Author Archives: Reid Dossinger

About Reid Dossinger

NAP

Introducing a Great New Experience for Reading Books on NAP.edu

notes_openbook_redesignBack in June of 2011, we made almost all of our PDFs free for downloading, and it understandably got a lot of attention. But lost in the excitement was the fact that we’ve provided our reports for free since 1994 in the form of what we now call the OpenBook, which presents thousands of reports in their entirety for reading online.

Today, we’re excited to launch a new version of the OpenBook, where the purpose of the new look was to remove as much as we could so that the reading experience is as easy as possible. Instead of clicking through a book page-by-page, you’ll now scroll through chapters. The table of contents is available at any time, and you still go back and forth by page or jump to any individual page, but the emphasis is now on its primary purpose: reading our reports.

Give it a try. Go to page one of The Growth of Incarceration in the United States, chapter 7 of A Framework for K-12 Science Education, the introduction in On Being A Scientist, or search for another book. The OpenBook is available for almost all of the books published by NAP, so look for the “Read Online” button on each book’s page to start reading.

A few tips: you can share any page of any book using the paper airplane icon, and copying the address will give you a link back to the exact page you’re on. You can save bookmarks and notes with a MyNAP account. You can also switch back and forth between the original text as it appears in the print book, or a text version that’s optimized for web reading.

And maybe the best thing? It’s now much easier on the eyes when you’re reading on your tablet or mobile. We’re biased, but we think it’s as good of a reading experience as any e-reader out there.

One more thing: we’ve added a little Feedback button to the bottom of the page. If you have any thoughts at all on the OpenBook, please take a second to let us know your suggestions and experience. We thrive on feedback.

Happy reading!

Our cybersecurity expert gives his take on the charges of cyberattack by the Chinese army

The recent charges of hacking into US corporate targets against five members of the Chinese army has brought the issue of cybersecurity into the headlines. We asked Herb Lin, one of the editors of our new report on the intersection of cybersecurity and public policy, for his thoughts:

“As discussed in At the Nexus Of Cybersecurity and Policy, this story brings to the fore differences in how the United States and virtually every other nation view intelligence gathering. The United States draws sharp distinctions between intelligence for national security purposes and for economic purposes, whereas China (and most other nations in the world) do not. The difference in values is not likely to be reconciled any time soon. It also turns out that access was gained through the use of relatively unsophisticated penetration techniques, thus underscoring the point that simple defensive techniques can have significant value.” — Herb Lin, Chief Scientist at the Computer Science and Telecommunications Board

Watch this video of Herb running down six things to know about cybersecurity and public policy, and some of the things we can do to start tackling the problems:

NAP.edu is (and always was) unaffected by the Heartbleed bug

heartbleedYou may have heard a lot of worrying things about the Heartbleed web security vulnerability, and to be sure, it’s worrying. But nap.edu is totally unaffected by Heartbleed and was never in danger (slightly more technical version: we were not running the affected version of Open SSL), so you can rest assured that your login and payment information on NAP are and always have been completely secure with us. You don’t have to change your MyNAP password, though it’s generally a good practice to change out all of your passwords regularly and make sure that you have a unique password for each website you log onto.

While we’re on the subject, we thought you might like to take a break from hearing about Heartbleed to read more about cybersecurity from some of the expert research that the Academies have done on the topic. We picked out some of the notable titles and put them in our Cybersecurity Collection.

Changes to NAP.edu: Citation Manager, Sharing, Embed Widget

We’re always looking for ways that we can improve the experience of browsing, reading, and researching on NAP.edu, so it’s great to hear from frequent visitors about how they use the site and changes they’d like to see. Recently, we took some feedback and moved a few things around on the catalog page (the primary page for each book on NAP.edu).

share-cite-embed-changes

First up are the share tools, which allow you to share to social networks and other places around the web with a single click. They used to be at the very bottom of the page, but we were hearing that they were a little hard to find there, so they will now appear along the very right hand side of the page when you’re viewing the site on a desktop computer and as a grey “Share” bar at the bottom of the page when you’re looking at a tablet or smartphone.

Another move that we made were the links to embed a book into your website or to email the page to a friend. That also used to be in that hard-to-find share bar at the bottom of each page, but will now be at the top of the right column in each page.

Last but definitely not least is the citations, where you can quickly copy and paste a citation to a book or download the citation in BibTeX, EndNote, or RefMan formats. The link to this used to be in the upper right column, but its now lost its “manager” title (it’s a lateral move) and has been moved it into the bottom of the “Overview” tab of each book.

If you want to see these changes in action, check them out on one of our newer releases. And if you have any comments on the changes or other suggestions on ways we could improve the website, feel free to send us feedback about what you’d like to see.

 

 

The Top 20 Most Popular Titles Of 2013

As we approach the end of the year, we’re taking a quick look back at the best selling books that were released in 2013. In just the top 20 titles of the year, we can see the incredible variety of topics covered in the reports of the National Academies, including education, cancer care, preventing obesity, alternative vehicles and fuels, veterinary medicine, data, solar and space physics, veteran’s health, mathematical sciences, climate change and sports-related concussions.

Our list, ranked from our #1 top seller of 2013, is below. When you’re done looking through the list, take a little time to browse through all of the topics we cover.

1. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States

Next Generation Science Standards identifies the science all K-12 students should know. These new standards are based on the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education. The National Research Council, the … [more]

2. Best Care at Lower Cost: The Path to Continuously Learning Health Care in America

America’s health care system has become too complex and costly to continue business as usual. Best Care at Lower Cost explains that inefficiencies, an overwhelming amount of data, and other economic and quality barriers hinder progress … [more]

3. U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health

The United States is among the wealthiest nations in the world, but it is far from the healthiest. Although life expectancy and survival rates in the United States have improved dramatically over the past century, Americans live shorter lives … [more]

4. Delivering High-Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis

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

5. Interprofessional Education for Collaboration: Learning How to Improve Health from Interprofessional Models Across the Continuum of Education to Practice: Workshop Summary

Every year, the Global Forum undertakes two workshops whose topics are selected by the more than 55 members of the Forum. It was decided in this first year of the Forum’s existence that the workshops should lay the foundation for future work of … [more]

6. Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach

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]

7. Alternatives for Managing the Nation’s Complex Contaminated Groundwater Sites

Across the United States, thousands of hazardous waste sites are contaminated with chemicals that prevent the underlying groundwater from meeting drinking water standards. These include Superfund sites and other facilities that handle and dispose … [more]

8. 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 … [more]

9. Variation in Health Care Spending: Target Decision Making, Not Geography

Health care in the United States is more expensive than in other developed countries, costing $2.7 trillion in 2011, or 17.9 percent of the national gross domestic product. Increasing costs strain budgets at all levels of government and threaten … [more]

10. Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels

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]

11. Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis

Data mining of massive data sets is transforming the way we think about crisis response, marketing, entertainment, cybersecurity and national intelligence. Collections of documents, images, videos, and networks are being thought of not merely as … [more]

12. 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. … [more]

13. Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society

From 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 … [more]

14. Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation

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]

15. Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families

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]

16. Workforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine

The U.S. veterinary medical profession contributes to society in diverse ways, from developing drugs and protecting the food supply to treating companion animals and investigating animal diseases in the wild. In a study of the issues related to … [more]

17. The Mathematical Sciences in 2025

The mathematical sciences are part of nearly all aspects of everyday life–the discipline has underpinned such beneficial modern capabilities as Internet search, medical imaging, computer animation, numerical weather predictions, and all types of … [more]

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

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

19. Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises

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]

20. Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward

Using Science to Improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A Way Forward reviews the science that underpins the Bureau of Land Management’s oversight of free-ranging horses and burros on federal public lands in the western United … [more]

Great Holiday Gifts For Science Enthusiasts

Happy holidays from NAP!

Believe it or not, we’re coming up on the holidays already, and NAP has gift ideas for the science-and-math-minded person in your life, from good reads to science and math fun. And best of all? You can take 25% off of the list price on all these great books and merchandise. Use the code GIFT13 at checkout for a 25% discount.

Women’s Adventures In Science

Women’s Adventures in Science, a biography set of 9 books about contemporary women scientists and their fascinating careers, shows that the path from intellectually curious girl to talented innovator is a unique as the personality and circumstances of each scientist.

Teacher FUNdamentals

Science Teacher FUNdamentals
$124.95
$93.71
Math Teacher FUNdamentals
$99.99
$74.99

A great gift set for your favorite teacher, our Science and Math FUNdamentals combine our cutting edge STEM education titles and fun items.

Math


Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century


Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis


Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra

Fueling Innovation and Discovery: The Mathematical Sciences in the 21st Century
$19.95
$14.96
Frontiers in Massive Data Analysis
$46.00
$34.50
Unknown Quantity: A Real and Imaginary History of Algebra
$27.95
$20.96


Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities


Math Mug


Prime Time Wrist Watch

Struck by Lightning: The Curious World of Probabilities
$22.95
$17.21
Math Mug
$12.00
$9.00
Prime Time Wrist Watch
$35.00
$26.25

Physics


Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter


Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation


Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society

Nuclear Physics: Exploring the Heart of Matter
$64.00
$48.00
Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation
$65.00
$48.75
Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society
$85.00
$63.75


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


Einstein Finger Puppet


Higgs Boson Watch

The Depths of Space: The Story of the Pioneer Planetary Probes
$24.95
$18.71
Einstein Finger Puppet
$5.50
$4.13
Higgs Boson Watch
$35.00
$26.25

Engineering


Messaging for Engineering: From Research to Action


Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels


Electronic Brains: Stories from the Dawn of the Computer Age

Messaging for Engineering: From Research to Action
$29.00
$21.75
Transitions to Alternative Vehicles and Fuels
$59.00
$44.25
Electronic Brains: Stories from the Dawn of the Computer Age
$27.95
$20.96


The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World


Edison Finger Puppet


Leonardo da Vinci Watch

The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World
$27.95
$20.96
Edison Finger Puppet
$5.50
$4.13
Leonardo da Vinci Watch
$35.00
$26.25

Life Sciences


Science, Evolution, and Creationism


Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist's View of Genetically Modified Food


Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth's Ancient Atmosphere

Science, Evolution, and Creationism
$9.95
$7.46
Mendel in the Kitchen: A Scientist’s View of Genetically Modified Food
$24.95
$18.71
Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth’s Ancient Atmosphere
$27.95
$20.96


Darwin's Gift: To Science and Religion


Dinosaur Mug


Darwin Finger Puppet

Darwin’s Gift: To Science and Religion
$24.95
$18.71
Dinosaur Mug
$12.00
$9.00
Darwin Finger Puppet
$5.50
$4.13

For Science Teachers


Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States


A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas


Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms

Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States
$49.95
$37.46
A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas
$39.95
$29.96
Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms
$22.95
$17.21

President Barack Obama’s Speech to the National Academy of Sciences [Full Transcript]

Yesterday morning, the National Academy of Sciences had the honor of celebrating its 150th anniversary with a speech by President Barack Obama. The President reflected on Abraham Lincoln’s founding of the National Academy of Sciences 150 years ago and asserted the importance of setting priorities for research, continuing our nation’s scientific advance, and maintaining our cutting edge with a fidelity to facts, truth, and evidence. President Obama emphasized that investments made today in science, technology, engineering, and medicine are all critical to the nation’s prosperity, and are bound to pay off for many years to come

This visit continues a succession of Presidential milestones, beginning with the founding of the NAS by President Lincoln in 1863, President Coolidge’s participation in the dedication of the NAS Building in 1924, and President Kennedy’s address at the Academy’s centennial celebration in 1963, as well as speeches by Jimmy Carter in 1979 and by George H.W. Bush in 1990.

Below is President Obama’s full speech annotated with reports from the National Academies press that are available for free download to help keep us on the leading edge of science innovation. To watch a recording of the President’s address, visit: www.nap.edu/Obama

Remarks by the President on the 150th Anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Sciences
Washington, D.C.
11:30 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you so much. (Applause.) Please, everybody have a seat.

Well, it’s good to be back. Good morning, everybody, and thank you, Dr. Cicerone, for the kind introduction and the great work that you do. The good doctor was reminding me that the first time I came here, apparently joking, I warned him and John Holdren not to age too much in their jobs. And it turns out I’m the guy who’s aged. (Laughter.) They look great.

But, as always, it’s an honor to join our nation’s preeminent scholars, including my own Science Advisor, John Holdren, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences. And since I did not do well enough in chemistry or physics to impress you much on those topics, let me instead tell a story.

One hundred and fifty years ago, the nation, as all of you know, was in the midst of the Civil War, and the Union had recently suffered a devastating defeat at Fredericksburg. The road ahead seemed long and uncertain. Confederate advances in weapons technology cast a dark shadow on the Union.

The previous spring, in the waters outside of Hampton Roads, the ironclad Confederate battleship Virginia had sunk two wooden Union ships and advanced on a third, and this endangered the Union blockade of Virginia and threatening Union forces along the Potomac River. And then, overnight, the USS Monitor, an ironclad herself, arrived and fought the Virginia to a draw in the world’s first battle between iron-sided ships.

There was no victor, but the era of ironclad warfare had begun. And it brought unexpected challenges for President Lincoln and his Navy as they expanded this fleet in early 1863, because aboard their new iron-side battleships, sailors found that the iron siding made the ships’ compasses unpredictable, so it skewed navigation, and they were bumping into things and going the wrong way. (Laughter.) So the basic physics of magnetism undermined the usefulness of the ironclad vessels, even as the Confederates were stocking up on them.

And that’s where your predecessors came in. Because in March of 1983 — 1863, rather — President Lincoln and Congress established the National Academy of Sciences as an independent and nonprofit institution charged with the mission to provide the government with the scientific advice that it needed. And this was advice that was particularly useful in the thick of battle.

The National Academy soon counted the nation’s top scientists as members. They quickly got to work. By the next year, they were inspecting the Union’s ironclads and installing an array of bar magnets around the compasses to correct their navigation. So right off the bat, you guys were really useful. (Laughter.) In fact, it’s fair to say we might not be here had you not — (laughter) — certainly I would not be here. (Laughter and applause.)

Now, political leaders have long recognized the connection between technology and warfare throughout our human history. Sadly, this is an element of the human condition. We take our wars very seriously and we’re always looking for new ways to engage in a war. But President Lincoln founded the Academy with a mandate that went far beyond the science and technology of war. Even as the nation was at war with itself, President Lincoln had the wisdom to look forward, and he recognized that finding a way to harness the highest caliber scientific advice for the government would serve a whole range of long-term goals for the nation.

It was the same foresight that led him to establish land-grant colleges and finish the Transcontinental Railroad — the idea that the essence of America is this hunger to innovate, this restlessness, this quest for the next big thing. And although much of this innovation would be generated by the powers of our free market, the investments and the convening power of the federal government could accelerate discovery in a way that would continually push the nation forward.

That’s our inheritance, and now the task falls to us. We, too, face significant challenges — obviously not of the magnitude that President Lincoln faced, but we’ve got severe economic and security and environmental challenges. And what we know from our past is that the investments we make today are bound to pay off many times over in the years to come.

So we will continue to pursue advances in science and engineering, in infrastructure and innovation, in education and environmental protection — especially science-based initiatives to help us minimize and adapt to global threats like climate change.

And I’m confident we’ll meet that task because we’ve got you — brilliant and committed scientists to help us guide the way. And part of what’s made the Academy so effective is that all the scientists elected to your elite ranks are volunteers — which is fortunate because we have no money anyway. (Laughter.) For 150 years, you’ve strived to answer big questions, solve tough problems, not for yourselves but for the benefit of the nation. And that legacy has endured from the Academy’s founding days. And when you look at our history, you’ve stepped up at times of enormous need and, in some cases, great peril.

When Woodrow Wilson needed help understanding the science of military preparedness, he asked the Academy’s eminent scientists to lay it out for him. When George W. Bush, more recently, wanted to study the long-term health effects of traumatic brain injuries suffered by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, he set your scholars to the task. Today, my administration relies on your expertise to answer critical questions like: How do we set our priorities for research? How can we get the most out of the nanotechnology revolution? What are the underlying causes of gun violence?

And more important than any single study or report, the members of this institution embody what is so necessary for us to continue our scientific advance and to maintain our cutting-edge, and that’s restless curiosity and boundless hope, but also a fidelity to facts and truth, and a willingness to follow where the evidence leads.

And I’d like to acknowledge the other organizations that have been obviously very important in this whole process — the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine — all who’ve contributed similar leadership in maintaining the tradition, upholding the highest standard of science.

And, by the way, we do have colleagues in Congress who believe in science and believe in evidence. One of them is here, Congress Rush Holt. We’re very grateful to him for his outstanding work. (Applause.) And I want to thank many of the members of my administration, as well as PCAST, my — I always forget what exactly it stands for but — (laughter) — it’s my smart science people — (laughter) — who have contributed enormously to the work that we’re doing on a whole range of issues, from energy to advanced manufacturing, have really been extraordinary. I want to thank the members of my administration who are here as well who all are invested in making sure that we keep American science the best in the world.

Now, the good news is America remains a world leader in patents and scientific discovery. Our university system is the crown jewel of our economy as well as our civilization. And that’s what’s allowing us to continually replenish our stock of people who are willing to dream big dreams and reach higher than anybody else.

And what I want to communicate to all of you is, is that as long as I’m President, we’re going to continue to be committed to investing in the promising ideas that are generated from you and your institutions, because they lead to innovative products, they help boost our economy, but also because that’s who we are. I’m committed to it because that’s what makes us special and ultimately what makes life worth living.
And that’s why we’re pursuing “grand challenges” like making solar energy as cheap as coal, and building electric vehicles as affordable as the ones that run on gas. And earlier this month, I unveiled the BRAIN initiative, which will give scientists the tools that they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action, and better understand how we think and learn and remember.

Today, all around the country, scientists like you are developing therapies to regenerate damaged organs, creating new devices to enable brain-controlled prosthetic limbs, and sending sophisticated robots into space to search for signs of past life on Mars. That sense of wonder and that sense of discovery, it has practical application but it also nurtures what I believe is best in us.

And right now, we’re on the brink of amazing breakthroughs that have the chance, the potential to change life for the better — which is why we can’t afford to gut these investments in science and technology. Unfortunately, that’s what we’re facing right now. Because of the across-the-board cuts that Congress put in place — the sequester, as it’s known in Washington-speak — it’s hitting our scientific research. Instead of racing ahead on the next cutting-edge discovery, our scientists are left wondering if they’ll get to start any new projects, any new research projects at all over the next few years, which means that we could lose a year, two years of scientific research as a practical matter because of misguided priorities here in this town.

With the pace of technological innovation today, we can’t afford to stand still for a year or two years or three years. We’ve got to seize every opportunity we have to stay ahead. And we can’t let other countries win the race for ideas and technology of the future. And I say that, by the way, not out of just any nationalistic pride — although, obviously, that’s part of it — but it’s also because nobody does it better than we do when it’s adequately funded, when it’s adequately supported. And what we produce here ends up having benefits worldwide. We should be reaching for a level of private and public research and development investment that we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race. That’s my goal.

And it’s not just resources. I mean, one of the things that I’ve tried to do over these last four years and will continue to do over the next four years is to make sure that we are promoting the integrity of our scientific process; that not just in the physical and life sciences, but also in fields like psychology and anthropology and economics and political science — all of which are sciences because scholars develop and test hypotheses and subject them to peer review — but in all the sciences, we’ve got to make sure that we are supporting the idea that they’re not subject to politics, that they’re not skewed by an agenda, that, as I said before, we make sure that we go where the evidence leads us. And that’s why we’ve got to keep investing in these sciences.

And what’s true of all sciences is that in order for us to maintain our edge, we’ve got to protect our rigorous peer review system and ensure that we only fund proposals that promise the biggest bang for taxpayer dollars. And I will keep working to make sure that our scientific research does not fall victim to political maneuvers or agendas that in some ways would impact on the integrity of the scientific process. That’s what’s going to maintain our standards of scientific excellence for years to come.

That’s why, by the way, one of the things that I’ve focused on as President is an all-hands-on-deck approach to the sciences, as well as technology and engineering and math. And that’s why we’re spending a lot of time focused on the next generation. With the help of John Holdren and everybody who’s working with my administration, we want to make sure that we are exciting young people around math and science and technology and computer science. We don’t want our kids just to be consumers of the amazing things that science generates; we want them to be producers as well. And we want to make sure that those who historically have not participated in the sciences as robustly — girls, members of minority groups here in this country — that they are encouraged as well.

We’ve got to make sure that we’re training great calculus and biology teachers, and encouraging students to keep up with their physics and chemistry classes. That includes Malia and Sasha. (Laughter.) It means teaching proper research methods and encouraging young people to challenge accepted knowledge. It means expanding and maintaining critical investments in biomedical research and helping innovators turn their discoveries into new businesses and products. And it means maintaining that spirit of discovery.

Last week, I got a chance to do one of my favorite things as President and that is — we started these White House Science Fairs. And these kids are remarkable. I mean, I know you guys were smart when you were their age, but — (laughter) — I might give them the edge. (Laughter.) I mean, you had young people who were converting algae into sustainable biofuels — that was one of my favorites because the young lady had — she kept the algae under her bed — and she had a whole lab, which meant that she had really supportive parents. (Laughter.) I pictured it bubbling out and starting to creep into the hallways. (Laughter.)
You had young people who were purifying water with bicycle-power-generated batteries. You had young people who had already devised faster and cheaper tests for cancer. These are 15, 16-year-olds.

They were all dreaming to grow up and be just like you — maybe with a little less gray hair — (laughter) — but they shared your passion. They shared that excitement. And what was interesting was not only did they share that sense of wonder and discovery, but they also shared this fundamental optimism that if you figured this stuff out, people’s lives would be better; that there were no inherent barriers to us solving the big problems that we face as long as we were diligent and focused and observant and curious.

And we’ve got to make sure that we’re supporting that next generation of dreamers and risk-takers — because if we are, things will be good. They leave me with extraordinary optimism. They leave me hopeful. They put a smile on my face. And I’m absolutely convinced that if this Academy and the successors who become members of this Academy are there at the center and the heart of our public debate, that we’ll be able to continue to use the innovation that powers our economy and improves our health, protects our environment and security, that makes us the envy of the world.

So I want to thank you on behalf of the American people. And I want to make sure that you know that you’ve got a strong supporter in the White House.

God bless you. God bless the United States of America. Thank you. (Applause.)

END
11:50 A.M. EDT

What’s New? Announcing the Improved “New Titles From NAP” Page

There are thousands of National Academies reports to browse on nap.edu, and more publications are being added all the time. In 2012, we published an average of six new books a week on dozens of science topics. We offer an email list and RSS feed to keep up with what’s new, but did you know that we have a single page that lists all the new reports added to the website in the last 30 days? Frankly, we haven’t called a lot of attention to it because it hasn’t been much to look at. Until today.

We’ve given that page–New Titles from the National Academies Press–a complete makeover. Now, you can check out what’s new on nap.edu at a glance. Some of the improvements on our new “New” page:

  • Download, read, or add to cart with one click. Want to learn more about the book first? Click on the cover or the title to look at the book’s catalog page, where you can read the full description, the table of contents, and other info about the book.
  • Sorted by date. Our previous page listed the last 30 days of releases in alphabetical order. Now, books are listed in the order they’re released, with the newest books appearing at the top the very moment they’re available online. Also, you can see that release date right below the cover.
  • Prepublication or final book? Did you know that many of our books get released twice? When the National Academies issues a new report, we often post a “prepublication version” to make those findings public immediately. Later, after the content and design are finalized, we put the finished book online in its place. Now, you can see whether the book we have online is a “prepub,” as we call it here, or the final version. Titles that are released in this way will appear on the “New” page both times–so you’ll know when your favorite new report “goes final” as soon as it happens.

If that page doesn’t turn up a report that interests you, use our search box at the top of the page, which we’ve moved over to the right side of the header and made a little bigger.

What do you think? Send us your thoughts on the New Titles page or anything else that you’d like to see on nap.edu.

Seven New Books: Sea Turtles, Space Exploration, and more

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

All New Publications This Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All New Publications This Week

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

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

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

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

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