In 2018, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine continued to provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world. This list of the most downloaded titles published last year reflects the breadth of the National Academies’ work. As always, they are free to download.
How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and Cultures
There are many reasons to be curious about the way people learn, and the past several decades have seen an explosion of research that has important implications for individual learning, schooling, workforce training, and policy.
In 2000, …
Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Over the last few decades, research, activity, and funding has been devoted to improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine. In recent years the diversity of those …
Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes
Millions of Americans use e-cigarettes. Despite their popularity, little is known about their health effects. Some suggest that e-cigarettes likely confer lower risk compared to combustible tobacco cigarettes, because they do not expose users to …
Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century
The U.S. system of graduate education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has served the nation and its science and engineering enterprise extremely well. Over the course of their education, graduate students become …
Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology
Scientific advances over the past several decades have accelerated the ability to engineer existing organisms and to potentially create novel ones not found in nature. Synthetic biology, which collectively refers to concepts, approaches, and …
Review of the Draft Fourth National Climate Assessment
Climate change poses many challenges that affect society and the natural world. With these challenges, however, come opportunities to respond. By taking steps to adapt to and mitigate climate change, the risks to society and the impacts of …
Quantum Computing: Progress and Prospects
Quantum mechanics, the subfield of physics that describes the behavior of very small (quantum) particles, provides the basis for a new paradigm of computing. First proposed in the 1980s as a way to improve computational modeling of quantum …
Exoplanet Science Strategy
The past decade has delivered remarkable discoveries in the study of exoplanets. Hand-in-hand with these advances, a theoretical understanding of the myriad of processes that dictate the formation and evolution of planets has matured, spurred on …
Happy Birthday President Abe Lincoln!
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences, a landmark that would not be possible without the perseverance and courage of President Abraham Lincoln. In 1863, during the Civil War, President Lincoln founded the National Academy of Science in order to add “the fuel of interest to the fire of genius in the discovery… of new and useful things.” We would like wish a very special Happy Birthday to President Lincoln who was born on this day in 1809. To celebrate this day, check out our favorite Lincoln video and memorabilia.
Lincoln Finger Puppet
Lincoln and the Founding of the National Academy of Sciences
Collection of Artwork of the National Academy of Sciences
“Mendel’s concept of the laws of genetics was lost to the world for a generation because his publication did not reach the few who were capable of grasping and extending it.” — Vannevar Bush
Science has the power to change the world–but only if people know about it. We want everyone in the world to have access to the scientific knowledge we have to share. To help people discover information and ideas that can make this world a better place, we decided last year to make the great majority of our reports—more than 5,000 of them–free to download from our website. This year alone, there were over 1.5 million downloads from NAP.edu. That’s twice as many as the year before!
Curious to see what grabbed our readers’ attention most in our first full year of offering PDFs free to download? What were the hottest topics for NAP.edu visitors this year? We compiled a list of the top 50 most downloaded reports throughout 2012.
Happy New Year!
The National Academies Press
Living Well with Chronic Illness: A Call for Public Health Action350 pages | Paperback | Price: $56.70In the United States, chronic diseases currently account for 70 percent of all deaths, and close to 48 million Americans report a disability related to a chronic condition. Today, about one in four Americans have multiple diseases and the prevalence and… [more]
For the Public’s Health: Investing in a Healthier Future296 pages | Paperback | Price: $52.20The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to examine three topics in relation to public health: measurement, the law, and funding. IOM prepared a three report series–one report on each topic–that contains actionable… [more]
Improving Measurement of Productivity in Higher Education230 pages | Paperback | Price: $42.30Higher education is a linchpin of the American economy and society: Teaching and research at colleges and universities contribute significantly to the nation’s economic activity, both directly and through their impact on future growth; federal and state… [more]
Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative244 pages | Paperback | Price: $44.10No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation and its… [more]
Measuring Progress in Obesity Prevention: Workshop Report158 pages | Paperback | Price: $35.10Nearly 69 percent of U.S. adults and 32 percent of children are either overweight or obese, creating an annual medical cost burden that may reach $147 billion. Researchers and policy makers are eager to identify improved measures of environmental and policy… [more]
Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies300 pages | Paperback | Price: $51.30In the past several years, some energy technologies that inject or extract fluid from the Earth, such as oil and gas development and geothermal energy development, have been found or suspected to cause seismic events, drawing heightened public… [more]
Adverse Effects of Vaccines: Evidence and Causality892 pages | Hardcover | Price: $71.95In 1900, for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, 100 would die before their first birthday, often due to infectious diseases. Today, vaccines exist for many viral and bacterial diseases. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, passed in 1986, was… [more]
Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation280 pages | Paperback | Price: $48.60Optics 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 capabilities, and a… [more]
Challenges and Opportunities in the Hydrologic Sciences200 pages | Paperback | Price: $45.00New research opportunities to advance hydrologic sciences promise a better understanding of the role of water in the Earth system that could help improve human welfare and the health of the environment. Reaching this understanding will require both… [more]
Solar and Space Physics: A Science for a Technological Society454 pages | Paperback | Price: $60.30From the interior of the Sun, to the upper atmosphere and near-space environment of Earth, and outward to a region far beyond Pluto where the Sun’s influence wanes, advances during the past decade in space physics and solar physics–the disciplines NASA… [more]
Ecosystem Services: Charting a Path to Sustainability121 pages | Paperback | Price: $36.90Natural environments provide enormously valuable, but largely unappreciated, services that aid humans and other earthlings. It is becoming clear that these life-support systems are faltering and failing worldwide due to human actions that disrupt nature’s… [more]
Improving the Decision Making Abilities of Small Unit Leaders115 pages | Paperback | Price: $37.80For the past decade, the U.S. Marine Corps and its sister services have been engaged in what has been termed “hybrid warfare,” which ranges from active combat to civilian support. Hybrid warfare typically occurs in environments where all modes of war are… [more]
Continuing Innovation in Information Technology42 pages | Paperback | Price: $24.30Information technology (IT) is widely understood to be the enabling technology of the 21st century. IT has transformed, and continues to transform, all aspects of our lives: commerce and finance, education, employment, energy, health care, manufacturing,… [more]
In the Light of Evolution V: Cooperation and Conflict466 pages | Hardcover | Price: $80.77Biodiversity–the genetic variety of life–is an exuberant product of the evolutionary past, a vast human-supportive resource (aesthetic, intellectual, and material) of the present, and a rich legacy to cherish and preserve for the future. Two urgent… [more]
Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding537 pages | Not for SaleAlthough epilepsy is one of the nation’s most common neurological disorders, public understanding of it is limited. Many people do not know the causes of epilepsy or what they should do if they see someone having a seizure. Epilepsy is a complex spectrum of… [more]
Essential Health Benefits: Balancing Coverage and Cost256 pages | Paperback | Price: $48.60In 2010, an estimated 50 million people were uninsured in the United States. A portion of the uninsured reflects unemployment rates; however, this rate is primarily a reflection of the fact that when most health plans meet an individual’s needs, most times,… [more]
Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy110 pages | Paperback | Price: $34.20Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy encourages scientists to think differently about the use of scientific evidence in policy making. This report investigates why scientific evidence is important to policy making and argues that an extensive… [more]
Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy196 pages | Paperback | Price: $42.30From the use of personal products to our consumption of food, water, and air, people are exposed to a wide array of agents each day–many with the potential to affect health. Exposure Science in the 21st Century: A Vision and A Strategy investigates… [more]
A National Strategy for Advancing Climate Modeling300 pages | Paperback | Price: $55.80As climate change has pushed climate patterns outside of historic norms, the need for detailed projections is growing across all sectors, including agriculture, insurance, and emergency preparedness planning. A National Strategy for Advancing Climate… [more]
Sustainable Development of Algal Biofuels246 pages | Paperback | Price: $57.60Biofuels made from algae are gaining attention as a domestic source of renewable fuel. However, with current technologies, scaling up production of algal biofuels to meet even 5 percent of U.S. transportation fuel needs could create unsustainable demands for… [more]
Deterrence and the Death Penalty144 pages | Paperback | Price: $37.80Many studies during the past few decades have sought to determine whether the death penalty has any deterrent effect on homicide rates. Researchers have reached widely varying, even contradictory, conclusions. Some studies have concluded that the threat of… [more]
Rising to the Challenge: U.S. Innovation Policy for Global Economy573 pages | Paperback | Price: $64.80America’s position as the source of much of the world’s global innovation has been the foundation of its economic vitality and military power in the post-war. No longer is U.S. pre-eminence assured as a place to turn laboratory discoveries into new commercial… [more]
Computing Research for Sustainability155 pages | Paperback | Price: $43.20A broad and growing literature describes the deep and multidisciplinary nature of the sustainability challenges faced by the United States and the world. Despite the profound technical challenges involved, sustainability is not, at its root, a technical… [more]