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On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research

by Institute of Medicine

The scientific research enterprise is built on a foundation of trust. Scientists trust that the results reported by others are valid. Society trusts that the results of research reflect an honest attempt by scientists to describe the world accurately and without bias. But this trust will endure only if the scientific community devotes itself to exemplifying and transmitting the values associated with ethical scientific conduct. On Being a Scientist was designed to supplement the informal lessons in ethics provided by research supervisors and mentors. The book describes the ethical foundations of scientific practices and some of the personal and professional issues that researchers encounter in their work. It applies to all forms of research--whether in academic, industrial, or governmental settings-and to all scientific disciplines. This third edition of On Being a Scientist reflects developments since the publication of the original edition in 1989 and a second edition in 1995. A continuing feature of this edition is the inclusion of a number of hypothetical scenarios offering guidance in thinking about and discussing these scenarios. On Being a Scientist is aimed primarily at graduate students and beginning researchers, but its lessons apply to all scientists at all stages of their scientific careers.

Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Informal science is a burgeoning field that operates across a broad range of venues and envisages learning outcomes for individuals, schools, families, and society. The evidence base that describes informal science, its promise, and effects is informed by a range of disciplines and perspectives, including field-based research, visitor studies, and psychological and anthropological studies of learning. Learning Science in Informal Environments draws together disparate literatures, synthesizes the state of knowledge, and articulates a common framework for the next generation of research on learning science in informal environments across a life span. Contributors include recognized experts in a range of disciplines--research and evaluation, exhibit designers, program developers, and educators. They also have experience in a range of settings--museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, aquariums, zoos, state parks, and botanical gardens. Learning Science in Informal Environments is an invaluable guide for program and exhibit designers, evaluators, staff of science-rich informal learning institutions and community-based organizations, scientists interested in educational outreach, federal science agency education staff, and K-12 science educators.

Review of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Program: An Interim Report

by National Research Council of the National Academies

To meet the objectives of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE), NASA must develop a wide array of enabling technologies. For this purpose, NASA established the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP). Currently, ETDP has 22 projects underway. In the report accompanying the House-passed version of the FY2007 appropriations bill, the agency was directed to request from the NRC an independent assessment of the ETDP. This interim report provides an assessment of each of the 22 projects including a quality rating, an analysis of how effectively the research is being carried out, and the degree to which the research is aligned with the VSE. To the extent possible, the identification and discussion of various cross-cutting issues are also presented. Those issues will be explored and discussed in more detail in the final report.

Changing The Conversation: Messages For Improving Public Understanding Of Engineering

by National Academy of Engineering of the National Academies

Can the United States continue to lead the world in innovation? The answer may hinge in part on how well the public understands engineering, a key component of the “innovation engine.” A related concern is how to encourage young people—particularly girls and under-represented minorities—to consider engineering as a career option. Changing the Conversation provides actionable strategies and market-tested messages for presenting a richer, more positive image of engineering. This book presents and discusses in detail market research about what the public finds most appealing about engineering—as well as what turns the public off. Changing the Conversation is a vital tool for improving the public image of engineering and outreach efforts related to engineering. It will be used by engineers in professional and academic settings including informal learning environments (such as museums and science centers), engineering schools, national engineering societies, technology-based corporations that support education and other outreach to schools and communities, and federal and state agencies and labs that do or promote engineering, technology, and science.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIETIES: International Workshop Proceedings

by National Research Council of the National Academies

In June 2006, seventeen scientists and educators selected by the National Academies, the Academy of Sciences of Iran, and the Académie des Sciences of France held a workshop at the estate of the Fondation des Treilles in Toutour, France, to discuss issues concerning the role of science in the development of modern societies. Science and Technology and the Future Development of Societies includes the presentations made at the workshop and summarizes the discussions that followed the presentations. Topics of the workshop included science and society issues, the role of science and engineering in development; obstacles and opportunities in the application of science and technology to development; scientific thinking of decision makers; management and utilization of scientific knowledge; and science, society, and education. This book also provides useful background for the further development of interactions of Western scientists and educators with Iranian specialists.

Desalination: A National Perspective

by National Research Council of the National Academies

There has been an exponential increase in desalination capacity both globally and nationally since 1960, fueled in part by growing concern for local water scarcity and made possible to a great extent by a major federal investment for desalination research and development. Traditional sources of supply are increasingly expensive, unavailable, or controversial, but desalination technology offers the potential to substantially reduce water scarcity by converting the almost inexhaustible supply of seawater and the apparently vast quantities of brackish groundwater into new sources of freshwater. Desalination assesses the state of the art in relevant desalination technologies, and factors such as cost and implementation challenges. It also describes reasonable long-term goals for advancing desalination technology, posits recommendations for action and research, estimates the funding necessary to support the proposed research agenda, and identifies appropriate roles for governmental and nongovernmental entities.

GULF WAR and HEALTH: UPDATED LITERATURE REVIEW OF DEPLETED URANIUM

by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

The 1991 Persian Gulf War was considered a brief and successful military operation with few injuries and deaths. A large number of returning veterans, however, soon began reporting health problems that they believed to be associated with their service in the gulf. Under a Congressional mandate, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is reviewing a wide array of biologic, chemical, and physical agents to determine if exposure to these agents may be responsible for the veterans' health problems. In a 2000 report, Gulf War and Health, Volume 1: Depleted Uranium, Sarin, Pyridostigmine Bromide, and Vaccines, the IOM concluded that there was not enough evidence to draw conclusions as to whether long-term health problems are associated with exposure to depleted uranium, a component of some military munitions and armor. In response to veterans' ongoing concerns and recent publications in the literature, IOM updated its 2000 report. In this most recent report, Gulf War and Health: Updated Literature Review of Depleted Uranium, the committee concluded that there is still not enough evidence to determine whether exposure to depleted uranium is associated with long-term health problems. The report was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Nasa Aeronautics Research--an Assessment

by National Research Council of the National Academies

In 2006, the NRC published a Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics: Foundation for the Future, which set out six strategic objectives for the next decade of civil aeronautics research and technology. To determine how NASA is implementing the decadal survey, Congress mandated in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act of 2005 that the NRC carry out a review of those efforts. Among other things, this report presents an assessment of how well NASA’s research portfolio is addressing the recommendations and high priority R&T challenges identified in the Decadal Survey; how well NASA’s aeronautic research portfolio is addressing the aeronautics research requirements; and whether the nation will have the skilled workforce and research facilities to meet the first two items.

Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies, from the National Research Council, identifies and explores several specific research areas that have implications for U.S. national security, and should therefore be monitored consistently by the intelligence community. These areas include: neurophysiological advances in detecting and measuring indicators of psychological states and intentions of individuals the development of drugs or technologies that can alter human physical or cognitive abilities advances in real-time brain imaging breakthroughs in high-performance computing and neuronal modeling that could allow researchers to develop systems which mimic functions of the human brain, particularly the ability to organize disparate forms of data. As these fields continue to grow, it will be imperative that the intelligence community be able to identify scientific advances relevant to national security when they occur. To do so will require adequate funding, intelligence analysts with advanced training in science and technology, and increased collaboration with the scientific community, particularly academia. A key tool for the intelligence community, this book will also be a useful resource for the health industry, the military, and others with a vested interest in technologies such as brain imaging and cognitive or physical enhancers.

Opening New Frontiers in Space: Choices for the Next New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The New Frontiers Program was created by NASA in 2002 at the recommendation of the NRC's decadal survey for solar system research. In order to optimize solar system research, the NRC recommended a series of principal-investigator missions that encourage innovation and accomplish the main scientific objectives presented in the survey. Two of the five recommended missions have been selected and, as was also recommended in the survey, the NRC was asked in 2007 to provide criteria and guiding principles to NASA for determining the list of candidate missions. This book presents a review of eight missions: the three remaining from the original list of five from the survey plus five missions considered by the survey committee but which were not recommended. Included in the review of each mission is a discussion of relevant science and technology developments since the survey and set of recommended science goals.

ASSESSING THE IMPACTS OF CHANGES IN THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY R&D ECOSYSTEM: Retaining Leadership in an Increasingly Global Environment

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The U.S. information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) ecosystem was the envy of the world in 1995. However, this position of leadership is not a birthright, and it is now under pressure. In recent years, the rapid globalization of markets, labor pools, and capital flows have encouraged many strong national competitors. During the same period, national policies have not sufficiently buttressed the ecosystem, or have generated side effects that have reduced its effectiveness. As a result, the U.S. position in IT leadership today has materially eroded compared with that of prior decades, and the nation risks ceding IT leadership to other nations within a generation. Assessing the Impacts of Changes in the Information Technology R&D Ecosystem calls for a recommitment to providing the resources needed to fuel U.S. IT innovation, to removing important roadblocks that reduce the ecosystem's effectiveness in generating innovation and the fruits of innovation, and to becoming a lead innovator and user of IT. The book examines these issues and makes recommendations to strengthen the U.S. IT R&D ecosystem.

State Voter Registration Databases: Immediate Actions And Future Improvements

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 requires the states to develop a single, computerized voter registration data base (VRD) that is defined, maintained, and administered at the state level. To help the states with this task, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission asked the NRC to organize a series of workshops and prepare an interim report addressing the challenges in implementing and maintaining state VRDs. The EAC also asked the NRC to advise the states on how to evolve and maintain the databases so that they can share information with each other. This report provides an examination of various challenges to the deployment of state VRDs and describes potential solutions to these challenges. This interim report’s primary focus is on shorter-term recommendations although a number of long-range recommendations are presented. The final report will elaborate on the long-range questions and address considerations about interstate interoperability of the VRDs.

Respiratory Diseases Research at NIOSH: Reviews of Research Programs of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

by National Research Council Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Respiratory diseases caused by exposures to dangerous materials in the workplace have tremendous implications for worker health and, by extension, the national economy. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that deaths from work-related respiratory diseases and cancers account for about 70% of all occupational disease deaths. NIOSH conducts research in order to detect and reduce work-related hazardous exposures, injuries, and diseases; its Respiratory Disease Research Program (RDRP) focuses on respiratory diseases. This National Research Council book reviews the RDRP to evaluate the 1) relevance of its work to improvements in occupational safety and health and 2) the impact of research in reducing workplace respiratory illnesses. The assessment reveals that the program has made essential contributions to preventing occupational respiratory disease. The National Research Council has rated the Program a 5 out of 5 for relevance, and a 4 out of 5 for impact. To further increase its effectiveness, the Respiratory Disease Research Program should continue and expand its current efforts, provide resources for occupational disease surveillance, and include exposure assessment scientists in its activities.

Behavioral Modeling And Simulation: From Individuals To Societies

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Today’s military missions have shifted away from fighting nation states using conventional weapons toward combating insurgents and terrorist networks in a battlespace in which the attitudes and behaviors of civilian noncombatants may be the primary effects of military actions. To support these new missions, the military services are increasingly interested in using models of the behavior of humans, as individuals and in groups of various kinds and sizes. Behavioral Modeling and Simulation reviews relevant individual, organizational, and societal (IOS) modeling research programs, evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the programs and their methodologies, determines which have the greatest potential for military use, and provides guidance for the design of a research program to effectively foster the development of IOS models useful to the military. This book will be of interest to model developers, operational military users of the models and their managers, and government personnel making funding decisions regarding model development.

Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Antarctica is the center from which all surrounding continental bodies separated millions of years ago. Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World, reinforces the importance of continual changes in the country's history and the impact of these changes on global systems. The book also places emphasis on deciphering the climate records in ice cores, geologic cores, rock outcrops and those inferred from climate models. New technologies for the coming decades of geoscience data collection are also highlighted. Antarctica: A Keystone in a Changing World is a collection of papers that were presented by keynote speakers at the 10th International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences. It is of interest to policy makers, researchers and scientific institutions.

IMPROVING DEMOCRACY ASSISTANCE: Building Knowledge Through Evaluations and Research

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Over the past 25 years, the United States has made support for the spread of democracy to other nations an increasingly important element of its national security policy. These efforts have created a growing demand to find the most effective means to assist in building and strengthening democratic governance under varied conditions. Since 1990, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported democracy and governance (DG) programs in approximately 120 countries and territories, spending an estimated total of $8.47 billion (in constant 2000 U.S. dollars) between 1990 and 2005. Despite these substantial expenditures, our understanding of the actual impacts of USAID DG assistance on progress toward democracy remains limited—and is the subject of much current debate in the policy and scholarly communities. This book, by the National Research Council, provides a roadmap to enable USAID and its partners to assess what works and what does not, both retrospectively and in the future through improved monitoring and evaluation methods and rebuilding USAID’s internal capacity to build, absorb, and act on improved knowledge.

Ballistic Imaging

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Ballistic Imaging assesses the state of computer-based imaging technology in forensic firearms identification. The book evaluates the current law enforcement database of images of crime-related cartridge cases and bullets and recommends ways to improve the usefulness of the technology for suggesting leads in criminal investigations. It also advises against the construction of a national reference database that would include images from test-fires of every newly manufactured or imported firearm in the United States. The book also suggests further research on an alternate method for generating an investigative lead to the location where a gun was first sold: “microstamping,” the direct imprinting of unique identifiers on firearm parts or ammunition.

Origin And Evolution Of Earth: Research Questions For A Changing Planet

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Questions about the origin and nature of Earth and the life on it have long preoccupied human thought and the scientific endeavor. Deciphering the planet's history and processes could improve the ability to predict catastrophes like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, to manage Earth's resources, and to anticipate changes in climate and geologic processes. At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Geological Survey, the National Research Council assembled a committee to propose and explore grand questions in geological and planetary science. This book captures, in a series of questions, the essential scientific challenges that constitute the frontier of Earth science at the start of the 21st century.

State Science and Technology Policy Advice: ISSUES, OPPORTUNITIES, AND CHALLENGES

by National Academy Of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

The federal government plays the predominant role in supporting research and development (R&D) and in establishing public policies that affect science and technology (S&T) in the United States. However, the federal government is no longer the sole focus of R&D funding and S&T policy making. State and local policy makers are unquestionably making more and more decisions that affect all of us on a daily basis. With this shift, states have also assumed an increasing responsibility for developing, formalizing, and institutionalizing policies and programs that support R&D and enable S&T evidence and expertise to be incorporated into policy making. These issues were explored during a first-of-its-kind National Convocation organized by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine in collaboration with the National Association of Academies of Science and the California Council on Science and Technology. Scientists, engineers, state policy makers, experts from state regulatory agencies, representatives from foundations, and experts in scientific communication from 20 states and the District of Columbia participated in this event. This report highlights the major themes from the Convocation that emerged from the presentations and from the rich discussions that occurred in both plenary and breakout sessions.

Inspired By Biology: From Molecules To Materials To Machines

by National Research Council of the National Academies

Scientists have long desired to create synthetic systems that function with the precision and efficiency of biological systems. Using new techniques, researchers are now uncovering principles that could allow the creation of synthetic materials that can perform tasks as precise as biological systems. To assess the current work and future promise of the biology-materials science intersection, the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation asked the NRC to identify the most compelling questions and opportunities at this interface, suggest strategies to address them, and consider connections with national priorities such as healthcare and economic growth. This book presents a discussion of principles governing biomaterial design, a description of advanced materials for selected functions such as energy and national security, an assessment of biomolecular materials research tools, and an examination of infrastructure and resources for bridging biological and materials science.

Assessment Of Corrosion Education

by National Research Council of the National Academies

The threat from the degradation of materials in the engineered products that drive our economy, keep our citizenry healthy, and keep us safe from terrorism and belligerent threats has been well documented over the years. And yet little effort appears to have been made to apply the nation's engineering community to developing a better understanding of corrosion and the mitigation of its effects. The engineering workforce must have a solid understanding of the physical and chemical bases of corrosion, as well as an understanding of the engineering issues surrounding corrosion and corrosion abatement. Nonetheless, corrosion engineering is not a required course in the curriculum of most bachelor degree programs in MSE and related engineering fields, and in many programs, the subject is not even available. As a result, most bachelor-level graduates of materials- and design-related programs have an inadequate background in corrosion engineering principles and practices. To combat this problem, the book makes a number of short- and long-term recommendations to industry and government agencies, educational institutions, and communities to increase education and awareness, and ultimately give the incoming workforce the knowledge they need.

CHALLENGES AND SUCCESSES IN REDUCING HEALTH DISPARITIES: Workshop Summary

by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

In early 2007, the Institute of Medicine convened the Roundtable on Health Disparities to increase the visibility of racial and ethnic health disparities as a national problem, to further the development of programs and strategies to reduce disparities, to foster the emergence of leadership on this issue, and to track promising activities and developments in health care that could lead to dramatically reducing or eliminating disparities. The Roundtable’s first workshop, Challenges and Successes in Reducing Health Disparities, was held in St. Louis, Missouri, on July 31, 2007, and examined (1) the importance of differences in life expectancy within the United States, (2) the reasons for those differences, and (3) the implications of this information for programs and policy makers.

Evaluating Research Efficiency in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

by National Research Council of the National Academies

A new book from the National Research Council recommends changes in how the federal government evaluates the efficiency of research at EPA and other agencies. Assessing efficiency should be considered only one part of gauging a program's quality, relevance, and effectiveness. The efficiency of research processes and that of investments should be evaluated using different approaches. Investment efficiency should examine whether an agency's R&D portfolio, including the budget, is relevant, of high quality, matches the agency's strategic plan. These evaluations require panels of experts. In contrast, process efficiency should focus on "inputs" (the people, funds, and facilities dedicated to research) and "outputs" (the services, grants, publications, monitoring, and new techniques produced by research), as well as their timelines and should be evaluated using quantitative measures. The committee recommends that the efficiency of EPA's research programs be evaluated according to the same standards used at other agencies. To ensure this, OMB should train and oversee its budget examiners so that the PART questionnaire is implemented consistently and equitably across agencies.

Diffusion And Use Of Genomic Innovations In Health And Medicine: Workshop Summary

by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Until fairly recently, genetic information was used primarily in the diagnosis of relatively rare genetic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s Disease, but a transformation in the use of genetic and genomic information is underway. While many predictions have been made that genomics will transform medicine, to date few of these promising discoveries have resulted in actual applications in medicine and health. The Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health, established in 2007, held its first workshop to address the following questions: 1. Are there different pathways by which new scientific findings move from the research setting into health care? 2. If so, what are the implications of those different pathways for genomics? 3. What can we learn from the translation of other new technologies as we seek to understand the translation of genome science into health care? Information obtained from the workshop was then used to further discussion and exploration of the answers to these questions. This book summarizes speaker presentations and discussions. Any conclusions reported should not be construed as reflecting a group consensus; rather they are the statements and opinions of presenters and participants.

Design Considerations For Evaluating The Impact Of Pepfar: Workshop Summary

by Institute of Medicine of the National Academies

Design Considerations for Evaluating the Impact of PEPFAR is the summary of a 2-day workshop on methodological, policy, and practical design considerations for a future evaluation of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) interventions carried out under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which was convened by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on April 30 and May 1, 2007. Participants at the workshop included staff of the U.S. Congress; PEPFAR officials and implementers; major multilateral organizations such as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis (The Global Fund), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and the World Bank; representatives from international nongovernmental organizations; experienced evaluation experts; and representatives of partner countries, particularly the PEPFAR focus countries. The workshop represented a final element of the work of the congressionally mandated IOM Committee for the Evaluation of PEPFAR Implementation, which published a report of its findings in 2007 evaluating the first 2 years of implementation, but could not address longer term impact evaluation questions.

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