Credit: Norman Public School.
By now you’re in back to school prep mode – time to complete forms, schedule doctor’s appointments, and find out just how much your kids grew this summer. Whether it’s your child’s first day of preschool or their last year of high school, there are a lot of issues for parents to think about. Our reports provide the science base for discussion of vaccinations, safety in sports, testing, bullying, and more. All are free to download.
Building Capacity to Reduce Bullying: Workshop Summary
Bullying – long tolerated as just a part of growing up – finally has been recognized as a substantial and preventable health problem. Bullying is associated with anxiety, depression, poor school performance, and future delinquent behavior among …
Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education
In recent years there have been increasing efforts to use accountability systems based on large-scale tests of students as a mechanism for improving student achievement. The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is a prominent example of such …
The Science of Adolescent Risk-Taking: Workshop Report
Adolescence is a time when youth make decisions, both good and bad, that have consequences for the rest of their lives. Some of these decisions put them at risk of lifelong health problems, injury, or death. The Institute of Medicine held three …
Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality
In 1900, for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, 100 would die before their first birthday, often due to infectious diseases. Today, vaccines exist for many viral and bacterial diseases. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, passed …
As the chart below indicates, STEM education will continue to significantly contribute to the nation’s economy and prosperity. In an environment of increasing tuition and shrinking public funding, the most successful colleges and universities will be the ones that promote excellent teaching and support students as they work toward their degrees. Our reports discuss changing pathways to degrees and methods to improve teaching beyond the lecture hall. All are free to download.
Credit: U.S. Department of Education
Colloquy on Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
On August 8-12, 2010 the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), convened the Colloquy on Minority Males in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), following the release of …
Investing in the Health and Well-Being of Young Adults
Young adulthood – ages approximately 18 to 26 – is a critical period of development with long-lasting implications for a person’s economic security, health and well-being. Young adults are key contributors to the nation’s workforce and military …
According to FEMA, floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. Property owners who live in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can purchase affordable protection to protect against loss. The NFIP is a cornerstone in the U.S. strategy to assist communities to prepare for, mitigate against, and recover from flood disasters. At the request of Congress, several recent reports have examined the current state of the program and options to improve it. These books and others on floods and disaster resilience are all free to download.
A Community-Based Flood Insurance Option
River and coastal floods are among the nation’s most costly natural disasters. One component in the nation’s approach to managing flood risk is availability of flood insurance policies, which are offered on an individual basis primarily through …
Reducing Coastal Risk on the East and Gulf Coasts
Hurricane- and coastal-storm-related losses have increased substantially during the past century, largely due to increases in population and development in the most susceptible coastal areas. Climate change poses additional threats to coastal …
Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative
No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation …
Mapping the Zone: Improving Flood Map Accuracy
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Maps portray the height and extent to which flooding is expected to occur, and they form the basis for setting flood insurance premiums and regulating development in the floodplain. …
Elevation Data for Floodplain Mapping
Floodplain maps serve as the basis for determining whether homes or buildings require flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Approximately $650 billion in insured assets …
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle
This week NASA announced the discovery of Kepler 452-B, the most Earth-like exoplanet found to date through the Kepler project. What technology do we need in order to learn about this planet? How can we look for more planets like this, in the “goldilocks” habitable zone of their solar systems? The Panel Reports for the decadal survey New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics addressed these questions and made recommendations for research and technology needs to advance our knowledge. These books as well as others in our collection on Space Exploration are free to download.
New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically during the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to physics, chemistry, biology, and computer …
On July 14, 2015, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, and China (the P5+1) reached a landmark agreement with Iran that strictly limits nuclear-related activities in Iran while calling for bilateral and multilateral collaboration in nuclear science and technology. The NAP report titled U.S.-Iran Engagement in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (2000-2009) summarizes activities of the Academies in bringing together more than 1,000 specialists from about 100 U.S. and Iran academic and research centers in the two countries in nongovernmental workshops, exchanges of individuals, and pilot projects. While the report is devoted primarily to non-nuclear activities, many of the lessons learned have broad applicability in carrying out collaborative programs in a variety of fields under difficult and often unpredictable conditions.
U.S.-Iran Engagement in Science, Engineering, and Health (2000-2009): Opportunities, Constraints, and Impacts
During the first decade of the 21st century, the National Academies, working with a number of partner organizations in Iran, carried out a program of U.S.-Iran engagement in science, engineering, and health (herein referred to as science engagement). This book reviews important aspects of the science engagement program, including: (a) objectives of the program, (b) opportunities and constraints in developing the program, and (c) scientific and political impacts of the activities. Suggestions …
Image Credit: NASA/GSFC
Today’s flyby of Pluto and its system of moons by New Horizons finishes our initial reconnaissance of the classical solar system, and begins our exploration of the Kuiper Belt. This large area beyond Neptune’s orbit remains mysterious and unknown. National Academy of Sciences reports have ranked the exploration of this region as a research priority for the coming decade. Why is the Kuiper Belt important? What new discoveries do we expect to make? Find out here.
New Frontiers in Solar System Exploration
Over the last four decades, robotic spacecraft have visited nearly every planet, from torrid Mercury to frigid Neptune. The data returned by these Pioneers, Mariners, Vikings, and Voyagers have revolutionized our understanding of the solar …
Unquestionably, women’s participation in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has increased over the past few decades. In order for the United States to maintain the global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology that are critical to achieving national goals, we must continue to encourage the growth of a diverse STEM workforce. Reports from the National Research Council and the National Academy of Engineering explore the unique challenges for women as they pursue careers in STEM fields. All are free to download.
The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited
The Postdoctoral Experience Revisited builds on the 2000 report Enhancing the Postdoctoral Experience for Scientists and Engineers. That ground-breaking report assessed the postdoctoral experience and provided principles, action …
Messaging for Engineering: From Research to Action
For those in the broad engineering community–those who employ, work with, and/or educate engineers, and engineers themselves–there is no need to explain the importance and value of engineering. They understand that engineers help make the world …
In the United States, commercial and recreational fisheries generate $166 billion in sales impacts annually and support 1.4 million jobs (NOAA 2012). Many coastal communities depend on healthy fisheries to support local industries and tourism. Depleted fish stocks continue to be a challenge for fishery managers and the fisheries: approximately 20% of the fisheries that have been assessed are considered overfished according to the September 2012 stock status report to Congress prepared by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Hence, effective management of this valuable public resource is a priority from the local to national level.
This year, Congress is working on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act–the primary legislation regulating federal fisheries, first passed in 1976. In its 1996 reauthorization, mandates were added that were aimed at rebuilding overfished fisheries, protecting essential fish habitat, and reducing bycatch. The 2006 reauthorization included provisions to immediately curtail overfishing, establish annual catch limits, and ensure accountability. For the current reauthorization, Congress is considering revisions to mandates to rebuild overfished stocks and to manage and measure recreational fishing.
Reports from the National Research Council have helped inform efforts to manage fisheries by examining the strengths and weaknesses of fish stock rebuilding plans and developing strategies to modernize the system used for collecting recreational fisheries data. The 2006 reauthorization referenced an NRC report on recreational fisheries:
“ NRC REPORT RECOMMENDATIONS.–The program shall take into consideration and, to the extent feasible, implement the recommendations of the National Research Council in its report Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods (2006).” [H.R. 5946, Section 201 (B)]
Review of Recreational Fisheries Survey Methods
Recreational fishing in the United States is an important social and economic component of many marine fisheries, with an estimated 14 million anglers making almost 82 million fishing trips in 2004. Although each individual angler typically harvests …
Learn more about how fishing limits are rebuilding stocks in U.S. waters.
Created by Kevin Van Aelst
Now that you’ve eaten your donut, here are some reports from our Obesity Prevention Collection, which presents a fresh perspective about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to the growing obesity epidemic by recommending obesity prevention actions, programs, and policies.
Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School
Physical inactivity is a key determinant of health across the lifespan. A lack of activity increases the risk of heart disease, colon and breast cancer, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoporosis, anxiety and depression and others diseases. Emerging literature has suggested that in terms of mortality, the global population health burden of physical inactivity approaches that of cigarette smoking. The prevalence and substantial disease risk associated with physical inactivity has been …
Evaluating Obesity Prevention Efforts: A Plan for Measuring Progress
Obesity poses one of the greatest public health challenges of the 21st century, creating serious health, economic, and social consequences for individuals and society. Despite acceleration in efforts to characterize, comprehend, and act on this problem, including implementation of preventive interventions, further understanding is needed on the progress and effectiveness of these interventions.
Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation
One-third of adults are now obese, and children’s obesity rates have climbed from 5 to 17 percent in the past 30 years. The causes of the nation’s obesity epidemic are multi-factorial, having much more to do with the absence of sidewalks and the limited availability of healthy and affordable foods than a lack of personal responsibility. The broad societal changes that are needed to prevent obesity will inevitably affect activity and eating environments and settings for all ages. Many aspects …
Alliances for Obesity Prevention: Finding Common Ground: Workshop Summary
Many organizations are making focused efforts to prevent obesity. To achieve their goals, accelerate their progress, and sustain their success, the assistance of many other individuals and groups–not all of them with a singular focus on obesity prevention–will be essential. In October 2011 the Institute of Medicine held a workshop that provided an opportunity for obesity prevention groups to hear from and hold discussions with many of these potential allies in obesity prevention. They …
Measuring Progress in Obesity Prevention: Workshop Report
Nearly 69 percent of U.S. adults and 32 percent of children are either overweight or obese, creating an annual medical cost burden that may reach $147 billion. Researchers and policy makers are eager to identify improved measures of environmental and policy factors that contribute to obesity prevention. The IOM formed the Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention to review the IOM’s past obesity-related recommendations, identify a set of recommendations for future action, and …
Happy 25th Birthday, Hubble Space Telescope! Launched into orbit on this date in 1990, the Hubble has made a vital contribution to research and inspired the public with its breathtaking images. Its scientific successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, is scheduled for launch in 2018. Our reports informed the development, operation, and research direction for the Hubble, and they also discuss development and promise of the James Webb Space Telescope. All are free to download.
New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically during the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections …
Forging the Future of Space Science: The Next 50 Years
From September 2007 to June 2008 the Space Studies Board conducted an international public seminar series, with each monthly talk highlighting a different topic in space and Earth science. The principal lectures from the series are compiled in …
Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium
In this new book, a distinguished panel makes recommendations for the nation’s programs in astronomy and astrophysics, including a number of new initiatives for observing the universe. With the goal of optimum value, the recommendations address the …
The Decade of Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Astronomers and astrophysicists are making revolutionary advances in our understanding of planets, stars, galaxies, and even the structure of the universe itself. The Decade of Discovery presents a survey of this exciting field of science and …