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Self-correction in science at work - Science, June 25, 2015

Science Panel Tries to Reinject Reality into Flood Insurance Pricing - New York Times, June 19, 2015

National Flood Insurance Program rate-setting should be overhauled, National Research Council says - Times-Picayune, June 19, 2015

For Automakers, Fuel Economy Targets May Be Less of a Stretch - New York Times, June 18, 2015

U.S. researchers see auto fuel standards driving technology - Reuters, June 18, 2015

Report: Automakers will speed vehicle weight reductions - Detroit News, June 18, 2015

Release of encyclical reveals pope’s deep dive into climate science - Washington Post, June 18, 2015

Report Supports Needs For New Waterways Plan, Funding - Times Record, June 17, 2015

Report recommends freight railroad rule changes Washington Post, June 10, 2015

National Academies releases U.S. freight rail regulations report - American Shipper, June 10, 2015

Report: U.S. freight rail regs are outdated, need updating - Progressive Railroading, June 10, 2015

What a new report shows about D.C. schools - Washington Post, June 5, 2015

Report: Despite D.C. school reforms, disparities persist in system - Washington Post, June 3, 2015

D.C. Schools Improved Under Mayoral Control, But Progress Remains Uneven - WAMU-FM, June 3, 2015

D.C. schools report card finds achievement remains low, gaps wide - WTOP-FM, June 3, 2015

US science academies take on human-genome editing - Nature, May 18, 2015

U.S. science leaders to tackle ethics of gene-editing technology - Reuters, May 18, 2015

National academies will meet to guide 'gene editing' research - San Jose Mercury News, May 18, 2015

U.S. politicians say they want to help the working poor. But how many are there? - Science, May 12, 2015

NASA lays out new technology roadmaps - The Space Reporter, May 12, 2015

Report says FAA isn’t delivering what was promised in $40 billion project - Washington Post, May 1, 2015 2015

Report: FAA needs to scale back expectations for air-traffic upgrades - USA Today, May 1, 2015

IOM to rebrand as National Academy of Medicine - Modern Healthcare, April 28, 2015

An IOM Report on Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress - JAMA, April 28, 2015

Income Inequality Is Costing the U.S. on Social Issues - New York Times, April 28, 2015

How to get more electric cars on the roads - Christian Science Monitor, April 27, 2015

Junk Science at the F.B.I. - New York Times, April 27, 2015

A brief history of forensics - Washington Post, April 21, 2015

Fix the Flaws in Forensic Science - New York Times, April 21, 2015

Everything ages, even your brain. Don’t worry so much. It’s probably not Alzheimer’s - Washington Post, April 14, 2015

Your brain's aging and a new report urges ways to stay sharp - Associated Press, April 14, 2015
 

June 30, 2015

U.S. Survival Rates Around 6 Percent for Cardiac Arrests Occurring Outside of a Hospital


©Marijus Auruskevicius/iStock/ThinkstockCardiac arrest strikes almost 600,000 people each year, killing the vast majority of those individuals, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. Wide disparities of survival rates exist across the country, but benchmark communities demonstrate that saving more lives is possible. Although evidence indicates that bystander use of CPR and automated external defibrillators can significantly improve survival and outcomes from cardiac arrest, each year less than 3 percent of the U.S. population receives CPR training. To improve health outcomes, the report calls for enhancing the performance of EMS systems; improving systems of care within hospital settings; expanding research in cardiac arrest resuscitation; and educating and training the public on how to recognize cardiac arrest, contact emergency responders, administer CPR, and use automated external defibrillators.


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June 29, 2015

Health Care Wait Times Differ Greatly Throughout U.S


©Gajus/iStock/ThinkstockWait times for health care appointments vary tremendously throughout the U.S., ranging from same day service to several months, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine. The report calls for putting patients and families first and using "systems-based approaches" that are applied successfully in other industries to improve access to services. The study committee found that delays in access to health care have negative effects on health outcomes, patient satisfaction, health care utilization, and organizational reputation. Causes for delays include mismatched supply and demand of services, the current provider-focused approach to scheduling, outmoded workforce and care supply models, priority-based queues, care complexity, reimbursement complexity, and financial and geographic barriers.


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June 19, 2015

New Report Examines Options for Tying Insurance Rates to Flood Risk for Low-Lying Structures


Minot, North Dakota, photo by David Valdez/FEMAApproximately 1 million low-lying structures in U.S. floodplains receive subsidized insurance rates that do not reflect the actual risk of flooding. New legislation requiring subsidies to be phased out and replaced by risk-based rates will result in substantial premium increases for most of these structures. A new report from the National Research Council found that current methods used by the National Flood Insurance Program don't fully capture the flood risk for low-lying structures, which are subject to more frequent flooding, longer durations and greater depths of flooding, and more damage from smaller flood events. The report offers alternative approaches for calculating risk-based rates for these structures, identifies critical data needs, and discusses the feasibility and cost of implementing the approaches. Read More


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June 18, 2015

Analysis Used by Federal Agencies to Set Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Standards for U.S. Cars Was Generally of High Quality


©welcomia/iStock/ThinkstockThe analysis used by federal agencies to set standards for fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for new U.S. light-duty vehicles -- passenger cars and light trucks -- from 2017 to 2025 was thorough and of high caliber overall, says a new report from the National Research Council. However, the agencies should re-examine certain issues -- such as consumer behavior and the effectiveness of certain technologies -- in an upcoming mid-term review. In addition, the report finds, evidence suggests that the standards will lead the nation's light-duty vehicle fleet to become lighter but not less safe. Read More


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June 18, 2015

Pope Issues Encyclical on Climate Change


Vatican SealPope Francis issued a papal letter to the world's bishops reinforcing that human activity is causing climate change, and many developing nations are at particular risk. It calls for lifestyle and energy consumption changes to prevent the degradation of the Earth's ecosystem. The encyclical was informed by input from the Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

The full collection of National Research Council reports that address various climate change issues is available at nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices, including:


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June 16, 2015

Strategic Investments in U.S. Inland Waterways Should Focus on Maintaining Locks and Facilities; User-Pays Funding Strategy Would Promote Economic Efficiency


Pickwick Lock, Nashville District; photo courtesy US Army Corps of EngineersWhile the U.S. inland waterways system covers a vast geographic area, its freight traffic is highly concentrated, and the system needs a sustainable and well-executed plan for maintaining system reliability and performance to ensure that its resources are directed where they are most essential, says a new report from the National Research Council's Transportation Research Board. More targeted operations and maintenance (O&M) investments informed by an asset management approach would prioritize locks and facilities that are most in need of maintenance and for which the economic impacts of disruption would be highest. Read More


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June 15, 2015

Advisory Group for Human Gene Editing Initiative Named


The National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine have formed an advisory group to counsel the NAS and NAM presidents on their new initiative on human gene editing. The role of the advisory group will be to identify and gather information and advice from the scientific and medical communities that will enable the academies to guide and inform researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the public. Read More


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June 10, 2015

New Report Says U.S. Freight Rail Regulations Outdated, Recommends Modernization Efforts


©snvv/iStock/ThinkstockWhile a 1980 reform law enabled the modernization and stabilization of the U.S. freight railroad industry, federal regulation has not kept pace with the industry's transformation and should be replaced with a system better-suited for today's freight rail system, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council's Transportation Research Board. Current policies designed to protect rail shippers who lack transportation options from excessive rates are not working for shippers of most commodities, including grain. More appropriate, reliable, and usable procedures are needed to resolve these rate disputes without threatening the earnings railroads need to pay for their capital-intensive networks. Read More


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June 8, 2015

Review of FAA's Certification Research Plan


©Comstock Images/Stockbyte/ThinkstockThe FAA's research plan for certifying new technologies into the national airspace system lacks detail and does not demonstrate how integration of aircraft, ground systems, and procedures will occur, says a new National Research Council report.


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June 3, 2015

New Report Finds Some Improvements From D.C. School Reform Efforts, But Gaps in Learning Opportunities, Academic Outcomes, and Oversight Persist


©Stockbyte/ThinkstockWhile there have been some improvements in the public schools of the District of Columbia since a 2007 reform law, significant disparities remain in learning opportunities and academic progress across student groups and the city’s wards, says a new report from the National Research Council. The governance structure does not clearly address monitoring of learning conditions and outcomes for all public school students, nearly half of whom attend charter schools, and the city should create a comprehensive “data warehouse” to better track this information.


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June 2, 2015

Role of Science and Technology Should Be Expanded Throughout Department of State


U.S. State Department, Harry S Truman Building, Washington, D.C.; ©Tom BrakefielGiven the critical role science and technology (S&T) play in a range of foreign policy issues, the U.S. State Department should strengthen and continuously update its S&T capabilities in order to carry out its mission more effectively, says a new report from the National Research Council. A cultural change is needed throughout the department and the American embassies so that S&T competence will be considered equal in importance to language fluency and area expertise as a critical aspect of diplomacy. Read More


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May 18, 2015

National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine Announce Initiative on Human Gene Editing


©ThinkstockThe National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine are launching a major initiative to guide decision making about controversial new research involving human gene editing. Human gene-editing technologies, such as CRISPR-Cas9, may lead to promising new treatments for disease. However, recent experiments to attempt to edit human genes also have raised important questions about the potential risks and ethical concerns of altering the human germline. Future advances are likely to raise new questions.

The initiative will include an international summit this fall to convene researchers and other experts to explore the scientific, ethical, and policy issues associated with human gene-editing research. In addition, a multidisciplinary, international committee will conduct a comprehensive study of the scientific underpinnings and clinical, ethical, legal, and social implications of human gene editing. The committee will consider and recommend standards, guidelines, and practices governing the use of gene-editing technologies in biomedical research and medicine. An advisory group to steer the overall initiative will soon be announced. Read More


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May 11, 2015

NAE Elects Foreign Secretary and Four Council Members


Ruth A. David, NAE's foreign secretaryThe National Academy of Engineering has elected Ruth A. David, recently retired president and chief executive officer of Analytic Services Inc. (ANSER), to a four-year term as foreign secretary. David previously served as councillor from 2007 to 2013.

Also elected to NAE's governing council for three-year terms are Anita K. Jones, university professor emerita at the University of Virginia; Richard H. Truly, retired vice admiral in the U.S. Navy and retired director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Wanda A. Austin, president and chief executive officer of The Aerospace Corporation; and John L. Anderson, president of Illinois Institute of Technology. All terms begin July 1.


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May 1, 2015

FAA Should 'Reset Expectations' for Next Generation Air Transportation System


©Stockbyte/ThinkstockThe original vision for the Next Generation Air Transportation System is not what is being implemented today, and the Federal Aviation Administration should "reset expectations" for the program meant to modernize and transform the national airspace, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council. The report recommends that FAA adopt a system architecture that supports decision making and provides a foundation for managing changes in technology and operations, and says it should incorporate cybersecurity and unmanned aircraft into its planning and design. Read More


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April 30, 2015

Prime Minister of Japan Speaks at U.S. National Academy of Sciences


Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo AbeNAS President Ralph J. Cicerone hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a breakfast meeting this morning with several U.S. leaders in the fields of science, engineering, and medicine. The meeting was co-hosted by Koji Omi, founder and chairman of the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum, which holds a global conference of researchers, policymakers, and business leaders each year in Kyoto, Japan. Read More


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April 29, 2015

Science Academies of G7 Nations Call for Action on Antibiotic Resistance, Tropical Diseases, and the Future of the Ocean


Handover of the G7 statements to chancellor Merkel. Image: David Ausserhofer for the Leopoldina.Today the national science academies of the G7 countries issued three statements to their respective governments for discussion during the G7 summit to be held in Germany this June. The papers on antibiotic resistance, neglected and poverty-related diseases, and the future of the ocean were drawn up by the seven national academies under the aegis of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Read More


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April 29, 2015

Phasing in Aquifer Storage and Recovery in the Everglades Could Help Answer Remaining Questions


©Jupiterimages/Stockbyte/ThinkstockAlthough uncertainties about ecological impacts are too great to justify near-term, large-scale implementation of aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) in the Everglades, ASR could be phased in to answer several important scientific questions and provide some early restoration benefits, says a report from the National Research Council. The report reviews a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District. Read More


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April 28, 2015

IOM to Become National Academy of Medicine


(left to right) C.D. Mote Jr., Victor Dzau, and Ralph Cicerone; photo by Cable RisdonToday, the membership of the National Academy of Sciences voted to change the name of the Institute of Medicine to the National Academy of Medicine. Today's vote amends the NAS constitution to change the name effective July 1, 2015.

This change is part of a broader internal reorganization to more effectively integrate the work of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Reports and studies on health and medicine will continue uninterrupted as activities of the Institute of Medicine, which will become one of the six program units operating under the direction of the integrated academies. The newly named National Academy of Medicine will continue to be an honorific society that inherits the more than 1,900 current elected members and foreign associates of the IOM. Read More


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In Focus Winter 2014

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View the latest Report to Congress that details the National Academies' work for 2014.