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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)--recognizing that information and insights gained through continual examination of practices for organizational assessment are useful for decision makers at organizations across the deferral, industrial, academic, and national laboratory sectors-recently requested that the National Research Council (NRC) organize a panel to review best practices in assessment of research and development (R&D) organizations. In response, the NRC established the Panel for Review of Best Practices in Assessment of Research and Development Organizations. The panel was charged to consider means of assessing the following in a manner that satisfies the requirements of NIST to perform effective assessments but also identifies assessment methods that can be applied selectively to other R&D organizations. These methods include: technical merit and quality of the science and engineering work, the adequacy of the resources available to support high-quality work, the effectiveness of the agency's delivery of the services and products required to fulfill its goals, the degree to which the agency's current and planned R&D portfolio supports its mission, as well as the agency's flexibility to respond to changing economic, political, social and technological contexts. As one means of data gathering, among others that the panel is performing toward development of a final report of its findings, the panel organized a planning committee for a workshop on best practices in assessment of R&D organizations. Best Practices in Assessment of Research and Development Organizations: Summary of a Workshop reviews the workshop conducted at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, D.C., on March 19, 2012.
Is rapid world population growth actually coming to an end? As population growth and its consequences have become front-page issues, projections of slowing growth from such institutions as the United Nations and the World Bank have been called into question. Beyond Six Billion asks what such projections really say, why they say it, whether they can be trusted, and whether they can be improved. The book includes analysis of how well past U.N. and World Bank projections have panned out, what errors have occurred, and why they have happened.Focusing on fertility as one key to accurate projections, the committee examines the transition from high, constant fertility to low fertility levels and discusses whether developing countries will eventually attain the very low levels of births now observed in the industrialized world. Other keys to accurate projections, predictions of lengthening life span and of the impact of international migration on specific countries, are also explored in detail.How good are our methods of population forecasting? How can we cope with the inevitable uncertainty? What population trends can we anticipate? Beyond Six Billion illuminates not only the forces that shape population growth but also the accuracy of the methods we use to quantify these forces and the uncertainty surrounding projections.The Committee on Population was established by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1983 to bring the knowledge and methods of the population sciences to bear on major issues of science and public policy. The committee's work includes both basic studies of fertility, health and mortality, and migration; and applied studies aimed at improving programs for the public health and welfare in the United States and in developing countries. The committee also fosters communication among researchers in different disciplines and countries and policy makers in government, international agencies, and private organizations. The work of the committee is made possible by funding from several government agencies and private foundations.
In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) approached the National Research Council's TIGER standing committee and asked it to develop a list of workshop topics to explore the impact of emerging science and technology. From the list of topics given to DIA, three were chosen to be developed by the Committee for Science and Technology Challenges to U.S. National Security Interests. The first in a series of three workshops was held on April 23-24, 2012. This report summarizes that first workshop which explored the phenomenon known as big data. The objective for the first workshop is given in the statement of task, which explains that that workshop will review emerging capabilities in large computational data to include speed, data fusion, use, and commodification of data used in decision making. The workshop will also review the subsequent increase in vulnerabilities over the capabilities gained and the significance to national security. The committee devised an agenda that helped the committee, sponsors, and workshop attendees probe issues of national security related to so-called big data, as well as gain understanding of potential related vulnerabilities. The workshop was used to gather data that is described in this report, which presents views expressed by individual workshop participants. Big Data: A Workshop Report is the first in a series of three workshops, held in early 2012 to further the ongoing engagement among the National Research Council's (NRC's) Technology Insight-Gauge, Evaluate, and Review (TIGER) Standing Committee, the scientific and technical intelligence (S&TI) community, and the consumers of S&TI products.
Petroleum-based industrial products have gradually replaced products derived from biological materials. However, biologically based products are making a comeback--because of a threefold increase in farm productivity and new technologies.Biobased Industrial Products envisions a biobased industrial future, where starch will be used to make biopolymers and vegetable oils will become a routine component in lubricants and detergents.Biobased Industrial Products overviews the U.S. land resources available for agricultural production, summarizes plant materials currently produced, and describes prospects for increasing varieties and yields.The committee discusses the concept of the biorefinery and outlines proven and potential thermal, mechanical, and chemical technologies for conversion of natural resources to industrial applications.The committee also illustrates the developmental dynamics of biobased products through existing examples, as well as products still on the drawing board, and it identifies priorities for research and development.
During July 10-13, 2011, 68 participants from 32 countries gathered in Istanbul, Turkey for a workshop organized by the United States National Research Council on Anticipating Biosecurity Challenges of the Global Expansion of High-containment Biological Laboratories. The United States Department of State's Biosecurity Engagement Program sponsored the workshop, which was held in partnership with the Turkish Academy of Sciences. The international workshop examined biosafety and biosecurity issues related to the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of high-containment biological laboratories- equivalent to United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention biological safety level 3 or 4 labs. Although these laboratories are needed to characterize highly dangerous human and animal pathogens, assist in disease surveillance, and produce vaccines, they are complex systems with inherent risks. Biosecurity Challenges of the Global Expansion of High-Containment Biological Laboratories summarizes the workshop discussion, which included the following topics: Technological options to meet diagnostic, research, and other goals; Laboratory construction and commissioning; Operational maintenance to provide sustainable capabilities, safety, and security; and Measures for encouraging a culture of responsible conduct. Workshop attendees described the history and current challenges they face in their individual laboratories. Speakers recounted steps they were taking to improve safety and security, from running training programs to implementing a variety of personnel reliability measures. Many also spoke about physical security, access controls, and monitoring pathogen inventories. Workshop participants also identified tensions in the field and suggested possible areas for action.
The 1993 regulation (Part 503 Rule) governing the land application of biosolids was established to protect public health and the environment from reasonably anticipated adverse effects. Included in the regulation are chemical pollutant limits, operational standards designed to reduce pathogens and the attraction of disease vectors, and management practices. This report from the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology evaluates the technical methods and approaches used by EPA to establish those standards and practices, focusing specifically on human health protection. The report examines improvements in risk-assessment practices and advances in the scientific database since promulgation of the regulation, and makes recommendations for addressing public health concerns, uncertainties, and data gaps about the technical basis of the biosolids standards.
The Blast Mitigation for Structures Program (BMSP) is a research and development activity conducted by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to improve the performance of buildings that are targets of terrorist attack. The primary goal of the BMSP is to reduce loss of life and injuries to the occupants of these buildings through the development of innovative techniques for new structures and retrofitting existing facilities. The committee's findings and recommendations are contained in this initial assessment report.
The scientific work of women is often viewed through a national or regional lens, but given the growing worldwide connectivity of most, if not all, scientific disciplines, there needs to be recognition of how different social, political, and economic mechanisms impact women's participation in the global scientific enterprise. Although these complex sociocultural factors often operate in different ways in various countries and regions, studies within and across nations consistently show inverse correlations between levels in the scientific and technical career hierarchy and the number of women in science: the higher the positions, the fewer the number of women. Understanding these complex patterns requires interdisciplinary and international approaches. In April 2011, a committee overseen by the National Academies' standing Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM) convened a workshop entitled, "Blueprint for the Future: Framing the Issues of Women in Science in a Global Context" in Washington, D.C. CWSEM's goals are to coordinate, monitor, and advocate action to increase the participation of women in science, engineering, and medicine. The scope of the workshop was limited to women's participation in three scientific disciplines: chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and statistics. The workshop presentations came from a group of scholars and professionals who have been working for several years on documenting, analyzing, and interpreting the status of women in selected technical fields around the world. Examination of the three disciplines-chemistry, computer science, and mathematics and statistics-can be considered a first foray into collecting and analyzing information that can be replicated in other fields. The complexity of studying science internationally cannot be underestimated, and the presentations demonstrate some of the evidentiary and epistemological challenges that scholars and professionals face in collecting and analyzing data from many different countries and regions. Blueprint for the Future: Framing the Issues of Women in Science in a Global Context summarizes the workshop presentations, which provided an opportunity for dialogue about the issues that the authors have been pursuing in their work to date.
Immigration enforcement is carried out by a complex legal and administrative system, operating under frequently changing legislative mandates and policy guidance, with authority and funding spread across several agencies in two executive departments and the courts. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for conducting immigration enforcement both at the border and in the United States; the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is responsible for conducting immigration removal procedures and criminal trials and for prosecuting people charged with immigration-related crimes. DOJ confronts at least five technical challenges to modeling its resource needs for immigration enforcement that are specific to the immigration enforcement system. Despite the inherent limitations, budgeting for immigration enforcement can be improved by changing the method for budgeting. Budgeting for Immigration Enforcement addresses how to improve budgeting for the federal immigration enforcement system, specifically focusing on the parts of that system that are operated and funded by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The report recommends that DOJ establish policy-level procedures to plan and coordinate policy planning and implementation to improve performance of the immigration enforcement system. The report also recommends that DOJ and DHS accelerate their design of an integrated capacity to track cases and project immigration enforcement activity. Policy makers and others who are interested in how the nation's immigration enforcement system is organized and operates also will find it useful.
A look at any newspaper's employment section suggests that competition for qualified workers in information technology (IT) is intense. Yet even experts disagree on not only the actual supply versus demand for IT workers but also on whether the nation should take any action on this economically important issue.Building a Workforce for the Information Age offers an in-depth look at IT. workers-where they work and what they do-and the policy issues they inspire. It also illuminates numerous areas that have been questioned in political debates: Where do people in IT jobs come from, and what kind of education and training matter most for them? Are employers' and workers' experiences similar or different in various parts of the country? How do citizens of other countries factor into the U.S. IT workforce? What do we know about IT career paths, and what does that imply for IT workers as they age? And can we measure what matters? The committee identifies characteristics that differentiate IT work from other categories of high-tech work, including an informative contrast with biotechnology. The book also looks at the capacity of the U.S. educational system and of employer training programs to produce qualified workers.
Capability Planning and Analysis to Optimize Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Investmentsby National Research Council Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences Committee on Examination of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Capability Planning and Analysis (CPA&A) Process Air Force Studies Board
Intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities have expanded situation awareness for U.S. forces, provided for more precise combat effects, and enabled better decision making both during conflicts and in peacetime, and reliance on ISR capabilities is expected to increase in the future. ISR capabilities are critical to 3 of the 12 Service Core Functions of the U.S. Air Force: namely, Global Integrated ISR (GIISR) and the ISR components of Cyberspace Superiority and Space Superiority, and contribute to all others. In response to a request from the Air Force for ISR and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering, the National Research Council formed the Committee on Examination of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Capability Planning and Analysis (CP&A) Process. In this report, the committee reviews the current approach to the Air Force corporate planning and programming process for ISR capability generation; examines carious analytical methods, processes, and models for large-scale, complex domains like ISR; and identifies the best practices for the Air Force. In Capability Planning and Analysis to Optimize Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Investments, the current approach is analyzed and the best practices for the Air Force corporate planning and programming processed for ISR are recommended. This report also recommends improvements and changes to existing analytical tools, methods, roles and responsibilities, and organization and management that would be required to ensure the Air Force corporate planning and programming process for ISR is successful in addressing all Joint, National, and Coalition partner's needs.
Capitalizing on New Needs and New Opportunities: Government-Industry Partnerships in Biotechnology and Information Technologiesby National Research Council Technology Board On Science Economic Policy
This report addresses a topic of recognized policy concern. To capture the benefits of substantial U.S. investments in biomedical R&D, parallel investments in a wide range of seemingly unrelated disciplines are also required. This report summarizes a major conference that reviewed our nation’s R&D support for biotechnology and information technologies. The volume includes newly commissioned research and makes recommendations and findings concerning the important relationship between information technologies and biotechnology. It emphasizes the fall off in R&D investments needed to sustain the growth of the U.S. economy and to capitalize on the growing investment in biomedicine. It also encourages greater support for inter-disciplinary training to support new areas such as bioinformatics and urges more emphasis on and support for multi-disciplinary research centers.
information on Carbon Filtration For Reducing Emissions From Chemical Agent Incineration
Based on a workshop held in February 2000, this volume contains 14 essays written by members of the Committee on Population of the National Research Council. Expressing a wide range of views, contributors address the issues and prospects involved in large population-based household surveys, focusing on whether they should consider instituting the collection of such biological materials as blood or urine, physiological measurements such as blood pressure, and environmental measurements such as cadmium exposure or radon levels, in addition to the usual demographic, socioeconomic, and health data. Annotation c. Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
New 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 exploratory research to better understand how the natural environment functions, and problem-driven research, to meet needs such as flood protection, supply of drinking water, irrigation, and water pollution. Collaboration among hydrologists, engineers, and scientists in other disciplines will be central to meeting the interdisciplinary research challenges outline in this report. New technological capabilities in remote sensing, chemical analysis, computation, and hydrologic modeling will help scientists leverage new research opportunities.
Several positive and negative lifelong behaviors are established during adolescence including diet and exercise, sexual conduct, practices related to oral health, smoking, drinking, and the use if legal and illegal substances. The complex issues that adolescents deal with on a daily basis can turn into health problems that persist throughout adulthood. Unfortunately the adolescents who are frequently the most disconnected from routine health care services - those who lack insurance and family support - are often those at greatest risk for multiple and chronic health problems. Therefore, those that are responsible for delivering health care services to adolescents must address the health conditions that require immediate attention while preparing young people to adopt practices that can help improve their future health status and prevent unhealthy behaviors. Challenges in Adolescent Health Care studies adolescent health care in the United States, highlights critical health care needs, and identifies service models and components of care that may strengthen and improve health care services, settings, and systems for adolescents. The book explores the nature of adolescent challenges and how they reflect larger societal issues such as poverty, crime and the prevalence of violence. These issues, in addition to lack of comprehensive health coverage, dysfunctional families and the lack of support systems, make providing adequate health care incredibly challenging. Challenges in Adolescent Health Care defines high-quality health care, identifies the strengths and weaknesses of various service models and explores various training programs. The book recommends that health care providers must be sensitive to socioeconomic factors and incorporate health care in a broad array of settings including schools, neighborhoods and community centers.
Small particles are ubiquitous in the natural and built worlds and have tremendous impact throughout. However, a lack of understanding about the properties and chemical composition of small particles limits our ability to predict, and control their applications and impacts. Challenges in Characterizing Small Particles: Exploring Particles from the Nano- to Microscales summarizes presentations and discussions at a 2010 National Academies roundtable. Speakers at this roundtable discussed the crucial types of information that need to be determined about small particles in different media. They also explored the critical importance of small particles in environmental science, materials and chemical sciences, biological science, and engineering, and the many challenges involved in characterizing materials at the nano- and microscales. The discussions on characterization included static, dynamic, experimental, computational, and theoretical characterization. The workshop also included several "research tool" presentations that highlighted new advances in characterizing small particles.
Chemistry graduate education is under considerable pressure. Pharmaceutical companies, long a major employer of synthetic organic chemists, are drastically paring back their research divisions to reduce costs. Chemical companies are opening new research and development facilities in Asia rather than in the United States to take advantage of growing markets and trained workforces there. Universities, especially public universities, are under significant fiscal constraints that threaten their ability to hire new faculty members. Future federal funding of chemical research may be limited as the federal budget tightens. All of these trends have major consequences for the education of chemistry graduate students in U.S. universities. To explore and respond to these intensifying pressures, the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology held a workshop in Washington, DC, on January 23-24 2012, titled "Graduate Education in Chemistry in the Context of a Changing Environment." The workshop brought together representatives from across the chemical enterprise, representing leaders and future leaders of academia, industry, and government. The goal of the workshop was not to come to conclusions, but to have an open and frank discussion about critical issues affecting chemistry graduate education, such as the attraction and retainment of the most able students to graduate education, financial stressors on the current support model and their implications for the future model, competencies needed in the changing job market for Ph.D. chemists, and competencies needed to address societal problems such as energy and sustainability. Challenges in Chemistry Graduate Education: A Workshop Summary is organized into six chapters and summarizes the workshop on "Graduate Education in Chemistry in the Context of a Changing Environment."
Although there is great debate about how work is changing, there is a clear consensus that changes are fundamental and ongoing. The Changing Nature of Work examines the evidence for change in the world of work. The committee provides a clearly illustrated framework for understanding changes in work and these implications for analyzing the structure of occupations in both the civilian and military sectors.This volume explores the increasing demographic diversity of the workforce, the fluidity of boundaries between lines of work, the interdependent choices for how work is structured-and ultimately, the need for an integrated systematic approach to understanding how work is changing. The book offers a rich array of data and highlighted examples on: Markets, technology, and many other external conditions affecting the nature of work.Research findings on American workers and how they feel about work.Downsizing and the trend toward flatter organizational hierarchies.Autonomy, complexity, and other aspects of work structure. The committee reviews the evolution of occupational analysis and examines the effectiveness of the latest systems in characterizing current and projected changes in civilian and military work. The occupational structure and changing work requirements in the Army are presented as a case study.
The threat of domestic terrorism today looms larger than ever. Bombings at the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City's Federal Building, as well as nerve gas attacks in Japan, have made it tragically obvious that American civilians must be ready for terrorist attacks. What do we need to know to help emergency and medical personnel prepare for these attacks? Chemical and Biological Terrorism identifies the R&D efforts needed to implement recommendations in key areas: pre-incident intelligence, detection and identification of chemical and biological agents, protective clothing and equipment, early recognition that a population has been covertly exposed to a pathogen, mass casualty decontamination and triage, use of vaccines and pharmaceuticals, and the psychological effects of terror. Specific objectives for computer software development are also identified. The book addresses the differences between a biological and chemical attack, the distinct challenges to the military and civilian medical communities, and other broader issues. This book will be of critical interest to anyone involved in civilian preparedness for terrorist attack: planners, administrators, responders, medical professionals, public health and emergency personnel, and technology designers and engineers.
Immigrant children and youth are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, and so their prospects bear heavily on the well-being of the country. Children of Immigrants represents some of the very best and most extensive research efforts to date on the circumstances, health, and development of children in immigrant families and the delivery of health and social services to these children and their families.This book presents new, detailed analyses of more than a dozen existing datasets that constitute a large share of the national system for monitoring the health and well-being of the U.S. population. Prior to these new analyses, few of these datasets had been used to assess the circumstances of children in immigrant families. The analyses enormously expand the available knowledge about the physical and mental health status and risk behaviors, educational experiences and outcomes, and socioeconomic and demographic circumstances of first- and second-generation immigrant children, compared with children with U.S.-born parents.
Children&#39s health has clearly improved over the past several decades. Significant and positive gains have been made in lowering rates of infant mortality and morbidity from infectious diseases and accidental causes, improved access to health care, and reduction in the effects of environmental contaminants such as lead. Yet major questions still remain about how to assess the status of children's health, what factors should be monitored, and the appropriate measurement tools that should be used. Children's Health, the Nation's Wealth: Assessing and Improving Child Health provides a detailed examination of the information about children's health that is needed to help policy makers and program providers at the federal, state, and local levels. In order to improve children's health -- and, thus, the health of future generations -- it is critical to have data that can be used to assess both current conditions and possible future threats to children's health. This compelling book describes what is known about the health of children and what is needed to expand the knowledge. By strategically improving the health of children, we ensure healthier future generations to come.
A mismatch between the federal government's revenues and spending, now and in the foreseeable future, requires heavy borrowing, leading to a large and increasing federal debt. That increasing debt raises a serious challenge to all of the goals that various people expect their government to pursue. It also raises questions about the nation's future wealth and whether too much debt could lead to higher interest rates and even to loss of confidence in the nation's long-term ability and commitment to honor its obligations. Many analysts have concluded that the trajectory of the federal budget set by current policies cannot be sustained. In light of these projections, Choosing the Nation's Fiscal Future assesses the options and possibilities for a sustainable federal budget. This comprehensive book considers a range of policy changes that could help put the budget on a sustainable path: reforms to reduce the rate of growth in spending for Medicare and Medicaid; options to reduce the growth rate of Social Security benefits or raise payroll taxes; and changes in many other government spending programs and tax policies. The book also examines how the federal budget process could be revised to be more far sighted and to hold leaders accountable for responsible stewardship of the nation's fiscal future. Choosing the Nation's Fiscal Future will provide readers with a practical framework to assess budget proposals for their consistency with long-term fiscal stability. It will help them assess what policy changes they want, consistent with their own values and their views of the proper role of the government and within the constraints of a responsible national budget. It will show how the perhaps difficult but possible policy changes could be combined to produce a wide range of budget scenarios to bring revenues and spending into alignment for the long term. This book will be uniquely valuable to everyone concerned about the current and projected fiscal health of the nation.
Information on Classifying Drinking Water Contaminants for Regulatory Consideration
The National Science Education Standards address not only what students should learn about science but also how their learning should be assessed. How do we know what they know?This accompanying volume to the Standards focuses on a key kind of assessment: the evaluation that occurs regularly in the classroom, by the teacher and his or her students as interacting participants. As students conduct experiments, for example, the teacher circulates around the room and asks individuals about their findings, using the feedback to adjust lessons plans and take other actions to boost learning.Focusing on the teacher as the primary player in assessment, the book offers assessment guidelines and explores how they can be adapted to the individual classroom. It features examples, definitions, illustrative vignettes, and practical suggestions to help teachers obtain the greatest benefit from this daily evaluation and tailoring process. The volume discusses how classroom assessment differs from conventional testing and grading-and how it fits into the larger, comprehensive assessment system.