Table of Contents
Environmental Issues Health and Medicine International Issues Mathematics and Physics Policy and Research Issues Events and Open Meetings

Environmental Issues


Dispersants Could Prove Helpful in Oil Spill Cleanup

More information is needed to better understand how chemicals could be used to disperse oil spills in complex and sensitive nearshore environments, says a new report from the National Research Council. The report recommends that relevant state and federal agencies, industry, and appropriate international agencies cooperate to design and fund research to learn effective ways to handle future spills that may threaten these important coastal habitats.

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Health and Medicine


New Requirements Needed to Enhance Mammogram Interpretation

To help breast imaging facilities determine how accurately they are interpreting mammograms, FDA should require the facilities to collect specific data that can be used to better measure their staffs' performance, says a report from the Institute of Medicine. Questions about the quality of mammography interpretation have lingered since passage of the Mammography Quality Standards Act in 1992.

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International Issues


NAS Council Opposes Boycott of Israeli Universities

The governing council of the National Academy of Sciences issued a statement reiterating its opposition to academic boycotts after a group of British professors proposed banning interactions with two Israeli universities. The council called the proposed boycott "especially unfortunate" given the success of a recently established Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization.

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Mathematics and Physics


Cell Phones on Planes Could Interfere With Radio Astronomy Signals

If cell phone use on airplanes is eventually permitted, it should only be allowed when a plane is fitted with a "picocell" that carries all wireless communications between the plane and the ground on a single channel, thereby reducing interference with radio astronomy observations, an important tool for studying the universe. The potential for interference was noted by the National Research Council's Committee on Radio Frequencies, which did not take a position on whether cell phone use should be allowed on planes.

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Policy and Research Issues


Visa System Needs Further Upgrades for US Competitiveness

In recent months, policymakers have made significant improvements to the US visa system, but more changes are needed so that the United States can continue to compete for top talent worldwide and uphold its welcoming tradition, says a joint statement endorsed by the National Academies, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and other higher education associations and scientific societies.

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High-Quality Grad Students Integral to US Science, Engineering

To maintain America's leadership in science and engineering research, a comprehensive effort is needed to improve the recruitment, education, and training of a cross section of US students for careers in these fields, while at the same time continuing to attract the most talented scholars worldwide, says a new report from the National Academies. These two goals are critical, given increasing global competition for quality graduate students and researchers.

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Academies Evaluate Proposals for Ohio Awards Program

The state of Ohio announced seven top research proposals to receive grants aimed at commercializing innovations in areas such as information technology, power and propulsion, advanced materials, electronics, and biotechnology. It is the fourth consecutive year that the National Academies have aided the selection process by reviewing how well the proposals met the state's competition criteria.

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Events and Open Meetings


MEETING: Enhancing Philanthropy's Support of Biomedical Scientists

The NRC is conducting an evaluation of outcomes of grants and fellowships given by the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust in the biomedical sciences between 1982 and 1997. The meeting on June 13th, held at the Academies' Keck Center in Washington DC, will consider the role of evaluation. A draft agenda is posted at the accompanying link. If you would like to attend the sessions of this meeting that are open to the public or need more information please contact George Reinhart, by email at <greinhar@nas.edu> or by telephone at 202 334 3162.

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WORKSHOP: Interactions Among Social, Behavioral, & Genetic Factors in Health

An Institute of Medicine committee that is examining the state of the science on gene-environment interactions that affect human health, with a focus on the social environment, will hold a workshop June 16-17 in Washington DC. A draft agenda is posted at the accompanying link. If you would like to attend the sessions of this meeting that are open to the public or need more information please contact Andrea Schultz, by email at <aschultz@nas.edu> or by telephone at 202 334 2796.

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MEETING: Increasing Rates of Organ Donation

An Institute of Medicine committee is charged with examining issues surrounding organ donation and evaluating the ethical implications of proposals to increase deceased organ donation. The committee will meet June 20-21 at the Academies' Keck Center in Washington DC. A draft agenda is posted at the accompanying link. If you would like to attend the sessions of this meeting that are open to the public or need more information please contact Judy Estep, by email at <jestep@nas.edu> or by telephone at 202 334 2013.

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WORKSHOP: Sleep and Fatigue Surveillance Programs and Technologies

The second workshop of the IOM Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research will be held June 29-30 in Washington DC in the Athens room of the Hotel Monaco (700 F Street NW). A draft agenda is posted at the accompanying link. If you are interested in attending or have any questions about the workshop please contact Lora Taylor by email at <lktaylor@nas.edu> or by telephone at 202 334 1498.

  • Draft agenda
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    MEETING: Ecosystem Effects of Fishing

    An NRC committee has been appointed to study Ecosystem Effects of Fishing; phase II of the committee's work focuses on Assessments of the Extent of Change and the Implications for Policy. The committee will meet June 30-July 1 at the Academies' Keck Center in Washington DC. A draft agenda will be posted at the accompanying link in mid-June. If you would like to attend the sessions of this meeting that are open to the public or need more information please contact Phillip Long by email at <plong@nas.edu> or by telephone at 202 334 2733.

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