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Here's What the Search for Life Needs Next, Scientists Say -, Oct. 10, 2018

Advice to NASA's astrobiologists as they search for life beyond Earth - Los Angeles Times, Oct. 10, 2018

Water Resources Challenges Expected to Increase - Earth & Space Science News, Oct. 9, 2018

How People Learn: A Landmark Report Gets an Update - Education Week, Oct. 8, 2018

USDA needs to update data to reflect complex farm businesses - The Fence Post, Oct. 3, 2018

Voting Machine Used in Half of U.S. Is Vulnerable to Attack, Report Finds - Wall Street Journal, Sept. 27, 2018

EPA Agrees to Stop Grants for Non-U.S. Researchers - Bloomberg, Sept. 26, 2018

Halting Sexual Harassment - Scientific American, Sept. 19, 2019

Controversy over sexual misconduct case roils Yale University - Washington Post, Sept. 19, 2018

Experts warn against voting online, call for paper ballots instead - The Verge, Sept. 7, 2018

6 Ways to Fight Election Hacking and Voter Fraud, According to an Expert Panel - New York Times, Sept. 6, 2018

Exoplanet report recommends development of large space telescope - Space News, Sept. 5, 2018

New Report Urges NASA to Intensify Search for Exoplanets and Aliens - Gizmodo, Sept. 5, 2018

To Find Alien Life, NASA Needs Bigger, Bolder Exoplanet-Hunting Telescopes -, Sept. 5, 2018

United States woefully unprepared for nuclear strike, say scientists - Nature, Aug. 28, 2018

How the opioid crackdown is backfiring - Politico, Aug, 28, 2018

NASA Planetary Science Program Remains on Track, Report Finds -, Aug. 20, 2018

A freshwater, saltwater tug-of-war is eating away at the Everglades - Science News, Aug. 20, 2018

Preparing Graduate Students for STEM Careers Outside Academia - Eos Earth & Space Science News, Aug. 20, 2018

Policy expert: The next Flint could be anywhere in the US - The Hill, Aug. 15, 2018

Caregiver crunch: Baby boomers juggle raising children while helping aging parents - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Aug. 3, 2018

Technology helped America's economy way more than we thought - CNN, Aug. 3, 2018

National Academy of Medicine convenes opioid crisis coalition - Modern Healthcare, July 31, 2018

Scientists endorse billion-dollar collider to look inside protons and neutrons - Science, July 24, 2018

Report urges construction of collider sought by BNL, Virginia facility - Newsday, July 24, 2018

Co-ordinated action required to boost ‘open-science’ initiatives - Physics World, July 24, 2018

New report identifies five breakthroughs to advance food and agricultural sciences by 2030 - Wisconsin State Farmer, July 20, 2018

Oct. 12, 2018

National Academy of Medicine Publication Outlines Steps Toward Making Health Care Systems Fully Interoperable

Making Health Systems Fully InteroperableWhile health care has made great strides in recent years with the proliferation of electronic health records (EHRs), establishment of regional health information exchanges, and development of data exchange standards and interfaces, interoperability among health care technologies remains very limited, says a new National Academy of Medicine (NAM) special publication. The lack of interoperability results in waste, inefficiency, and clinician burnout, which can contribute to patient safety risk.

Digital interoperability across clinicians, care units, facilities, and systems has become more essential because of increasing complexity in health care, the need for more seamless interfaces among clinicians, patients and families, and the growing number of clinicians across disparate specialties that a typical patient sees. Read more

Oct. 10, 2018

NASA Should Expand the Search for Life in the Universe and Make Astrobiology an Integral Part of its Missions, Says New Report

© advance the search for life in the universe, NASA should support research on a broader range of biosignatures and environments, and incorporate the field of astrobiology into all stages of future exploratory missions, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read More 

Oct. 8, 2018

NAS Member Shares 2018 Nobel in Economics

The 2018 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was divided equally between National Academy of Sciences member William D. Nordhaus of Yale University "for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis" and Paul M. Romer of New York University "for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis."

Oct. 5, 2018

NAM International Member Shares 2018 Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize 2018 was awarded to National Academy of Medicine international member Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict."

Oct. 4, 2018

Learning Is a Complex and Active Process That Occurs Throughout the Life Span, New Report Says

© new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine highlights the dynamic process of learning throughout the life span and identifies frontiers in which more research is needed to pursue an even deeper understanding of human learning. Read More

Oct. 3, 2018

NAS/NAE/NAM Member Shares 2018 Nobel in Chemistry

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 was divided. One half was awarded to Frances H. Arnold -- a member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine –“for the directed evolution of enzymes,” and the other half was awarded jointly to George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter “for the phage display of peptides and antibodies.”

Oct. 2, 2018

USDA Receives Guidance on Updating Their Data Programs to More Completely Understand American Agriculture, Says New Report

© ensure that U.S. agricultural policies are well-informed, data collection programs must be periodically revisited to reflect current realities of the agricultural sector, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Better measurements of the large, often complex farms responsible for the majority of contemporary agricultural production in the United States would yield important information relevant to agricultural policy issues, but such measurement requires that specific definitions be applied accurately and consistently. Read More

Oct. 2, 2018

NAS, NAE Members Share 2018 Nobel in Physics

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 was divided, one half awarded to National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering member Arthur Ashkin “for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems,” and one half jointly to National Academy of Engineering member emeritus Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland “for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses.”

Oct. 1, 2018

NAS/NAM Member and NAS Foreign Associate Share 2018 Nobel Prize in Medicine

NAS/NAM member James P. Allison and NAS foreign associate Tasuku Honjo together have won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation."

Sept. 28, 2018

NAE Annual Meeting to Focus on Privacy and Cybersecurity

NAE Annual Meeting to Focus on Privacy and Cybersecurity National Academy of Engineering members will gather Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in Washington, D.C., to induct new members and welcome distinguished speakers who will discuss privacy and cybersecurity in the 21st century. Agenda | Video webcast of public sessions

Sept. 28, 2018

National Academy of Engineering Announces Winners of 2018 Ramo Founders and Bueche Awards

NAE Announces Award WinnersOn Sunday, Sept. 30, during its 2018 annual meeting, the National Academy of Engineering will present two awards for extraordinary impact on the engineering profession. The Simon Ramo Founders Award will be presented to Thomas Kailath for his research contributions and leadership in engineering. The Arthur M. Bueche Award will be given to Venkatesh Narayanamurti for his contributions to technology research, policy, and national and international cooperation. Read More

Sept. 25, 2018

National Academy of Medicine Announces Recipients of Awards for Outstanding Achievements in Improving Mental Health and Advancing Health Care

NAM Announces Awardees in Mental Health and Health CareThe National Academy of Medicine today awarded the 2018 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health to Kenneth Wells for developing quality and outcomes approaches to psychiatry and mental health, fostering a generation of clinical investigators and mental health system leaders, and championing partnered, participatory research to advance equity for under-resourced populations. For his pioneering role in national health policy and health services research, NAM also awarded the 2018 Gustav O. Lienhard Award for Advancement of Health Care to Stuart Altman, Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. The awards will be presented at the National Academy of Medicine’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 15.

Sept. 11, 2018

NAS, NAM Members Receive Prestigious Lasker Awards

laskerThe Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced today that National Academy of Sciences members Michael Grunstein and C. David Allis share the 2018 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for discoveries into how gene expression is influenced by the chemical modification of histones — the proteins that package DNA within chromosomes. Joan Argetsinger Steitz, a member of both the NAS and the National Academy of Medicine, is the recipient of the 2018 Lasker~Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science for four decades of leadership in biomedical science — exemplified by pioneering discoveries in RNA biology, generous mentorship of young scientists, and vigorous and passionate support of women in science.

For more than 70 years, the Lasker Awards have recognized the contributions of leaders who made major advances in the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of human disease. The prestigious awards each carry an honorarium of $250,000.

Sept. 10, 2018

U.S. Department of Transportation Should Revisit Federal Safety Regulations for Liquid Petroleum Gas Distribution Systems, Says New Report

©Sjo/iStockCurrent federal safety regulations for small distribution systems used for propane and other liquefied petroleum gases (LPGs) should be improved for clarity, efficiency, enforceability, and applicability to risk, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Because compliance with the federal regulations is not enforced consistently by states, there is little understanding of how the requirements affect the safety of the gas pipeline systems, particularly the smallest ones with fewer than 100 customers. Read More

Sept. 7, 2018

John L. Anderson Nominated to Be Next National Academy of Engineering President

Nomination Announced for Next NAE President The National Academy of Engineering 2019 nominating committee has recommended John L. Anderson, President Emeritus and distinguished professor of chemical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech), as the sole candidate for the NAE presidency. NAE members will vote in March 2019 to elect a new NAE president to a six-year term beginning July 1. If elected, Anderson will succeed C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., whose term will end June 30, 2019. Read More

Sept. 6, 2018

Report Identifies Steps to Secure Americans' Votes

Report Identifies Steps to Secure Americans' VotesTo protect the integrity and security of U.S. elections, all local, state, and federal elections should be conducted using human-readable paper ballots by the 2020 presidential election, says a new report from the National Academies. In addition, every effort should be made to use paper ballots in the 2018 federal election. Ballots that have been marked by voters should not be returned over the Internet or any network connected to it, because no current technology can guarantee their secrecy, security, and verifiability. Read More

Sept. 5, 2018

NASA Should Lead a Large Direct Imaging Mission to Study Earth-Like Exoplanets, Says New Report

NASA/JPL-CaltechTo answer significant questions about the planetary systems — such as whether our solar system is a rare phenomenon or if life exists on planets other than Earth — NASA should lead a large strategic direct imaging mission capable of studying Earth-like exoplanets orbiting stars similar to the sun, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read More

Sept. 4, 2018

National Academies Keck Futures Initiative Announces Winners of the NAKFI Challenge

The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative (NAKFI) announced the recipients of three $500,000 NAKFI Challenge awards. A 15-year, $40 million dollar program funded by the W.M. Keck Foundation, NAKFI was initiated in 2003 to break down barriers between fields and to promote interdisciplinary research. The NAKFI Challenge awards support activities that will carry forward NAKFI’s work beyond its 15 years as an activity of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Open only to NAKFI alumni who participated in the program’s annual interdisciplinary conferences, the call for proposals generated 78 applications. Applications underwent a round of peer-to-peer community judging by fellow applicants. The 30 highest scoring proposals were then judged by an expert panel consisting of members of NAKFI conference organizing committees. The three winners were chosen by the presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Academy of Medicine. Read More

Aug. 29, 2018

Gulf Research Program Announces 2018 Early-Career Research Fellowships

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced the recipients of its 2018 Early-Career Research Fellowships. These competitive awards are among a suite of program activities aimed at supporting the development of future generations of scientists, engineers, and health professionals who are prepared to work at the intersections of offshore energy system safety, human health and well-being, and environmental stewardship in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. coastal regions. Read More

Aug. 28, 2018

Up to 8 Million Deaths Occur in Low- and Middle-Income Countries Yearly Due to Poor-Quality Health Care, Says New Report; Major Quality Chasm Must Be Fixed in Order to Reap Benefits of Universal Health Coverage

Improving Health Care WorldwideRecent gains against the burden of illness, injury, and disability and commitment to universal health coverage are insufficient to close the enormous gaps that remain between what is achievable in human health and where global health stands today, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report calls for urgent, comprehensive efforts led by ministries of health worldwide to transform the design of health care through systems thinking and principles of human factors, acknowledge and engage the informal care sector, focus on settings of extreme adversity, embrace digital technologies and emerging innovations, and address corruption. Read More

Aug. 23, 2018

'The Death and Life of the Great Lakes' Wins Best Book Award From Academies; Crossing the Line Productions and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Science Magazine, ProPublica/NPR Also Take Top Prizes

2018 comm award winnersThe National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced today the recipients of the 2018 Communication Awards.

Supported by the W.M. Keck Foundation since 2003 as part of the Keck Futures Initiative, these prestigious awards -- each of which includes a $20,000 prize -- recognize excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the general public. The winners will be honored during a ceremony on Oct. 11 in Washington, D.C. Read More

Aug. 22, 2018

Registration Opens for Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing

Second Summit graphic for registrationRegistration is now open for the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, which will take place Nov. 27-29 in Hong Kong. The three-day summit will be co-hosted by the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong, the Royal Society of London, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the U.S. National Academy of Medicine.

For more information and a draft agenda, visit the summit website. General registration | Journalist and news media registration

Aug. 7, 2018

NASA Makes Progress Toward Science Priorities Outlined in 2013-2022 Planetary Decadal Survey

JPL/NASA PhotoDespite significant cuts to NASA's Planetary Science Division budget early in this decade, the agency has made impressive progress in meeting goals outlined in the 2013-2022 planetary decadal survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, says a midterm assessment from the National Academies. The report notes that NASA met or exceeded the decadal survey's recommendations for funding research and analysis, and for technology programs. Read More

Aug. 7, 2018

Academies Task Force on the 2020 Census Releases Letter Report on Proposed Information Collection

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Task Force on the 2020 Census today issued a letter report and submitted it as a public comment to the U.S. Department of Commerce, which recently requested public comments on the 2020 Census.

The task force, which was established by the Academies' Committee on National Statistics to examine challenges in conducting the next decennial census, concluded that the Commerce Department's recent decision to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 census is inconsistent with the "proper performance of the functions" of the Census Bureau. The American Community Survey already meets the stated need for citizenship data, it noted, and adding the question without proper testing impairs the quality of the 2020 census as a whole. Furthermore, adding the citizenship question and using the method described in the secretary of commerce's memo and the Census Bureau's review would create a new population register. Such a register has unclear statistical purposes and could not under current law be used for nonstatistical purposes, such as law enforcement against individuals, and still comport with the bureau’s mission.

While citizenship is an important public policy topic and worthy of high-quality data collection, adding this question to the 2020 census risks undermining the credibility of the Census Bureau and the decennial census, the trust of its respondents, and the independence of the Census Bureau's professional staff to develop, produce, and disseminate objective information while protecting confidentiality of respondents.

Aug. 1, 2018

NAS President Comments on Nomination of OSTP Director

I am pleased that the White House is moving to fill the position of director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. This is a key step toward giving science a seat at the table so decisions that shape our country are informed by the best available evidence. In particular, our nation is facing mounting costs from weather-related disasters, including more severe hurricanes, floods, droughts, and forest fires. Having a distinguished atmospheric scientist advising the president is timely and a great choice. I look forward to working with Dr. Droegemeier.

Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Sciences

Official White House Announcement

Aug. 1, 2018

National Academies' Gulf Research Program Announces 2018 Science Policy Fellowships

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced the recipients of its 2018 Science Policy Fellowships. These competitive awards are among a suite of program activities aimed at supporting the development of future generations of scientists, engineers, and health professionals who are prepared to work at the intersections of offshore energy system safety, human health and well-being, and environmental stewardship in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. coastal regions. Read More

July 31, 2018

National Academy of Medicine Launches Action Collaborative to Counter Opioid Epidemic; Public-Private Partnership Will Coordinate Initiatives Across Sectors to Drive Collective Solutions

Launch of NAM Action Collaborative to Counter Opioid EpidemicIn recognition of the need for a national coordinated and collective response to the epidemic of opioid addiction in the U.S., the National Academy of Medicine, in partnership with the Aspen Institute, launched a public-private partnership made up of more than 35 organizations representing federal, state, and local governments, health systems, associations and provider groups, health education and accrediting institutions, pharmacies, payers, industry, nonprofits, and academia. This partnership -- the NAM Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic -- is committed to sharing knowledge, aligning ongoing initiatives, and addressing complex challenges that require a shared response from public and private actors. The collaborative will establish shared priorities, identify unmet needs, and develop and disseminate evidence-based, multi-sector solutions to reduce rates of opioid misuse and improve outcomes for individuals, families, and communities affected by addiction. Read More

July 25, 2018

Gulf Research Program Announces $10 Million Grant Opportunity for Enhancing Coastal Community Resilience in the Gulf of Mexico Region

The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced a new grant opportunity focused on enhancing coastal community resilience and well-being in the Gulf of Mexico region. The GRP intends to award up to $10 million to projects bringing together researchers and practitioners to collaborate on efforts that increase understanding of how community attributes and systems affect resilience and provide actionable information that can be used to implement policies and practices to enhance resilience.

This new funding opportunity builds on previous GRP funding intended to bridge the gap between the knowledge and practice of community resilience, including $10.8 million in grants awarded last year in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on the same topic. This opportunity aims to continue to advance information exchange and collaboration between researchers and those who seek to implement policies and practices to enhance the resilience of their communities. For more information about this opportunity, how to apply, and past GRP grants awarded on this topic, visit

July 24, 2018

A Domestic Electron Ion Collider Would Unlock Scientific Mysteries of Atomic Nuclei, Maintain U.S. Leadership in Accelerator Science

©iStock/Rost-9DThe science questions that could be answered by an electron ion collider (EIC) – a very large-scale particle accelerator – are significant to advancing our understanding of the atomic nuclei that make up all visible matter in the universe, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Beyond its impact on nuclear science, the advances made possible by an EIC could have far-reaching benefits to the nation's science- and technology-driven economy as well as to maintaining U.S. leadership in nuclear physics and in collider and accelerator technologies. Read More

July 18, 2018

New Report Identifies Five Breakthroughs to Address Urgent Challenges and Advance Food and Agricultural Sciences by 2030

©iStock/tdub303A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies the most promising scientific breakthroughs that are possible to achieve in the next decade to increase the U.S. food and agriculture system's sustainability, competitiveness, and resilience. The urgent progress needed today, given challenges such as water scarcity, increased weather variability, floods, and droughts, requires a convergent research approach that harnesses advances in data science, materials science, information technology, behavioral sciences, economics, and many other fields. Read More

July 18, 2018

Academies' Presidents Comment on the EPA's Proposed Rule for Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a proposed rule for strengthening transparency in regulatory science (April 30, 2018, 83 Federal Register 18768), which stipulates that EPA will ensure that the data and models underlying the pivotal science that informs significant regulatory actions are made publicly available, in a format that allows for outside analysis and validation. In a July 16 letter to EPA's acting administrator, the presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine said that while EPA's proposed provision is generally consistent with advice from the National Academies, overly stringent requirements for transparency may cause valid evidence to be discarded and thereby pose a threat to the credibility of regulatory science. In the letter, the presidents pointed to several National Academies reports to help inform EPA decisions about the proposed rule, and cautioned that the rule's "scope, complexities, and potential serious implications for regulatory science and action clearly warrant additional thorough, independent, objective, and context-specific evaluation and analysis."

July 17, 2018

Report Proposes Recommendations and New Framework to Speed Progress Toward Open Science

Speeding Progress Toward Open ScienceWhile significant progress has been made in providing open access to scientific research, a range of challenges -- including the economics of scientific publication and cultural barriers in the research enterprise -- must be overcome to further advance the openness of science, says a new report from the National Academies. It recommends coordinated action from the academic community and other research stakeholders, and the use of an "open science by design" framework to foster openness throughout the research process. Read More

July 11, 2018

Permanent Supportive Housing Holds Potential for Improving Health of People Experiencing Homelessness, But Further Research on Effectiveness Is Needed

©iStock/Natali_MisA new report from the National Academies examines evidence on whether providing permanent supportive housing (PSH) -- a combination of stable housing and supportive services -- to individuals who are experiencing homelessness improves their health. PSH holds potential for improving the health outcomes of people experiencing homelessness, and there is evidence that it improves outcomes among individuals with HIV/AIDS. However, evidence of its impact on other health conditions is lacking, largely because of multiple limitations in the research conducted so far. High priority should be given to studies aimed at identifying “housing-sensitive conditions,” whose course and medical management are strongly influenced by stable housing. Read More

July 10, 2018

New Report Says Individual Research Results Should Be Shared With Participants More Often, Recommends Framework for Decision-Making

©iStock/ca-ssisWhen conducting research involving the testing of human biospecimens, investigators and their institutions should routinely consider whether and how to return individual research results to participants on a study-specific basis through an informed decision-making process, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Decisions will vary depending on the characteristics of the research, the nature of the results, and the interests of participants.

The undertaking of biomedical research with human participants — from exploratory, basic science inquiries to clinical trials using well-validated tests — often includes development of laboratory test results associated with an individual research participant. Recent changes to federal regulations have promoted transparency and allowed individuals greater access to these results; however, regulations are not consistent, the report says. Read More

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In Focus Fall 2018

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Vol. 17/No. 2
Fall 2018

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Read the latest Report to Congress, which details the National Academies' work in 2017.