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An emerging body of research suggests that a set of broad "21st century skills"--such as adaptability, complex communication skills, and the ability to solve non-routine problems--are valuable across a wide range of jobs in the national economy. However, the role of K-12 education in helping students learn these skills is a subject of current debate. Some business and education groups have advocated infusing 21st century skills into the school curriculum, and several states have launched such efforts. Other observers argue that focusing on skills detracts attention from learning of important content knowledge. To explore these issues, the National Research Council conducted a workshop, summarized in this volume, on science education as a context for development of 21st century skills. Science is seen as a promising context because it is not only a body of accepted knowledge, but also involves processes that lead to this knowledge. Engaging students in scientific processes--including talk and argument, modeling and representation, and learning from investigations--builds science proficiency. At the same time, this engagement may develop 21st century skills. Exploring the Intersection of Science Education and 21st Century Skills addresses key questions about the overlap between 21st century skills and scientific content and knowledge; explores promising models or approaches for teaching these abilities; and reviews the evidence about the transferability of these skills to real workplace applications.
Now more than ever, biology has the potential to contribute practical solutions to many of the major challenges confronting the United States and the world. A New Biology for the 21st Century recommends that a "New Biology" approach--one that depends on greater integration within biology, and closer collaboration with physical, computational, and earth scientists, mathematicians and engineers--be used to find solutions to four key societal needs: sustainable food production, ecosystem restoration, optimized biofuel production, and improvement in human health. The approach calls for a coordinated effort to leverage resources across the federal, private, and academic sectors to help meet challenges and improve the return on life science research in general.
Modern transportation allows people, animals, and plants--and the pathogens they carry--to travel more easily than ever before. The ease and speed of travel, tourism, and international trade connect once-remote areas with one another, eliminating many of the geographic and cultural barriers that once limited the spread of disease. Because of our global interconnectedness through transportation, tourism and trade, infectious diseases emerge more frequently; spread greater distances; pass more easily between humans and animals; and evolve into new and more virulent strains. The IOM's Forum on Microbial Threats hosted the workshop "Globalization, Movement of Pathogens (and Their Hosts) and the Revised International Health Regulations" December 16-17, 2008 in order to explore issues related to infectious disease spread in a "borderless" world. Participants discussed the global emergence, establishment, and surveillance of infectious diseases; the complex relationship between travel, trade, tourism, and the spread of infectious diseases; national and international policies for mitigating disease movement locally and globally; and obstacles and opportunities for detecting and containing these potentially wide-reaching and devastating diseases. This document summarizes the workshop.
Ensuring that the food provided to children in schools is consistent with current dietary recommendations is an important national focus. Various laws and regulations govern the operation of school meal programs. In 1995, Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements were put in place to ensure that all meals offered would be high in nutritional quality. School Meals reviews and provides recommendations to update the nutrition standard and the meal requirements for the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. The recommendations reflect new developments in nutrition science, increase the availability of key food groups in the school meal programs, and allow these programs to better meet the nutritional needs of children, foster healthy eating habits, and safeguard children's health. School Meals sets standards for menu planning that focus on food groups, calories, saturated fat, and sodium and that incorporate Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes. This book will be used as a guide for school food authorities, food producers, policy leaders, state/local governments, and parents.
The United States has the highest per capita spending on health care of any industrialized nation but continually lags behind other nations in health care outcomes including life expectancy and infant mortality. National health expenditures are projected to exceed $2.5 trillion in 2009. Given healthcare's direct impact on the economy, there is a critical need to control health care spending. According to The Health Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes, the costs of health care have strained the federal budget, and negatively affected state governments, the private sector and individuals. Healthcare expenditures have restricted the ability of state and local governments to fund other priorities and have contributed to slowing growth in wages and jobs in the private sector. Moreover, the number of uninsured has risen from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008. The Health Imperative: Lowering Costs and Improving Outcomes identifies a number of factors driving expenditure growth including scientific uncertainty, perverse economic and practice incentives, system fragmentation, lack of patient involvement, and under-investment in population health. Experts discussed key levers for catalyzing transformation of the delivery system. A few included streamlined health insurance regulation, administrative simplification and clarification and quality and consistency in treatment. The book is an excellent guide for policymakers at all levels of government, as well as private sector healthcare workers.
The influenza pandemic caused by the 2009 H1N1 virus underscores the immediate and critical need to prepare for a public health emergency in which thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people suddenly seek and require medical care in communities across the United States. Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations draws from a broad spectrum of expertise--including state and local public health, emergency medicine and response, primary care, nursing, palliative care, ethics, the law, behavioral health, and risk communication--to offer guidance toward establishing standards of care that should apply to disaster situations, both naturally occurring and manmade, under conditions in which resources are scarce. Guidance for Establishing Crisis Standards of Care for Use in Disaster Situations explores two case studies that illustrate the application of the guidance and principles laid out in the report. One scenario focuses on a gradual-onset pandemic flu. The other scenario focuses on an earthquake and the particular issues that would arise during a no-notice event. Outlining current concepts and offering guidance, this book will prove an asset to state and local public health officials, healthcare facilities, and professionals in the development of systematic and comprehensive policies and protocols for standards of care in disasters where resources are scarce. In addition, the extensive "operations" section of the book provides guidance to clinicians, healthcare institutions, and state and local public health officials for how those crisis standards of care should be implemented in a disaster situation.
Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas summarizes the information gathered at a workshop held February 5-6, 2009, in Austin, Texas. At this workshop, committee members met with Texas lawmakers, public officials, and community leaders to exchange ideas and to view first-hand strategies that are being implemented effectively at the state and local levels to prevent and reverse childhood obesity. Texas leaders at the workshop expressed the strong belief that the state's economic vitality and security depend on the health of its population. Accordingly, the state is no longer simply describing the personal, community, and financial costs of its obesity crisis; it is taking proactive steps to address the problem through strategic initiatives. An overarching strategy is to address obesity by targeting the state's youth, in whom it may be possible to instill healthy behaviors and lifestyles to last a lifetime. A guiding principle of these efforts is that they should be evidence based, community specific, sustainable, cost-effective, and supported by effective partnerships. Moreover, the goal is for the responsibility to be broadly shared by individuals, families, communities, and the public and private sectors.
Intangible Assets: Measuring and Enhancing their Contribution to Corporate Value and Economic Growthby National Research Council of the National Academies
Intangible assets--which include computer software, research and development (R&D), intellectual property, workforce training, and spending to raise the efficiency and brand identification of firms--comprise a subset of services, which, in turn, accounts for three-quarters of all economic activity. Increasingly, intangibles are a principal driver of the competitiveness of U.S.-based firms, economic growth, and opportunities for U.S. workers. Yet, despite these developments, many intangible assets are not reported by companies, and, in the national economic accounts, they are treated as expenses rather than investments. On June 23, 2008, a workshop was held to examine measurement of intangibles and their role in the U.S. and global economies. The workshop, summarized in the present volume, included discussions of a range of policy-relevant topics, including: what intangibles are and how they work; the variety and scale of emerging markets in intangibles; and what the government's role should be in supporting markets and promoting investment in intangibles.
Global Sources of Local Pollution: An Assessment of Long-Range Transport of Key Air Pollutants to and from the United Statesby National Research Council of the National Academies
Recent advances in air pollution monitoring and modeling capabilities have made it possible to show that air pollution can be transported long distances and that adverse impacts of emitted pollutants cannot be confined to one country or even one continent. Pollutants from traffic, cooking stoves, and factories emitted half a world away can make the air we inhale today more hazardous for our health. The relative importance of this "imported" pollution is likely to increase, as emissions in developing countries grow, and air quality standards in industrial countries are tightened. Global Sources of Local Pollution examines the impact of the long-range transport of four key air pollutants (ozone, particulate matter, mercury, and persistent organic pollutants) on air quality and pollutant deposition in the United States. It also explores the environmental impacts of U.S. emissions on other parts of the world. The book recommends that the United States work with the international community to develop an integrated system for determining pollution sources and impacts and to design effective response strategies. This book will be useful to international, federal, state, and local policy makers responsible for understanding and managing air pollution and its impacts on human health and well-being.
U.S. Navy personnel who work on submarines are in an enclosed and isolated environment for days or weeks at a time when at sea. Unlike a typical work environment, they are potentially exposed to air contaminants 24 hours a day. To protect workers from potential adverse health effects due to those conditions, the U.S. Navy has established exposure guidance levels for a number of contaminants. The Navy asked a subcommittee of the National Research Council (NRC) to review, and develop when necessary, exposure guidance levels for specific contaminants. This volume, the third in a series, recommends 1-hour and 24-hour emergency exposure guidance levels (EEGLs) and 90-day continuous exposure guidance levels (CEGLs) for acetaldehyde, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, and propylene glycol dinitrate.
Improving the Measurement of Late-Life Disability in Population Surveys: Beyond ADLs and IADLs - Summary of a Workshopby National Research Council of the National Academies
Improving the Measurement of Late-Life Disability in Population Surveys summarizes a workshop organized to draw upon recent advances to improve the measurement of physical and cognitive disability in population surveys of the elderly population. The book questions whether or not the measures of activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living used in many population surveys are sufficient as the primary survey-based indicators of late-life disability. If not, should they be refined or should they be supplemented by other measures of disability in surveys? If yes, in what ways should disability measures be changed or modified to produce population estimates of late-life disability and to monitor trends? The book also discusses what further research is needed to advance this effort.
Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8: Building a Village in Californiaby National Academy Of Sciences National Academy of Engineering of the National Academies
K-8 science education in California (as in many other parts of the country) is in a state of crisis. K-8 students in California spend too little time studying science, many of their teachers are not well prepared in the subject, and the support system for science instruction has deteriorated. A proliferation of overly detailed standards and poorly conceived assessments has trivialized science education. And all these problems are likely to intensify: an ongoing fiscal crisis in the state threatens further cutbacks, teacher and administrator layoffs, and less money for professional development. A convocation held on April 29-30, 2009, sought to confront the crisis in California science education, particularly at the kindergarten through eighth grade level. The convocation, summarized in this volume, brought together key stakeholders in the science education system to enable and facilitate an exploration of ways to more effectively, efficiently, and collectively support, sustain, and communicate across the state concerning promising research and practices in K-8 science education and how such programs can be nurtured by communities of stakeholders.
The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida, containing extensive freshwater wetlands, numerous large lakes, a wide estuarine channel, and a correspondingly diverse array of native flora and fauna. Water resource management in the river's watershed is the responsibility of the St. Johns River Water Management District (the District). The District must provide water for the region's 4.4 million residents as well as numerous industrial and agricultural users, all while protecting natural systems within the river basin. With population growth in the watershed expected to surpass 7.2 million in 2030, the District, through its water resources planning process, has begun to identify alternative sources of water beyond its traditional groundwater sources, including the potential withdrawal of 262 million gallons per day from the St. Johns River. To more comprehensively evaluate the environmental impacts of withdrawing this water from the river, the District embarked on a two-year Water Supply Impact Study (WSIS), and requested the involvement of the National Research Council. The present volume reviews the Phase I work of the WSIS and provides recommendations for improving Phase II.
The symposia, held in April and July 2009, were part of an ongoing program to analyze and evaluate state and local incentives to attract manufacturing. Representatives of producers of photovoltaics, congressional staff, academics, industry analysts, and representatives from relevant government agencies discussed opportunities and challenges facing photovoltaic manufacturing in the US, national and international consortia, the economics of photovoltaics in the US, flex display as the next generation, state and regional innovation initiatives, the Department of Energy advancing solar technologies, contributions from other federal agencies, intermediating institutions, and building a solar photovoltaic roadmap. The summary is not indexed. Annotation Â©2012 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Biometric recognition--the automated recognition of individuals based on their behavioral and biological characteristic--is promoted as a way to help identify terrorists, provide better control of access to physical facilities and financial accounts, and increase the efficiency of access to services and their utilization. Biometric recognition has been applied to identification of criminals, patient tracking in medical informatics, and the personalization of social services, among other things. In spite of substantial effort, however, there remain unresolved questions about the effectiveness and management of systems for biometric recognition, as well as the appropriateness and societal impact of their use. Moreover, the general public has been exposed to biometrics largely as high-technology gadgets in spy thrillers or as fear-instilling instruments of state or corporate surveillance in speculative fiction. Now, as biometric technologies appear poised for broader use, increased concerns about national security and the tracking of individuals as they cross borders have caused passports, visas, and border-crossing records to be linked to biometric data. A focus on fighting insurgencies and terrorism has led to the military deployment of biometric tools to enable recognition of individuals as friend or foe. Commercially, finger-imaging sensors, whose cost and physical size have been reduced, now appear on many laptop personal computers, handheld devices, mobile phones, and other consumer devices. Biometric Recognition: Challenges and Opportunities addresses the issues surrounding broader implementation of this technology, making two main points: first, biometric recognition systems are incredibly complex, and need to be addressed as such. Second, biometric recognition is an inherently probabilistic endeavor. Consequently, even when the technology and the system in which it is embedded are behaving as designed, there is inevitable uncertainty and risk of error. This book elaborates on these themes in detail to provide policy makers, developers, and researchers a comprehensive assessment of biometric recognition that examines current capabilities, future possibilities, and the role of government in technology and system development.
The U.S. Capitol Complex in Washington, D.C., comprises some of the most historic and symbolic buildings in the nation. The steam and chilled water required to heat and cool these buildings and related equipment is generated and distributed by the Capitol Power Plant (CPP) district energy system. Portions of the CPP system are now 50 to 100 years old and require renewal so that reliable utility services can be provided to the U.S. Capitol Complex for the foreseeable future. Evaluation of Future Strategic and Energy Efficient Options for the U.S. Capitol Power Plant provides comments on an interim set of publicly available consultant-generated options for the delivery of utility services to the U.S. Capitol Complex. The report provides recommendations to bring the interim options to completion, including suggestions for additional analyses, so that the CPP can be best positioned to meet the future strategic and energy efficiency requirements of the U.S. Capitol Complex.
Examination of the U.S. Air Force's Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Workforce Needs in the Future and its Strategy to Meet Those Needsby National Research Council of the National Academies
The Air Force requires technical skills and expertise across the entire range of activities and processes associated with the development, fielding, and employment of air, space, and cyber operational capabilities. The growing complexity of both traditional and emerging missions is placing new demands on education, training, career development, system acquisition, platform sustainment, and development of operational systems. While in the past the Air Force's technologically intensive mission has been highly attractive to individuals educated in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, force reductions, ongoing military operations, and budget pressures are creating new challenges for attracting and managing personnel with the needed technical skills. Assessments of recent development and acquisition process failures have identified a loss of technical competence within the Air Force (that is, in house or organic competence, as opposed to contractor support) as an underlying problem. These challenges come at a time of increased competition for technical graduates who are U.S. citizens, an aging industry and government workforce, and consolidations of the industrial base that supports military systems. In response to a request from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Science, Technology, and Engineering, the National Research Council conducted five fact-finding meetings at which senior Air Force commanders in the science and engineering, acquisition, test, operations, and logistics domains provided assessments of the adequacy of the current workforce in terms of quality and quantity.
Construction productivity--how well, how quickly, and at what cost buildings and infrastructure can be constructed--directly affects prices for homes and consumer goods and the robustness of the national economy. Industry analysts differ on whether construction industry productivity is improving or declining. Still, advances in available and emerging technologies offer significant opportunities to improve construction efficiency substantially in the 21st century and to help meet other national challenges, such as environmental sustainability. Advancing the Competitiveness and Efficiency of the U.S. Construction Industry identifies five interrelated activities that could significantly improve the quality, timeliness, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability of construction projects. These activities include widespread deployment and use of interoperable technology applications; improved job-site efficiency through more effective interfacing of people, processes, materials, equipment, and information; greater use of prefabrication, preassembly, modularization, and off-site fabrication techniques and processes; innovative, widespread use of demonstration installations; and effective performance measurement to drive efficiency and support innovation. The book recommends that the National Institute of Standards and Technology work with industry leaders to develop a collaborative strategy to fully implement and deploy the five activities
Evaluation of NSF's Program of Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE)by Committee to Evaluate the NSF's Vertically Integrated Grants for Research and Education (VIGRE) Program
In 1998, the National Science Foundation (NSF) launched a program of Grants for Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE). These grants were designed for institutions with PhD-granting departments in the mathematical sciences, for the purpose of developing high-quality education programs, at all levels, that are vertically integrated with the research activities of these departments. To date, more than 50 departments at 40 institutions have received VIGRE awards. As requested by NSF, the present volume reviews the goals of the VIGRE program and evaluates how well the program is designed to address those goals. The book considers past and current practices for assessing the VIGRE program; draws tentative conclusions about the program's achievements based on the data collected to date; and evaluates NSF's plans for future data-driven assessments. In addition, critical policy and programmatic changes for the program are identified, with recommendations for how to address these changes.
Beginning in 2006, the Census Bureau embarked on a program to reengineer the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to reduce its costs and improve data quality and timeliness. The Bureau also requested the National Academies to consider the advantages and disadvantages of strategies for linking administrative records and survey data, taking account of the accessibility of relevant administrative records, the operational feasibility of linking, the quality and usefulness of the linked data, and the ability to provide access to the linked data while protecting the confidentiality of individual respondents. In response, this volume first examines the history of SIPP and reviews the survey's purpose, value, strengths, and weaknesses. The book examines alternative uses of administrative records in a reengineered SIPP and, finally, considers innovations in SIPP design and data collection, including the proposed use of annual interviews with an event history calendar.
Applications of Social Network Analysis for Building Community Disaster Resilience: Workshop Summaryby National Research Council of the National Academies
Social Network Analysis (SNA) is the identification of the relationships and attributes of members, key actors, and groups that social networks comprise. The National Research Council, at the request of the Department of Homeland Security, held a two-day workshop on the use of SNA for the purpose of building community disaster resilience. The workshop, summarized in this volume, was designed to provide guidance to the DHS on a potential research agenda that would increase the effectiveness of SNA for improving community disaster resilience. The workshop explored the state of the art in SNA and its applications in the identification, construction, and strengthening of networks within U.S. communities. Workshop participants discussed current work in SNA focused on characterizing networks; the theories, principles and research applicable to the design or strengthening of networks; the gaps in knowledge that prevent the application of SNA to the construction of networks; and research areas that could fill those gaps. Elements of a research agenda to support the design, development, and implementation of social networks for the specific purpose of strengthening community resilience against natural and human-made disasters were discussed.
As the public health threat of childhood obesity has become clear, the issue has become the focus of local, state, and national initiatives. Many of these efforts are centered on the community environment in recognition of the role of environmental factors in individual behaviors related to food and physical activity. In many communities, for example, fresh produce is not available or affordable, streets and parks are not amenable to exercise, and policies and economic choices make fast food cheaper and more convenient than healthier alternatives. Community efforts to combat obesity vary in scope and scale; overall, however, they remain fragmented, and little is known about their effectiveness. At the local level, communities are struggling to determine which obesity prevention programs to initiate and how to evaluate their impact. In this context, the Institute of Medicine held two workshops to inform current work on obesity prevention in children through input from individuals who are actively engaged in community- and policy-based obesity prevention programs. Community perspectives were elicited on the challenges involved in undertaking policy and programmatic interventions aimed at preventing childhood obesity, and on approaches to program implementation and evaluation that have shown promise. Highlights of the workshop presentations and discussions are presented in this volume.
Today in the United States, the professional health workforce is not consistently prepared to provide high quality health care and assure patient safety, even as the nation spends more per capita on health care than any other country. The absence of a comprehensive and well-integrated system of continuing education (CE) in the health professions is an important contributing factor to knowledge and performance deficiencies at the individual and system levels. To be most effective, health professionals at every stage of their careers must continue learning about advances in research and treatment in their fields (and related fields) in order to obtain and maintain up-to-date knowledge and skills in caring for their patients. Many health professionals regularly undertake a variety of efforts to stay up to date, but on a larger scale, the nation's approach to CE for health professionals fails to support the professions in their efforts to achieve and maintain proficiency. Redesigning Continuing Education in the Health Professions illustrates a vision for a better system through a comprehensive approach of continuing professional development, and posits a framework upon which to develop a new, more effective system. The book also offers principles to guide the creation of a national continuing education institute.
The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) was formed in 1998 to provide an independent source of advanced aeronautical and space concepts that could dramatically impact how NASA develops and conducts its missions. Until the program's termination in August 2007, NIAC provided an independent open forum, a high-level point of entry to NASA for an external community of innovators, and an external capability for analysis and definition of advanced aeronautics and space concepts to complement the advanced concept activities conducted within NASA. Throughout its 9-year existence, NIAC inspired an atmosphere for innovation that stretched the imagination and encouraged creativity. As requested by Congress, this volume reviews the effectiveness of NIAC and makes recommendations concerning the importance of such a program to NASA and to the nation as a whole, including the proper role of NASA and the federal government in fostering scientific innovation and creativity and in developing advanced concepts for future systems. Key findings and recommendations include that in order to achieve its mission, NASA must have, and is currently lacking, a mechanism to investigate visionary, far-reaching advanced concepts. Therefore, a NIAC-like entity should be reestablished to fill this gap.
During geologic spans of time, Earth's shifting tectonic plates, atmosphere, freezing water, thawing ice, flowing rivers, and evolving life have shaped Earth's surface features. The resulting hills, mountains, valleys, and plains shelter ecosystems that interact with all life and provide a record of Earth surface processes that extend back through Earth's history. Despite rapidly growing scientific knowledge of Earth surface interactions, and the increasing availability of new monitoring technologies, there is still little understanding of how these processes generate and degrade landscapes. Landscapes on the Edge identifies nine grand challenges in this emerging field of study and proposes four high-priority research initiatives. The book poses questions about how our planet's past can tell us about its future, how landscapes record climate and tectonics, and how Earth surface science can contribute to developing a sustainable living surface for future generations.
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