April 8 - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory physicists announced the discovery of a “bump” in data that, if verified, could signify the existence of a new particle or force of nature -- or even be evidence of an unexpected form of the hypothetical Higgs boson particle. The finding stems from one of two experiments conducted at Fermi’s Tevatron, which collides beams of protons and antiprotons moving at energies of nearly 1 trillion electron volts. If the other experiment finds the same data bump, the result could be the most significant physics discovery in decades.
April 7 - Richard Alley, a geologist at Penn State and NAS member, is the host of a new three-part series on PBS about climate science and sustainable energy solutions. An advance screening of "EARTH: The Operators' Manual," the first program in the series, was held at the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the NAS in Washington, D.C. It shows the viewer evidence of climate change in locations around our planet and highlights sustainable energy options that are available today. The companion website for the series offers educational materials, quizzes, and frequently asked questions answered by Alley.
March 31 - Today leaders from the business and academic communities issued a letter to President Obama and congressional leadership calling for bipartisan action to rein in the growing national deficit, as well as for investments in education and research that will support innovation and job creation over the long term. Such steps have been recommended by several reports from the Academies, including Choosing the Nation’s Fiscal Future and Rising Above the Gathering Storm, as well as an update of the latter report released last year. Among those who signed the letter was Charles Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering.
March 16 - The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that traffic fatalities in 2010 fell to their lowest levels since 1949 despite a significant increase in the number of miles that Americans drove during the year. The number of traffic fatalities fell 3 percent between 2009 and 2010 -- from 33,808 to 32,788.