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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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]

Inspire a Scientist: Twelve Resources to Promote Science

A new report from the Council on Foreign Relations reaffirms the importance of science education for the future of our nation. The National Academy of Sciences has developed resources to inspire future scientists and engineers, and expand the public’s interest in science in general . All of this media is free and is intended to be shared.

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has just released a series of videos on engineeringchallenges.org aimed at sparking interest in engineering among young people. Focused on the themes of NAE’s Grand Challenges for Engineering, they feature NAE members such as Disney/Pixar’s Ed Catmull, Caltech’s Frances Arnold, and Google’s Vince Cerf.

The National Academies YouTube channel carries a number of short videos that explain some of the most pressing challenges in science. From controlling zoonotic diseases to understanding the challenges of climate change, these films all feature scientists explaining the issues and their work.

The National Academy of Engineering’s Changing the Conversation and Engineer Girl websites were developed to promote positive engineering messaging among engineers and to inspire both boys and girls to become engineers.

The Web site iWASwondering.org is a project of the National Academy of Sciences intended to showcase the accomplishments of contemporary women in science and to highlight for young people the varied and intriguing careers of some of today’s most prominent scientists.

The National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council produced a number of reports about the need to inspire and prepare students for careers in science, and the need to improve science education. These books are all free to download.

Surrounded by Science

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

Changing the Conversation

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Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering164 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.45Can the United States continue to lead the world in innovation? The answer may hinge in part on how well the public understands engineering, a key component of the ‘innovation engine’. A related concern is how to encourage young people–particularly girls and… [more]

A Framework for K-12 Science Education

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

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]

Report of a Workshop on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce Needs for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Defense Industrial Base

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Report of a Workshop on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce Needs for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Defense Industrial Base78 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50Report of a Workshop on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce Needs for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Defense Industrial Base is the summary of a workshop held August 11, 2011, as part of an 18-month study of… [more]

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation

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Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads286 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.00In order for the United States to maintain the global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology that are critical to achieving national goals, we must invest in research, encourage innovation, and grow a strong and talented science and… [more]

Successful K-12 STEM Education

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

Ready, Set, SCIENCE!

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

Envisioning the Potential of IT to Enhance Health Care, Learning, and Crisis Communication

The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine have produced a number of reports that address issues of the integration of information technology (IT) into health care, education, and emergency management products. These books explore the potential of IT to support delivery of high-quality health care, impact science education through games and simulations, and alert the public in emergency situations. All are free to download.

Health IT and Patient Safety

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

Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations

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Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations174 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10At a time when scientific and technological competence is vital to the nation’s future, the weak performance of U.S. students in science reflects the uneven quality of current science education.  Although young children come to school with innate… [more]

Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices

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Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Summary of a Workshop on Current Knowledge and Research Gaps102 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90This book presents a summary of the Workshop on Public Response to Alerts and Warnings on Mobile Devices: Current Knowledge and Research Gaps, held April 13 and 14, 2010, in Washington, D.C., under the auspices of the National Research Council’s Committee on… [more]

Digital Infrastructure for the Learning Health System

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Digital Infrastructure for the Learning Health System: The Foundation for Continuous Improvement in Health and Health Care: Workshop Series Summary320 pages | Paperback | Price: $60.97Like many other industries, health care is increasingly turning to digital information and the use of electronic resources. The Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Value & Science-Driven Health Care hosted three workshops to explore current efforts and… [more]

Toward Precision Medicine

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Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease142 pages | Paperback | Price: $41.40Motivated 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 Medicine[more]

Communicating Science and Engineering Data in the Information Age

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Communicating Science and Engineering Data in the Information Age122 pages | Paperback | Price: $34.20The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) communicates its science and engineering (S&E) information to data users in a very fluid environment that is undergoing modernization at a pace at… [more]

Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options

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Wireless Technology Prospects and Policy Options112 pages | Paperback | Price: $24.07The use of radio-frequency communication–commonly referred to as wireless communication–is becoming more pervasive as well as more economically and socially important. Technological progress over many decades has enabled the deployment of several successive… [more]

Computational Technology for Effective Health Care

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Computational Technology for Effective Health Care: Immediate Steps and Strategic Directions120 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50Despite a strong commitment to delivering quality health care, persistent problems involving medical errors and ineffective treatment continue to plague the industry. Many of these problems are the consequence of poor information and technology (IT)… [more]

Scientific Opportunities in Antarctica: Risks and Benefits of Exploration

Exploration of Antarctica has been in the news recently, as a rescue effort is underway to reach a Russian research vessel trapped in ice. Covering nearly 14 million km² (an area approximately 1.4 times the size of the United States), Antarctica is the coldest, driest, highest, and windiest continent on Earth. While it is challenging to live and work in this extreme environment, this region offers many opportunities for scientific research. The Polar Research Board of the National Research Council has produced a number of reports about exploration of this region. These books discuss environmental and scientific protection standards needed to responsibly explore this unique environment and suggest important areas of research for the United States to achieve success for the next generation of Antarctic and Southern Ocean science. All are free to download.

Exploration of Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments

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Exploration of Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments: Environmental and Scientific Stewardship162 pages | Paperback | Price: $34.42Antarctica is renowned for its extreme cold; yet surprisingly, radar measurements have revealed a vast network of lakes, rivers, and streams several kilometers beneath the Antarctic ice sheet. Sealed from Earth’s atmosphere for millions of years, they may… [more]

Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean

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Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean230 pages | Paperback | Price: $45.00Antarctica and the surrounding Southern Ocean remains one of the world’s last frontiers. Covering nearly 14 million km² (an area approximately 1.4 times the size of the United States), Antarctica is the coldest, driest, highest, and windiest continent on… [more]

Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems

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Frontiers in Understanding Climate Change and Polar Ecosystems: Summary of a Workshop86 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90The polar regions are experiencing rapid changes in climate. These changes are causing observable ecological impacts of various types and degrees of severity at all ecosystem levels, including society. Even larger changes and more significant impacts are… [more]

Antarctica

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Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World164 pages | Hardcover | Price: $34.20Antarctica is the center from which all surrounding continental bodies separated millions of years ago. Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World, reinforces the importance of continual changes in the country’s history and the impact of these… [more]

Frontiers in Polar Biology in the Genomics Era

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Frontiers in Polar Biology in the Genomics Era186 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10As we enter the twenty-first century, the polar biological sciences stand well poised to address numerous important issues, many of which were unrecognized as little as 10 years ago. From the effects of global warming on polar organisms to the potential for life… [more]

Preparing for the Worst: Science to Improve Disaster Resiliency

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association reports that the United States set a record in 2011 with 12 separate billion dollar weather/climate disasters. Our nation is particularly vulnerable due to its large populations living and working in high-risk areas: seismic zones, coastal and river flood plains, and dense urban population centers. Catastrophic events can and will happen. Are we resilient enough to ensure that our nation and society can recover and thrive after these events?

The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine produced a number of reports on the subject of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. These books further additional discussion on hazard science policy and provide insight on the nation’s future research and applications needs. All are available to read online at no charge.

Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration

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Building Community Disaster Resilience through Private-Public Collaboration
142 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.27

Natural disasters–including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods–caused more than 220,000 deaths worldwide in the first half of 2010 and wreaked havoc on homes, buildings, and the environment. To withstand and recover from natural and… [more]

Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters

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Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters: The Perspective from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi: Summary of a Workshop
150 pages | Paperback | Price: $32.40

Natural disasters are having an increasing effect on the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. Every decade, property damage caused by natural disasters and hazards doubles or triples in the United States. More than half of the U.S…. [more]

National Earthquake Resilience

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National Earthquake Resilience: Research, Implementation, and Outreach
244 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.00

The United States will certainly be subject to damaging earthquakes in the future. Some of these earthquakes will occur in highly populated and vulnerable areas. Coping with moderate earthquakes is not a reliable indicator of preparedness for a major… [more]

Crisis Standards of Care

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Crisis Standards of Care: Summary of a Workshop Series
174 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.22

During a wide-reaching catastrophic public health emergency or disaster, existing surge capacity plans may not be sufficient to enable healthcare providers to continue to adhere to normal treatment procedures and follow usual standards of care. This is a… [more]

Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations

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Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations: A Letter Report
160 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50

The influenza pandemic caused by the 2009 H1N1 virus underscores the immediate and critical need to prepare for a public health emergency in which thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people suddenly seek and require medical care in… [more]

Tsunami Warning and Preparedness

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Tsunami Warning and Preparedness: An Assessment of the U.S. Tsunami Program and the Nation’s Preparedness Efforts
296 pages | Paperback | Price: $57.60

Many coastal areas of the United States are at risk for tsunamis. After the catastrophic 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, legislation was passed to expand U.S. tsunami warning capabilities. Since then, the nation has made progress in several related areas on… [more]

How Communities Can Use Risk Assessment Results

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How Communities Can Use Risk Assessment Results: Making Ends Meet: A Summary of the June 3, 2010, Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable
10 pages | Not for Sale

During and after a disaster, text messages, tweets, Smartphone apps, and social networks, along with 24-hour cable news and other media, deliver relevant information to emergency responders, decision makers, and the general public. Participants in the… [more]

Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience

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Private-Public Sector Collaboration to Enhance Community Disaster Resilience: A Workshop Report
83 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) on the United States prompted a rethinking of how the United States prepares for disasters. Federal policy documents written since 9/11 have stressed that the private and public sectors share equal… [more]

Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience

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Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience: Workshop Summary
82 pages | Paperback | Price: $23.40

Social Network Analysis (SNA) is the identification of the relationships and attributes of members, key actors, and groups that social networks comprise. The National Research Council, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, held a two-day… [more]

Recovering from Disaster

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Recovering from Disaster: A Summary of the October 17, 2007, Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable
15 pages | Not for Sale

Disaster recovery is a complex and challenging process that involves all sectors of a community as well as outside interests. In many cases, it is not even clear if and when recovery has been achieved because of varying stakeholder goals for the community, for… [more]

Improving Disaster Management

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Improving Disaster Management: The Role of IT in Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery
192 pages | Paperback | Price: $38.92

Information technology (IT) has the potential to play a critical role in managing natural and human-made disasters. Damage to communications infrastructure, along with other communications problems exacerbated the difficulties in carrying out response and… [more]

Environmental Public Health Impacts of Disasters

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Environmental Public Health Impacts of Disasters: Hurricane Katrina, Workshop Summary
100 pages | Paperback | Price: $18.90

Public health officials have the traditional responsibilities of protecting the food supply, safeguarding against communicable disease, and ensuring safe and healthful conditions for the population. Beyond this, public health today is challenged in a way that… [more]

The Dual Use Dilemma: Biological Research and Security in an Age of Terrorism

The great achievements of molecular biology and genetics over the last 50 years have produced advances in agriculture and industrial processes and have revolutionized the practice of medicine. The very technologies that fueled these benefits to society, however, pose a potential risk as well—the possibility that these technologies could also be used to create the next generation of biological weapons. Biotechnology represents a “dual use” dilemma in which the same technologies can be used legitimately for human betterment and misused for bioterrorism.

The Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council have produced a number of reports on the subject of bioterrorism and dual use issues in life science research. All are free to download.

Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism

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Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism
164 pages | Paperback | Price: $31.50
In 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…[more]
Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences

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Challenges and Opportunities for Education About Dual Use Issues in the Life Sciences
146 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]
A Survey of Attitudes and Actions on Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences

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A Survey of Attitudes and Actions on Dual Use Research in the Life Sciences: A Collaborative Effort of the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science
188 pages | Paperback | Price: $78.30 The same technologies that fuel scientific advances also pose potential risks–that the knowledge, tools, and techniques gained through legitimate biotechnology research could be misused to create biological weapons or for bioterrorism. This is often called… [more]
Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences

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Globalization, Biosecurity, and the Future of the Life Sciences
318 pages | Paperback | Price: $50.40
Biomedical advances have made it possible to identify and manipulate features of living organisms in useful ways&#8212leading to improvements in public health, agriculture, and other areas. The globalization of scientific and technical expertise also means that… [more]

 

Biological Threats and Terrorism

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Biological Threats and Terrorism: Assessing the Science and Response Capabilities: Workshop Summary
336 pages | Paperback | Price: $37.80 In the wake of September 11th and recent anthrax events, our nation?s bioterrorism response capability has become an imminent priority for policymakers, researchers, public health officials, academia, and the private sector. In a three-day workshop, convened by.. .[more]

Science Research to Drive Space Exploration

It has been a banner week for space enthusiasts! Kepler-22b is the first planet discovered beyond our system to possibly be in a habitable zone, capable of supporting life. Scientists also announced the discovery of the biggest black holes yet. New pictures of the asteroid Vesta were released, adding greatly to our knowledge of asteroids. As amazing as these events are, we have to wonder – what will we find next?

The National Research Council has produced a number of reports that discuss the current status of space science and make recommendations for future research directions. All of these resources are free to download.

The PDF booklet 2020 Vision: An Overview of New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics is also available. Click here to download the PDF (1.7 MB).

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration
Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era

More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made since in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human…
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Preparing for the High Frontier
Preparing for the High Frontier: The Role and Training of NASA Astronauts in the Post-Space Shuttle Era

As 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…
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Sharing the Adventure with the Public--The Value of Excitement
Sharing the Adventure with the Public–The Value of Excitement: Summary of a Workshop

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

In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon’s poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life could have…
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New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
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…
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Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

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

The 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 astrophysics in…
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Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration
Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report

In 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…
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Defending Planet Earth
Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies

The United States spends approximately $4 million each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. The majority of this funding supports the operation of several observatories that scan the sky…
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An Enabling Foundation for NASA's Space and Earth Science Missions
An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions

NASA’s space and Earth science program is composed of two principal components: spaceflight projects and mission-enabling activities. Most of the budget of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is applied to spaceflight missions, but NASA identifies nearly…
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Revitalizing NASA's Suborbital Program
Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce

Suborbital flight activities, including the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons, and suborbital reusable launch vehicles, offer valuable opportunities to advance science, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and…
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America's Future in Space
America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs

As 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…
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Radioisotope Power Systems
Radioisotope Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space Exploration

Spacecraft require electrical energy. This energy must be available in the outer reaches of the solar system where sunlight is very faint. It must be available through lunar nights that last for 14 days, through long periods of dark and cold at the higher…
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The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems
The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems

The 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…
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Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System
Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System

The sources, distributions, and transformation of organic compounds in the solar system are active study areas as a means to provide information about the evolution of the solar system and the possibilities of life elsewhere in the universe. There are many…
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Resources for Veterans, Active-Duty Military, and Their Families

The all-volunteer U. S. military has experienced multiple redeployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, increased use of the reserve components of the military and National Guard, increased numbers of deployed women and parents of young children, and an increase in the number of military personnel surviving severe injuries that in previous wars would have resulted in death. The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine have produced a number of reports that discuss issues of importance to both active duty and retired military, and their families. All are free to download.

Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury
Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury: Evaluating the EvidenceTraumatic brain injury (TBI) may affect 10 million people worldwide. It is considered the “signature wound” of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. These injuries result from a bump or blow to the head, or from external forces that cause the brain to move…

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Long-Term Health Consequences of Exposure to Burn Pits in Iraq and Afghanistan
Long-Term Health Consequences of Exposure to Burn Pits in Iraq and AfghanistanMany veterans returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have health problems they believe are related to their exposure to the smoke from the burning of waste in open-air “burn pits” on military bases. Particular controversy surrounds the burn pit…

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Veterans and Agent Orange
Veterans and Agent Orange: Update 2010Because of continuing uncertainty about the long-term health effects of the sprayed herbicides on Vietnam veterans, Congress passed the Agent Orange Act of 1991. The legislation directed the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) to request the IOM to perform a…

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Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury
Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury: Improving Acute and Subacute Health Outcomes in Military PersonnelTraumatic brain injury (TBI) accounts for up to one-third of combat-related injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to some estimates. TBI is also a major problem among civilians, especially those who engage in certain sports. At the request of the…

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Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange Exposure
Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans and Agent Orange ExposureOver 3 million U.S. military personnel were sent to Southeast Asia to fight in the Vietnam War. Since the end of the Vietnam War, veterans have reported numerous health effects. Herbicides used in Vietnam, in particular Agent Orange have been associated with…

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Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan
Returning Home from Iraq and Afghanistan: Preliminary Assessment of Readjustment Needs of Veterans, Service Members, and Their FamiliesNearly 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 the most…

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Provision of Mental Health Counseling Services Under TRICARE
Provision of Mental Health Counseling Services Under TRICAREIn this book, the IOM makes recommendations for permitting independent practice for mental health counselors treating patients within TRICARE–the DOD’s health care benefits program. This would change current policy, which requires all counselors to practice…

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Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune
Contaminated Water Supplies at Camp Lejeune: Assessing Potential Health EffectsIn the early 1980s, two water-supply systems on the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina were found to be contaminated with the industrial solvents trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE). The water systems were supplied by the Tarawa…

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Gulf War and Health
Gulf War and Health: Volume 8: Update of Health Effects of Serving in the Gulf WarFor the United States, the 1991 Persian Gulf War was a brief and successful military operation with few injuries and deaths. However, soon after returning from duty, a large number of veterans began reporting health problems they believed were associated with…

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Student Mobility
Student Mobility: Exploring the Impact of Frequent Moves on Achievement: Summary of a WorkshopMany low-income families struggle with stable housing and frequently have to move due to foreclosures, rent increases, or other financial setbacks. Children in these families can experience lasting negative effects, especially those who are young and still…

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Systems Engineering to Improve Traumatic Brain Injury Care in the Military Health System
Systems Engineering to Improve Traumatic Brain Injury Care in the Military Health System: Workshop SummaryThis book makes a strong case for taking advantage of the best of two disciplines–health care and operational systems engineering (a combination of science and mathematics to describe, analyze, plan, design, and integrate systems with complex interactions…

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Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children
Depression in Parents, Parenting, and Children: Opportunities to Improve Identification, Treatment, and PreventionDepression is a widespread condition affecting approximately 7.5 million parents in the U.S. each year and may be putting at least 15 million children at risk for adverse health outcomes. Based on evidentiary studies, major depression in either parent can…

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Gulf War and Health
Gulf War and Health: Volume 7: Long-Term Consequences of Traumatic Brain InjuryThe seventh in a series of congressionally mandated reports on Gulf War veterans health, this volume evaluates traumatic brain injury (TBI) and its association with long-term health affects.

That many returning veterans have TBI will likely mean…

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The Future of Disability in America
The Future of Disability in AmericaThe future of disability in America will depend on how well the U.S. prepares for and manages the demographic, fiscal, and technological developments that will unfold during the next two to three decades.

Building upon two prior studies from the Institute…

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PTSD Compensation and Military Service
PTSD Compensation and Military ServiceThe scars of war take many forms: the limb lost, the illness brought on by a battlefield exposure, and, for some, the psychological toll of encountering an extremely traumatic event. PTSD Compensation and Military Service presents a thorough assessment of…

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Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance-Use Conditions
Improving the Quality of Health Care for Mental and Substance-Use Conditions: Quality Chasm SeriesEach year, more than 33 million Americans receive health care for mental or substance-use conditions, or both. Together, mental and substance-use illnesses are the leading cause of death and disability for women, the highest for men ages 15-44, and the second…

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Diversity in Higher Education: Strengthening the Science, Technology, and Engineering Workforce

For the United States to maintain global leadership and competitiveness in science and technology we must grow a strong, talented, and innovative science and technology workforce. To achieve this goal, the National Research Council, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine have published reports that focus on ensuring that we draw on the minds and talents of all Americans, including women and racial/ethnic minorities who are underrepresented in science and engineering. These reports explore diversity in higher education and make recommendations to increase the number of women and underrepresented minority scientists and engineers. All of these titles are free to download for personal use.

Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation
Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads

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 invest in research, encourage innovation, and grow a strong and talented science and…
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Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty
Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty

Gender Differences at Critical Transitions in the Careers of Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Faculty presents new and surprising findings about career differences between female and male full-time, tenure-track, and tenured faculty in science,…
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Understanding Interventions That Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers
Understanding Interventions That Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers: Summary of a Workshop

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Biological, Social, and Organizational Components of Success for Women in Academic Science and Engineering
Biological, Social, and Organizational Components of Success for Women in Academic Science and Engineering: Workshop Report

During the last 40 years, the number of women studying science and engineering (S&E) has increased dramatically. Nevertheless, women do not hold academic faculty positions in numbers that commensurate with their increasing share of the S&E talent pool. The…
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Beyond Bias and Barriers
Beyond Bias and Barriers: Fulfilling the Potential of Women in Academic Science and Engineering

The United States economy relies on the productivity, entrepreneurship, and creativity of its people. To maintain its scientific and engineering leadership amid increasing economic and educational globalization, the United States must aggressively pursue the…
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Opportunities to Address Clinical Research Workforce Diversity Needs for 2010
Opportunities to Address Clinical Research Workforce Diversity Needs for 2010

Based on a 2003 workshop, this study describes current public and private programs and recommends ways to recruit and retain more women and underrepresented minorities into clinical research, especially physician-scientists and nurses. Federal sponsors should…
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To Recruit and Advance
To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering

Although more women than men participate in higher education in the
United States, the same is not true when it comes to pursuing careers in science
and engineering. To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in
Science and Engineering identifies and…
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The Anthrax Threat Ten Years after the Letter Attacks

Ten years ago, five Americans were killed and 17 were sickened in the worst biological attack in U.S. history when letters containing the bacterium Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis, or more simply, anthrax) were sent through the mail. From October 4 to November 20, 2001, an additional 31 people tested positive for exposure to B. anthracis spores and approximately 32,000 individuals initiated a preventive antibiotic regime.

The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine recently examined the threat of anthrax. Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax Letters focuses on the investigation of the 2001 attacks. This book evaluates the scientific foundation for the specific techniques used by the FBI to determine whether these techniques met appropriate standards for scientific reliability and for use in forensic validation, and whether the FBI reached appropriate scientific conclusions from its use of these techniques.

Prepositioning Antibiotics for Anthrax addresses proactive efforts to provide treatment in the event of an aerosol B. anthracis or other bacterial agent event. Rapid access to antibiotics is critical for preventing and treating illness and death due to this kind of bioterrorism attack. Yet the logistics of effectively delivering antibiotics to prevent anthrax infection pose a tremendous challenge because such an attack could potentially expose a large number of people who would require antibiotics within a relatively brief time window. For example, if aerosolized anthrax were released over a large, densely populated area, hundreds of thousands of people could need antibiotics to prevent deadly inhalational anthrax. This book evaluates new dispensing strategies to provide antibiotics to all exposed and potentially exposed individuals.

Both of these books are available to read or download online at no charge.

Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI's Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax Letters
Review of the Scientific Approaches Used During the FBI’s Investigation of the 2001 Anthrax Letters

Less than a month after the September 11, 2001 attacks, letters containing spores of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis, or B. anthracis) were sent through the U.S. mail. Between October 4 and November 20, 2001, 22 individuals developed anthrax; 5 of the…
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Prepositioning Antibiotics for Anthrax
Prepositioning Antibiotics for Anthrax

If terrorists released Bacillus anthracis over a large city, hundreds of thousands of people could be at risk of the deadly disease anthrax – caused by the B anthracis spores – unless they had rapid access to antibiotic medical countermeasures (MCM). Although…
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