ISBN 978-0-309-26377-1

Optics 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 …

[more]

Assessment of Advanced Solid State Lighting (2013)


ISBN 978-0-309-27011-3

The 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 …

[more]

The Flexible Electronics Opportunity (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-30591-4

Flexible electronics describes circuits that can bend and stretch, enabling significant versatility in applications and the prospect of low-cost manufacturing processes. They represent an important technological advance, in terms of their …

[more]

Twenty-first century businesses will rely on American science and technology, research and development. I want the country that eliminated polio and mapped the human genome to lead a new era of medicine — one that delivers the right treatment at the right time.

In some patients with cystic fibrosis, this approach has reversed a disease once thought unstoppable. So tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes, and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier. We can do this.

Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease (2011)


ISBN 978-0-309-22222-8

Motivated by the explosion of molecular data on humans-particularly data associated with individual patients-and the sense that there are large, as-yet-untapped opportunities to use this data to improve health outcomes, Toward Precision …

[more]

I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community — and help folks build the fastest networks so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.

I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs — converting sunlight into liquid fuel; creating revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his country can play catch with his kids again. Pushing out into the solar system not just to visit, but to stay. Last month, we launched a new spacecraft as part of a reenergized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars. And in two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space. So good luck, Captain. Make sure to Instagram it. We’re proud of you.

Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-30507-5

The United States has publicly funded its human spaceflight program on a continuous basis for more than a half-century, through three wars and a half-dozen recessions, from the early Mercury and Gemini suborbital and Earth orbital missions, to …

[more]

Research for a Future in Space: The Role of Life and Physical Sciences (2012)


ISBN 978-0-309-30507-5

During its more than 50-year history, NASA’s success in human space exploration has depended on the agency’s ability to effectively address a wide range of biomedical, engineering, physical sciences, and related obstacles. This achievement is …

[more]

Now, the truth is, when it comes to issues like infrastructure and basic research, I know there’s bipartisan support in this chamber. Members of both parties have told me so. Where we too often run onto the rocks is how to pay for these investments. As Americans, we don’t mind paying our fair share of taxes as long as everybody else does, too. But for far too long, lobbyists have rigged the tax code with loopholes that let some corporations pay nothing while others pay full freight. They’ve riddled it with giveaways that the super-rich don’t need, while denying a break to middle-class families who do.

This year, we have an opportunity to change that. Let’s close loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad, and reward those that invest here in America. Let’s use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and to make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home. Let’s simplify the system and let a small business owner file based on her actual bank statement, instead of the number of accountants she can afford. And let’s close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top one percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth. We can use that money to help more families pay for childcare and send their kids to college. We need a tax code that truly helps working Americans trying to get a leg up in the new economy, and we can achieve that together. We can achieve it together.

Helping hardworking families make ends meet. Giving them the tools they need for good-paying jobs in this new economy. Maintaining the conditions of growth and competitiveness. This is where America needs to go. I believe it’s where the American people want to go. It will make our economy stronger a year from now, 15 years from now, and deep into the century ahead.

Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5 (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-16097-1

In 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 …

[more]

Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future (2007)


ISBN 978-0-309-18758-9

In 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 …

[more]

Of course, if there’s one thing this new century has taught us, it’s that we cannot separate our work here at home from challenges beyond our shores.

My first duty as Commander-in-Chief is to defend the United States of America. In doing so, the question is not whether America leads in the world, but how. When we make rash decisions, reacting to the headlines instead of using our heads; when the first response to a challenge is to send in our military — then we risk getting drawn into unnecessary conflicts, and neglect the broader strategy we need for a safer, more prosperous world. That’s what our enemies want us to do.

I believe in a smarter kind of American leadership. We lead best when we combine military power with strong diplomacy; when we leverage our power with coalition building; when we don’t let our fears blind us to the opportunities that this new century presents. That’s exactly what we’re doing right now. And around the globe, it is making a difference.

First, we stand united with people around the world who have been targeted by terrorists — from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris. We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we have done relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.

At the same time, we’ve learned some costly lessons over the last 13 years. Instead of Americans patrolling the valleys of Afghanistan, we’ve trained their security forces, who have now taken the lead, and we’ve honored our troops’ sacrifice by supporting that country’s first democratic transition. Instead of sending large ground forces overseas, we’re partnering with nations from South Asia to North Africa to deny safe haven to terrorists who threaten America.

In Iraq and Syria, American leadership — including our military power — is stopping ISIL’s advance. Instead of getting dragged into another ground war in the Middle East, we are leading a broad coalition, including Arab nations, to degrade and ultimately destroy this terrorist group. We’re also supporting a moderate opposition in Syria that can help us in this effort, and assisting people everywhere who stand up to the bankrupt ideology of violent extremism.

Now, this effort will take time. It will require focus. But we will succeed. And tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL. We need that authority.

Second, we’re demonstrating the power of American strength and diplomacy. We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small — by opposing Russian aggression, and supporting Ukraine’s democracy, and reassuring our NATO allies.

Last year, as we were doing the hard work of imposing sanctions along with our allies, as we were reinforcing our presence with frontline states, Mr. Putin’s aggression it was suggested was a masterful display of strategy and strength. That’s what I heard from some folks. Well, today, it is America that stands strong and united with our allies, while Russia is isolated with its economy in tatters. That’s how America leads — not with bluster, but with persistent, steady resolve.

In Cuba, we are ending a policy that was long past its expiration date. When what you’re doing doesn’t work for 50 years, it’s time to try something new. And our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust in our hemisphere. It removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba. It stands up for democratic values, and extends the hand of friendship to the Cuban people. And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo.

As His Holiness, Pope Francis, has said, diplomacy is the work of “small steps.” These small steps have added up to new hope for the future in Cuba. And after years in prison, we are overjoyed that Alan Gross is back where he belongs. Welcome home, Alan. We’re glad you’re here.

Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material. Between now and this spring, we have a chance to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that prevents a nuclear-armed Iran, secures America and our allies — including Israel, while avoiding yet another Middle East conflict. There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran.

But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails — alienating America from its allies; making it harder to maintain sanctions; and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again. It doesn’t make sense. And that’s why I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress. The American people expect us only to go to war as a last resort, and I intend to stay true to that wisdom.

Third, we’re looking beyond the issues that have consumed us in the past to shape the coming century. No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids. So we’re making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyber threats, just as we have done to combat terrorism.

And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information. That should be a bipartisan effort.

Toward a Safer and More Secure Cyberspace (2007)


ISBN 978-0-309-10395-4

Given the growing importance of cyberspace to nearly all aspects of national life, a secure cyberspace is vitally important to the nation, but cyberspace is far from secure today. The United States faces the real risk that adversaries will exploit …

[more]

At the Nexus of Cybersecurity and Public Policy: Some Basic Concepts and Issues (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-30318-7

We depend on information and information technology (IT) to make many of our day-to-day tasks easier and more convenient. Computers play key roles in transportation, health care, banking, and energy. Businesses use IT for payroll and accounting, …

[more]

Proceedings of a Workshop on Deterring Cyberattacks: Informing Strategies and Developing Options for U.S. Policy (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-16035-3

In a world of increasing dependence on information technology, the prevention of cyberattacks on a nation’s important computer and communications systems and networks is a problem that looms large. Given the demonstrated limitations of passive …

[more]

Technology, Policy, Law, and Ethics Regarding U.S. Acquisition and Use of Cyberattack Capabilities (2009)


ISBN 978-0-309-13850-5

The United States is increasingly dependent on information and information technology for both civilian and military purposes, as are many other nations. Although there is a substantial literature on the potential impact of a cyberattack on the …

[more]

If we don’t act, we’ll leave our nation and our economy vulnerable. If we do, we can continue to protect the technologies that have unleashed untold opportunities for people around the globe.

In West Africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses, our health care workers are rolling back Ebola — saving countless lives and stopping the spread of disease. I could not be prouder of them, and I thank this Congress for your bipartisan support of their efforts. But the job is not yet done, and the world needs to use this lesson to build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development, and eradicate extreme poverty.

Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Ebola Virus Disease: Workshop in Brief (2014)

The 2014 epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), caused by a filovirus, has affected multiple countries in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal), along with Spain and the United States, becoming the worst EVD outbreak …

[more]

The Emergence of Zoonotic Diseases: Understanding the Impact on Animal and Human Health – Workshop Summary (2002)


ISBN 978-0-309-08327-0

Zoonotic diseases represent one of the leading causes of illness and death from infectious disease. Defined by the World Health Organization, zoonoses are those diseases and infections that are naturally transmitted between vertebrate animals and …

[more]

Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases (2009)


ISBN 978-0-309-13734-8

H1N1 (“swine flu”), SARS, mad cow disease, and HIV/AIDS are a few examples of zoonotic diseases-diseases transmitted between humans and animals. Zoonotic diseases are a growing concern given multiple factors: their often novel and unpredictable …

[more]

In the Asia Pacific, we are modernizing alliances while making sure that other nations play by the rules — in how they trade, how they resolve maritime disputes, how they participate in meeting common international challenges like nonproliferation and disaster relief. And no challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.

2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does: 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.

I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what, I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and at NOAA, and at our major universities. And the best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we don’t act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration and conflict and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.

Climate Change: Evidence and Causes: Set of 5 Booklets (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-30199-2

Climate Change: Evidence and Causes is a jointly produced publication of The US National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society. Written by a UK-US team of leading climate scientists and reviewed by climate scientists and others, the …

[more]

Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises (2013)


ISBN 978-0-309-28773-9

Climate is changing, forced out of the range of the past million years by levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases not seen in the Earth’s atmosphere for a very, very long time. Lacking action by the world’s nations, it is clear that …

[more]

Advancing the Science of Climate Change (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-14588-6

Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for–and in many cases is already affecting–a broad range of human and natural systems. The compelling case for these conclusions is provided in …

[more]

And that’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy to the way we use it. That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history. And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts. I am determined to make sure that American leadership drives international action.

In Beijing, we made a historic announcement: The United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution. And China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions. And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that this year the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got.

Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels (2013)


ISBN 978-0-309-26852-3

For a century, almost all light-duty vehicles (LDVs) have been powered by internal combustion engines operating on petroleum fuels. Energy security concerns about petroleum imports and the effect of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on global …

[more]

Real Prospects for Energy Efficiency in the United States (2010)


ISBN 978-0-309-13716-4

America’s economy and lifestyles have been shaped by the low prices and availability of energy. In the last decade, however, the prices of oil, natural gas, and coal have increased dramatically, leaving consumers and the industrial and service …

[more]

America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation (2009)


ISBN 978-0-309-11602-2

For multi-user PDF licensing, please contact customer service.

Energy touches our lives in countless ways and its costs are felt when we fill up at the gas pump, pay our home heating …

[more]

And there’s one last pillar of our leadership, and that’s the example of our values.

As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I have prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained. It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world. It’s why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims, the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace. That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. We do these things not only because they are the right thing to do, but because ultimately they will make us safer.

As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice. So it makes no sense to spend $3 million per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit. Since I’ve been President, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of Gitmo in half. Now it is time to finish the job. And I will not relent in my determination to shut it down. It is not who we are. It’s time to close Gitmo.

As Americans, we cherish our civil liberties, and we need to uphold that commitment if we want maximum cooperation from other countries and industry in our fight against terrorist networks. So while some have moved on from the debates over our surveillance programs, I have not. As promised, our intelligence agencies have worked hard, with the recommendations of privacy advocates, to increase transparency and build more safeguards against potential abuse. And next month, we’ll issue a report on how we’re keeping our promise to keep our country safe while strengthening privacy.

Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence: Technical Options (2015)


ISBN 978-0-309-32520-2

The Bulk Collection of Signals Intelligence: Technical Options study is a result of an activity called for in Presidential Policy Directive 28, issued by President Obama in January 2014, to evaluate U.S. signals intelligence practices. …

[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]

Protecting Individual Privacy in the Struggle Against Terrorists: A Framework for Program Assessment (2008)


ISBN 978-0-309-12488-1

All U.S. agencies with counterterrorism programs that collect or “mine” personal data — such as phone records or Web sites visited — should be required to evaluate the programs’ effectiveness, lawfulness, and impacts on privacy. A framework is …

[more]

Looking to the future instead of the past. Making sure we match our power with diplomacy, and use force wisely. Building coalitions to meet new challenges and opportunities. Leading — always — with the example of our values. That’s what makes us exceptional. That’s what keeps us strong. That’s why we have to keep striving to hold ourselves to the highest of standards — our own.

You know, just over a decade ago, I gave a speech in Boston where I said there wasn’t a liberal America or a conservative America; a black America or a white America — but a United States of America. I said this because I had seen it in my own life, in a nation that gave someone like me a chance; because I grew up in Hawaii, a melting pot of races and customs; because I made Illinois my home — a state of small towns, rich farmland, one of the world’s great cities; a microcosm of the country where Democrats and Republicans and Independents, good people of every ethnicity and every faith, share certain bedrock values.

Over the past six years, the pundits have pointed out more than once that my presidency hasn’t delivered on this vision. How ironic, they say, that our politics seems more divided than ever. It’s held up as proof not just of my own flaws — of which there are many — but also as proof that the vision itself is misguided, naïve, that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it.

I know how tempting such cynicism may be. But I still think the cynics are wrong. I still believe that we are one people. I still believe that together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long.

I believe this because over and over in my six years in office, I have seen America at its best. I’ve seen the hopeful faces of young graduates from New York to California, and our newest officers at West Point, Annapolis, Colorado Springs, New London. I’ve mourned with grieving families in Tucson and Newtown, in Boston, in West Texas, and West Virginia. I’ve watched Americans beat back adversity from the Gulf Coast to the Great Plains, from Midwest assembly lines to the Mid-Atlantic seaboard. I’ve seen something like gay marriage go from a wedge issue used to drive us apart to a story of freedom across our country, a civil right now legal in states that seven in 10 Americans call home.

So I know the good, and optimistic, and big-hearted generosity of the American people who every day live the idea that we are our brother’s keeper and our sister’s keeper. And I know they expect those of us who serve here to set a better example.

So the question for those of us here tonight is how we, all of us, can better reflect America’s hopes. I’ve served in Congress with many of you. I know many of you well. There are a lot of good people here, on both sides of the aisle. And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for — arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision.

Imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns. Imagine if we did something different. Understand, a better politics isn’t one where Democrats abandon their agenda or Republicans simply embrace mine. A better politics is one where we appeal to each other’s basic decency instead of our basest fears. A better politics is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues and values, and principles and facts, rather than “gotcha” moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.

A politics — a better politics is one where we spend less time drowning in dark money for ads that pull us into the gutter, and spend more time lifting young people up with a sense of purpose and possibility, asking them to join in the great mission of building America.

If we’re going to have arguments, let’s have arguments, but let’s make them debates worthy of this body and worthy of this country. We still may not agree on a woman’s right to choose, but surely we can agree it’s a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows, and that every woman should have access to the health care that she needs.

Yes, passions still fly on immigration, but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is snatched from her child, and that it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. I’ve talked to Republicans and Democrats about that. That’s something that we can share.

We may go at it in campaign season, but surely we can agree that the right to vote is sacred; that it’s being denied to too many — and that on this 50th anniversary of the great march from Selma to Montgomery and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, we can come together, Democrats and Republicans, to make voting easier for every single American.

We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson and New York. But surely we can understand a father who fears his son can’t walk home without being harassed. And surely we can understand the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of his shift. And surely we can agree that it’s a good thing that for the first time in 40 years, the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together, and use that as a starting point for Democrats and Republicans, community leaders and law enforcement, to reform America’s criminal justice system so that it protects and serves all of us.

The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences (2014)


ISBN 978-0-309-29801-8

After decades of stability from the 1920s to the early 1970s, the rate of imprisonment in the United States more than quadrupled during the last four decades. The U.S. penal population of 2.2 million adults is by far the largest in the world. …

[more]

Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach (2013)


ISBN 978-0-309-27890-4

Adolescence is a distinct, yet transient, period of development between childhood and adulthood characterized by increased experimentation and risk-taking, a tendency to discount long-term consequences, and heightened sensitivity to peers and …

[more]

Fairness and Effectiveness in Policing: The Evidence (2004)


ISBN 978-0-309-28965-8

Because police are the most visible face of government power for most citizens, they are expected to deal effectively with crime and disorder and to be impartial. Producing justice through the fair, and restrained use of their authority. The …

[more]

That’s a better politics. That’s how we start rebuilding trust. That’s how we move this country forward. That’s what the American people want. And that’s what they deserve.

I have no more campaigns to run. My only agenda — I know because I won both of them. My only agenda for the next two years is the same as the one I’ve had since the day I swore an oath on the steps of this Capitol — to do what I believe is best for America. If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, I ask you to join me in the work at hand. If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree. And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.

Because I want this chamber, I want this city to reflect the truth — that for all our blind spots and shortcomings, we are a people with the strength and generosity of spirit to bridge divides, to unite in common effort, to help our neighbors, whether down the street or on the other side of the world.

I want our actions to tell every child in every neighborhood, your life matters, and we are committed to improving your life chances as committed as we are to working on behalf of our own kids. I want future generations to know that we are a people who see our differences as a great gift, that we’re a people who value the dignity and worth of every citizen — man and woman, young and old, black and white, Latino, Asian, immigrant, Native American, gay, straight, Americans with mental illness or physical disability. Everybody matters. I want them to grow up in a country that shows the world what we still know to be true: that we are still more than a collection of red states and blue states; that we are the United States of America.

I want them to grow up in a country where a young mom can sit down and write a letter to her President with a story that sums up these past six years: “It’s amazing what you can bounce back from when you have to…we are a strong, tight-knit family who’s made it through some very, very hard times.”

My fellow Americans, we, too, are a strong, tight-knit family. We, too, have made it through some hard times. Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun again the work of remaking America. We have laid a new foundation. A brighter future is ours to write. Let’s begin this new chapter together — and let’s start the work right now.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless this country we love. Thank you.

The NAP Guide to the 2014 State of the Union Address

This year’s State of the Union address focused on topics including energy, education, climate change, and gun violence. The National Academies Press provides resources directly related to these issues. Below, we’ve annotated the complete text of the President’s State of the Union speech with relevant reports from the National Academies that provide authoritative, independent guidance on these issues.

Continue reading

Today in Science History

On April 4, 1983, the Challenger Space Shuttle embarked on its maiden voyage into space. This launch marked NASA’s second ever space shuttle that propelled into orbit. To celebrate this landmark in history, we are featuring a collection of our top reports in Space and Aeronautics.

Enjoy!

 

Solar and Space Physics

Download Free PDF

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

Download Free PDF

Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022400 pages | Paperback | Price: $49.50In 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 could have… [more]
Severe Space Weather Events--Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts

Download Free PDF

Severe Space Weather Events–Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts: A Workshop Report144 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50The adverse effects of extreme space weather on modern technology–power grid outages, high-frequency communication blackouts, spacecraft anomalies–are well known and well documented, and the physical processes underlying space weather are also generally… [more]
Earth Science and Applications from Space

Download Free PDF

Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond456 pages | Paperback | Price: $41.40Natural and human-induced changes in Earth’s interior, land surface, biosphere, atmosphere, and oceans affect all aspects of life. Understanding these changes requires a range of observations acquired from land-, sea-, air-, and space-based platforms. To… [more]
Research for a Future in Space

Download Free PDF

Research for a Future in Space: The Role of Life and Physical Sciences32 pages | Paperback | Price: $0.90During its more than 50-year history, NASA’s success in human space exploration has depended on the agency’s ability to effectively address a wide range of biomedical, engineering, physical sciences, and related obstacles. This achievement is made possible by… [more]
An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars

Download Free PDF

An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars130 pages | Paperback | Price: $29.47Three 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 possibility of… [more]
The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems

Download Free PDF

The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems116 pages | Paperback | Price: $27.22The search for life in the solar system and beyond has to date been governed by a model based on what we know about life on Earth (terran life). Most of NASA’s mission planning is focused on locations where liquid water is possible and emphasizes searches for… [more]
Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Download Free PDF

Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics548 pages | Paperback | Price: $49.50Every 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… [more]
New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Download Free PDF

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics324 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95Driven 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… [more]
Preparing for the High Frontier

Download Free PDF

Preparing for the High Frontier: The Role and Training of NASA Astronauts in the Post-Space Shuttle Era104 pages | Paperback | Price: $33.30As the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) retires the Space Shuttle and shifts involvement in International Space Station (ISS) operations, changes in the role and requirements of NASA’s Astronaut Corps will take place. At the request of… [more]
Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration

Download Free PDF

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era442 pages | Paperback | Price: $77.17More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human… [more]

Physics for the Future

Find out what matters most in the field of physics today with the latest titles in physics research and technology from the National Academy of Sciences. Whether you want to engage students in deeper learning, meet academic and professional challenges, advance your career, or aid in policy decisions, these reports provide the most authoritative and reliable advice, solutions, and information in the field.

 

 

Solar and Space Physics

Download Free PDF

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]
Nuclear Physics

Download Free PDF

Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter259 pages | Paperback | Price: $57.60The principal goals of the study were to articulate the scientific rationale and objectives of the field and then to take a long-term strategic view of U.S. nuclear science in the global context for setting future directions for the field. Nuclear Physics:… [more]
Research for a Future in Space

Download Free PDF

Research for a Future in Space: The Role of Life and Physical Sciences32 pages | Paperback | Price: $0.90During its more than 50-year history, NASA’s success in human space exploration has depended on the agency’s ability to effectively address a wide range of biomedical, engineering, physical sciences, and related obstacles. This achievement is made possible by… [more]
Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration

Download Free PDF

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era442 pages | Paperback | Price: $77.17More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human… [more]
Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences

Download Free PDF

Research at the Intersection of the Physical and Life Sciences124 pages | Paperback | Price: $28.80Traditionally, the natural sciences have been divided into two branches: the biological sciences and the physical sciences. Today, an increasing number of scientists are addressing problems lying at the intersection of the two. These problems are most often… [more]
Condensed-Matter and Materials Physics

Download Free PDF

Condensed-Matter and Materials Physics: The Science of the World Around Us284 pages | Paperback | Price: $46.80The development of transistors, the integrated circuit, liquid-crystal displays, and even DVD players can be traced back to fundamental research pioneered in the field of condensed-matter and materials physics (CMPP). The United States has been a leader in the… [more]

America’s Future in Space: 10 Reports from the National Research Council

Last week, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) launched its Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon spacecraft to orbit, making SpaceX the first commercial company in history to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station.

The National Research Council’s America’s Future in Space recommends directions for U.S. civil space activities.  According to this book, the U.S. civil space program is an essential national resource with the potential to address pressing national needs in a substantial way.

Other NRC titles make recommendations and lay out steps to advance discoveries about the solar system, astronomy and astrophysics, and identify research needed for advancements in human spaceflight.  All are free to download.

America's Future in Space

Download Free PDF

America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs106 pages | Paperback | Price: $25.87As civil space policies and programs have evolved, the geopolitical environment has changed dramatically. Although the U.S. space program was originally driven in large part by competition with the Soviet Union, the nation now finds itself in a post-Cold War… [more]

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration

Download Free PDF

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era442 pages | Paperback | Price: $77.17More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human… [more]

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

Download Free PDF

Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022400 pages | Paperback | Price: $49.50In 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 could have… [more]

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Download Free PDF

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics324 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95Driven 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… [more]

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

Download Free PDF

Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey36 pages | Paperback | Price: $13.50The 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 and… [more]

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

Download Free PDF

Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Spacecraft Missions to Icy Solar System Bodies100 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.00NASA’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 of the giant… [more]

Earth Science and Applications from Space

Download Free PDF

Earth Science and Applications from Space: A Midterm Assessment of NASA’s Implementation of the Decadal Survey122 pages | Paperback | Price: $34.20Understanding 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]

Sharing the Adventure with the Public: The Value and Excitement of 'Grand Questions' of Space Science and Exploration

Download Free PDF

Sharing the Adventure with the Public: The Value and Excitement of ‘Grand Questions’ of Space Science and Exploration: Summary of a Workshop92 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10On 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]

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

Download Free PDF

Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics548 pages | Paperback | Price: $49.50Every 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… [more]

Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration

Download Free PDF

Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report46 pages | Paperback | Price: $13.95In response to requests from Congress, NASA asked the National Research Council to undertake a decadal survey of life and physical sciences in microgravity. Developed in consultation with members of the life and physical sciences communities, the guiding… [more]

Happy National Teacher’s Day!

To celebrate National Education Week, we created a list of recommended books and resources to teach climate change. Check out these top titles from NAP, climate change videos, and information from the Division on Earth and Life Studies. Continue reading

The Dual-Use Dilemma: Open Science vs. National Security

In late March, the National Institutes of Health announced the U.S. Government Policy for Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern, which establishes regular review of federally-funded or conducted research with certain high-consequence pathogens and toxins with potential for dual use. This review is the latest in an ongoing effort to preserve the benefits of life sciences research and open scientific communication while minimizing the risk of misuse by those who wish to do harm.

Long before the issue of dual-use biological research rose to its current prominence, the National Research Council (NRC) led the debate on the tension between open scientific communication and national security. In 1982 the NRC produced the landmark report Scientific Communication and National Security. The message of this report remains relevant today.

Scientific Communication and National Security addresses one of the most difficult of policy issues: one in which fundamental national objectives seem to have been abruptly thrown into direct conflict. Advances in science and technology have traditionally thrived in an atmosphere of open communication; openness has contributed to American military and economic strength and has been a tenet of American culture and higher education. However, recent trends, including apparent increases in acquisition efforts by our adversaries, have raised serious concerns that openness may harm U.S. security by providing adversaries with militarily relevant technologies that can be directed against us. As would be expected when major national interests are in question, signs of distrust have appeared on all sides of the growing public discussion. The federal government, through its research and development agencies, and the university research community, where most basic research is conducted, both will lose much if the nation cannot find a policy course that reflects legitimate concerns.

This report, as well as others on the subject of dual use, is available to read or download at no charge.

Reports

Scientific Communication and National Security

Download Free PDF

Scientific Communication and National Security204 pages | Paperback | Price: $50.62The military, political, and economic preeminence of the United States during the post-World War II era is based to a substantial degree on its superior rate of achievement in science and technology, as well as on its capacity to translate these achievements… [more]
Beyond 'Fortress America'

Download Free PDF

Beyond ‘Fortress America’: National Security Controls on Science and Technology in a Globalized World150 pages | Paperback | Price: $37.80The national security controls that regulate access to and export of science and technology are broken. As currently structured, many of these controls undermine our national and homeland security and stifle American engagement in the global economy, and in… [more]
Science and Security in a Post 9/11 World

Download Free PDF

Science and Security in a Post 9/11 World: A Report Based on Regional Discussions Between the Science and Security Communities138 pages | Paperback | Price: $27.67Based on a series of regional meetings on university campuses with officials from the national security community and academic research institutions, this report identifies specific actions that should be taken to maintain a thriving scientific research… [more]
Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism

Download Free PDF

Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism164 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50In 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 transforming them into… [more]
Seeking Security

Download Free PDF

Seeking Security: Pathogens, Open Access, and Genome Databases88 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90Within the last 30 years, the genomes of thousands of organisms, from viruses, to bacteria, to humans, have been sequenced or partially sequenced and deposited in databases freely accessible to scientists around the world. This information is accelerating… [more]
Research in the Life Sciences with Dual Use Potential

Download Free PDF

Research in the Life Sciences with Dual Use Potential: An International Faculty Development Project on Education About the Responsible Conduct of Science56 pages | Paperback | Price: $26.10In 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… [more]

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

Download Free PDF

Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences146 pages | Paperback | Price: $22.50The 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 participants from… [more]

Sharing Water: Making Decisions About Sustainable Water Management

Water: we need it every day, and use it in countless ways. As the world enters the second decade of the 21st century, the human community finds itself searching for new paradigms for water supply and management in response to expanding populations, sprawling development, climate change, and the limits of existing conventional supplies.

The following websites, video, and NAP reports present the issues and problems we face to make water available both now and in the future. Continue reading

What Makes a Good School Good? Resources to Promote Quality Education

We all want our kids to attend the best schools, with great teachers who engage students, teach them well, and inspire them to do their best. The recent controversy about a “Parent Trigger” law, that permits parents to petition for control of low-performing schools, highlights concern for quality education. The National Research Council has a number of reports that discuss the science of learning, address issues of teacher development, and make evidence-based recommendations to improve educational experiences. The video resources listed below, together with our books, can inform debate, aid in decision-making, and help parents and education advocates obtain the best learning outcomes for children. All are free to download.

Videos

Books

How People Learn

Download Free PDF

How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition384 pages | Paperback | Price: $22.45

This popular trade book, originally released in hardcover in the Spring of 1999, has been newly expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom… [more]

How People Learn

Download Free PDF

How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice88 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90

How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice provides a broad overview of research on learners and learning and on teachers and teaching. It expands on the 1999 National Research Council publication How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience,… [more]

How Students Learn

Download Free PDF

How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom632 pages | Hardcover | Price: $49.45

How do you get a fourth-grader excited about history? How do you even begin to persuade high school students that mathematical functions are relevant to their everyday lives? In this volume, practical questions that confront every classroom teacher are addressed… [more]

Preparing Teachers

Download Free PDF

Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy234 pages | Paperback | Price: $39.60

Teachers make a difference. The success of any plan for improving educational outcomes depends on the teachers who carry it out and thus on the abilities of those attracted to the field and their preparation. Yet there are many questions about how teachers… [more]

The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China

Download Free PDF

The Teacher Development Continuum in the United States and China: Summary of a Workshop68 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90

In 1999, Liping Ma published her book Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics: Teachers’ Understanding of Fundamental Mathematics in the United States and China, which probed the kinds of knowledge that elementary school teachers need to convey… [more]

Assessing Accomplished Teaching

Download Free PDF

Assessing Accomplished Teaching: Advanced-Level Certification Programs340 pages | Paperback | Price: $40.50

The mission of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is to establish “high and rigorous standards for what teachers should know and be able to do, to certify teachers who meet those standards, and to advance other education reforms… [more]

Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education

Download Free PDF

Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education150 pages | Paperback | Price: $28.80

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 an effort, but… [more]

Knowing What Students Know

Download Free PDF

Knowing What Students Know: The Science and Design of Educational Assessment382 pages | Hardcover | Price: $44.95

Education is a hot topic. From the stage of presidential debates to tonight’s dinner table, it is an issue that most Americans are deeply concerned about. While there are many strategies for improving the educational process, we need a way to find out what works… [more]

Systems for State Science Assessment

Download Free PDF

Systems for State Science Assessment248 pages | Hardcover | Price: $40.45

In response to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), Systems for State Science Assessment explores the ideas and tools that are needed to assess science learning at the state level. This book provides a detailed examination of K-12 science… [more]

Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8

Download Free PDF

Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8: Building a Village in California: Summary of a Convocation154 pages | Paperback | Price: $33.07

K-8 science education in California (as in many other parts of the country) is in a state of crisis. K-8 students in California spend too little time studying science, many of their teachers are not well prepared in the subject, and the support system for… [more]

Learning and Instruction

Download Free PDF

Learning and Instruction: A SERP Research Agenda176 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95

The Strategic Education Research Partnership (SERP) is a bold, ambitious plan that proposes a revolutionary program of education research and development. Its purpose is to construct a powerful knowledge base, derived from both research and practice, that… [more]

Starting Out Right

Download Free PDF

Starting Out Right: A Guide to Promoting Children’s Reading Success192 pages | Paperback | Price: $13.45

A devastatingly large number of people in America cannot read as well as they need for success in life. With literacy problems plaguing as many as four in ten children in America, this book discusses how best to help children succeed in reading. This book… [more]

Helping Children Learn Mathematics

Download Free PDF

Helping Children Learn Mathematics52 pages | Paperback | Price: $9.00

Results 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 Learning in Early Childhood

Download Free PDF

Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths Toward Excellence and Equity398 pages | Hardcover | Price: $49.45

Early 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]

A Framework for K-12 Science Education

Download Free PDF

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas400 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.95

Science, 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… [more]

Engaging Schools

Download Free PDF

Engaging Schools: Fostering High School Students’ Motivation to Learn304 pages | Hardcover | Price: $40.45

When it comes to motivating people to learn, disadvantaged urban adolescents are usually perceived as a hard sell. Yet, in a recent MetLife survey, 89 percent of the low-income students claimed “I really want to learn” applied to them.

What is it about… [more]

Successful K-12 STEM Education

Download Free PDF

Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics44 pages | Paperback | Price: $8.95

Science, 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]

Successful STEM Education

Download Free PDF

Successful STEM Education: A Workshop Summary100 pages | Paperback | Price: $26.10

What students learn about the science disciplines, technology, engineering, and mathematics during their K-12 schooling shapes their intellectual development, opportunities for future study and work, and choices of career, as well as their capacity to make… [more]