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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."
Public Engagement on Facilitating Access to Antiviral Medications and Information in an Influenza Pandemicby Institute of Medicine Bruce M. Altevogt Board on Health Sciences Policy Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events Barbara Fain Kristin Viswanathan
Influenza pandemics overwhelm health care systems with thousands or hundreds of thousands of sick patients, as well as those worried they may be sick. In order to ensure a successful response to the patient swell caused by a pandemic, robust planning is essential to prepare for challenges public health officials may face. This includes the need to quickly distribute and dispense antiviral medications that can reduce the severity and duration of disease to large numbers of people. In response to a request from the Centers for Disease Control, the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events held a series of workshops that explored the public's perception of how to facilitate access to antiviral medications and treatment during an influenza pandemic. To help inform potential strategies still in the development stages at the CDC, workshops were held in Fort Benton, Montana; Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Los Angeles, California during February and March 2012 to consider the usefulness of several alternative strategies of delivering antiviral medication to the public. Participants considered how the normal systems for prescribing and dispensing antiviral medications could be adjusted to ensure that the public has quick, safe, and equitable access to both potentially life-saving drugs and information about the pandemic and treatment options. This document summarizes the workshops.
Evolution is the central unifying theme of biology. Yet today, more than a century and a half after Charles Darwin proposed the idea of evolution through natural selection, the topic is often relegated to a handful of chapters in textbooks and a few class sessions in introductory biology courses, if covered at all. In recent years, a movement has been gaining momentum that is aimed at radically changing this situation. On October 25-26, 2011, the Board on Life Sciences of the National Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences held a national convocation in Washington, DC, to explore the many issues associated with teaching evolution across the curriculum. Thinking Evolutionarily: Evolution Education Across the Life Sciences: Summary of a Convocation summarizes the goals, presentations, and discussions of the convocation. The goals were to articulate issues, showcase resources that are currently available or under development, and begin to develop a strategic plan for engaging all of the sectors represented at the convocation in future work to make evolution a central focus of all courses in the life sciences, and especially into introductory biology courses at the college and high school levels, though participants also discussed learning in earlier grades and life-long learning. Thinking Evolutionarily: Evolution Education Across the Life Sciences: Summary of a Convocation covers the broader issues associated with learning about the nature, processes, and limits of science, since understanding evolutionary science requires a more general appreciation of how science works. This report explains the major themes that recurred throughout the convocation, including the structure and content of curricula, the processes of teaching and learning about evolution, the tensions that can arise in the classroom, and the target audiences for evolution education.
NASA's exploration of planets and satellites during the past 50 years has led to the discovery of traces of water ice throughout the solar system and prospects for large liquid water reservoirs beneath the frozen ICE shells of multiple satellites of the giant planets of the outer solar system. During the coming decades, NASA and other space agencies will send flybys, orbiters, subsurface probes, and, possibly, landers to these distant worlds in order to explore their geologic and chemical context. Because of their potential to harbor alien life, NASA will select missions that target the most habitable outer solar system objects. This strategy poses formidable challenges for mission planners who must balance the opportunity for exploration with the risk of contamination by Earth's microbes, which could confuse the interpretation of data obtained from these objects. The 2000 NRC report Preventing the Forward Contamination of Europa provided a criterion that was adopted with prior recommendations from the Committee on Space Research of the International Council for Science. This current NRC report revisits and extends the findings and recommendations of the 2000 Europa report in light of recent advances in planetary and life sciences and, among other tasks, assesses the risk of contamination of icy bodies in the solar system.
Research Universities and the Future of America presents critically important strategies for ensuring that our nation's research universities contribute strongly to America's prosperity, security, and national goals. Widely considered the best in the world, our nation's research universities today confront significant financial pressures, important advances in technology, a changing demographic landscape, and increased international competition. This report provides a course of action for ensuring our universities continue to produce the knowledge, ideas, and talent the United States needs to be a global leader in the 21st century. Research Universities and the Future of America focuses on strengthening and expanding the partnership among universities and government, business, and philanthropy that has been central to American prosperity and security. The report focuses on the top 10 actions that Congress, the federal government, state governments, research universities, and others could take to strengthen the research and education missions of our research universities, their relationships with other parts of the national research enterprise, and their ability to transfer new knowledge and ideas to those who productively use them in our society and economy. This report examines trends in university finance, prospects for improving university operations, opportunities for deploying technology, and improvement in the regulation of higher education institutions. It also explores ways to improve pathways to graduate education, take advantage of opportunities to increase student diversity, and realign doctoral education for the careers new doctorates will follow. Research Universities and the Future of America is an important resource for policy makers on the federal and state levels, university administrators, philanthropic organizations, faculty, technology transfer specialists, libraries, and researchers.
Advances in computing hardware and algorithms have dramatically improved the ability to simulate complex processes computationally. Today's simulation capabilities offer the prospect of addressing questions that in the past could be addressed only by resource-intensive experimentation, if at all. Assessing the Reliability of Complex Models recognizes the ubiquity of uncertainty in computational estimates of reality and the necessity for its quantification. As computational science and engineering have matured, the process of quantifying or bounding uncertainties in a computational estimate of a physical quality of interest has evolved into a small set of interdependent tasks: verification, validation, and uncertainty of quantification (VVUQ). In recognition of the increasing importance of computational simulation and the increasing need to assess uncertainties in computational results, the National Research Council was asked to study the mathematical foundations of VVUQ and to recommend steps that will ultimately lead to improved processes. Assessing the Reliability of Complex Models discusses changes in education of professionals and dissemination of information that should enhance the ability of future VVUQ practitioners to improve and properly apply VVUQ methodologies to difficult problems, enhance the ability of VVUQ customers to understand VVUQ results and use them to make informed decisions, and enhance the ability of all VVUQ stakeholders to communicate with each other. This report is an essential resource for all decision and policy makers in the field, students, stakeholders, UQ experts, and VVUQ educators and practitioners.
In October 2005, the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine released a policy report that served as a call to action. The report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future observed that "the scientific and technological building blocks critical to the United States economic leadership are eroding at a time when many other nations are gathering strength." The report laid out 20 recommendations in four broad areas - K-12 education, science and engineering research, higher education, and economic and technology policy - and warned that a failure to take action could have dire economic consequences. Rising Above the Gathering Storm sparked intense discussion among policy makers, industrial leaders, and the general public. Five years after the release of the Gathering Storm report, a second report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5, assessed changes in America's competitive posture. This report concluded that "our nation's outlook has not improved, but rather has worsened" since the Gathering Storm report was released. The report noted examples of other nations that have upgraded their investments in education, technological infrastructure, and innovation systems to a greater extent than has the United States. The ability of the states to drive innovation was the impetus behind a major workshop held in Madison, Wisconsin, on September 20-22, 2011. Titled "Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Developing Regional Innovation Environments," the workshop brought together leaders in education, government, economic development, and industrial innovation to discuss state and regional initiatives to boost competitiveness through science, technology, and innovation. The conference was organized around four major themes: - Revitalizing K-12 Science and Mathematics Education - Strengthening Undergraduate Education in Science and Engineering - Building Effective Partnerships Among Governments, Universities, Companies, and Other Stakeholders - Fostering Regional Technology Development and Entrepreneurship Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Developing Regional Innovation Environments: A Workshop Summary gives an overview of the presentations, observations, and recommendations made during the workshop.
In the five decades since NASA was created, the agency has sustained its legacy from the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) in playing a major role in U.S. aeronautics research and has contributed substantially to United States preeminence in civil and military aviation. This preeminence has contributed significantly to the overall economy and balance of trade of the United States through the sales of aircraft throughout the world. NASA's contributions have included advanced flight control systems, de-icing devices, thrust-vectoring systems, wing fuselage drag reduction configurations, aircraft noise reduction, advanced transonic airfoil and winglet designs, and flight systems. Each of these contributions was successfully demonstrated through NASA flight research programs. Equally important, the aircraft industry would not have adopted these and similar advances without NASA flight demonstration on full-scale aircraft flying in an environment identical to that which the aircraft are to operate-in other words, flight research. Flight research is a tool, not a conclusion. It often informs simulation and modeling and wind tunnel testing. Aeronautics research does not follow a linear path from simulation to wind tunnels to flying an aircraft. The loss of flight research capabilities at NASA has therefore hindered the agency's ability to make progress throughout its aeronautics program by removing a primary tool for research. Recapturing NASA's Aeronautics Flight Research Capabilities discusses the motivation for NASA to pursue flight research, addressing the aspects of the committee's task such as identifying the challenges where research program success can be achieved most effectively through flight research. The report contains three case studies chosen to illustrate the state of NASA ARMD. These include the ERA program and the Fundamental Research Program's hypersonics and supersonics projects. Following these case studies, the report describes issues with the NASA ARMD organization and management and offers solutions. In addition, the chapter discusses current impediments to progress, including demonstrating relevancy to stakeholders, leadership, and the lack of focus relative to available resources. Recapturing NASA's Aeronautics Flight Research Capabilities concludes that the type and sophistication of flight research currently being conducted by NASA today is relatively low and that the agency's overall progress in aeronautics is severely constrained by its inability to actually advance its research projects to the flight research stage, a step that is vital to bridging the confidence gap. NASA has spent much effort protecting existing research projects conducted at low levels, but it has not been able to pursue most of these projects to the point where they actually produce anything useful. Without the ability to actually take flight, NASA's aeronautics research cannot progress, cannot make new discoveries, and cannot contribute to U.S. aerospace preeminence.
Review of the EPA's Economic Analysis of Final Water Quality Standards for Lakes and Flowing Waters in Floridaby Committee to Review EPA's Economic Analysis of Final Water Quality Standards for Nutrients for Lakes Flowing Waters in Florida
The Environmental Protection Agency's estimate of the costs associated with implementing numeric nutrient criteria in Florida's waterways was significantly lower than many stakeholders expected. This discrepancy was due, in part, to the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency's analysis considered only the incremental cost of reducing nutrients in waters it considered "newly impaired" as a result of the new criteria-not the total cost of improving water quality in Florida. The incremental approach is appropriate for this type of assessment, but the Environmental Protection Agency's cost analysis would have been more accurate if it better described the differences between the new numeric criteria rule and the narrative rule it would replace, and how the differences affect the costs of implementing nutrient reductions over time, instead of at a fixed time point. Such an analysis would have more accurately described which pollutant sources, for example municipal wastewater treatment plants or agricultural operations, would bear the costs over time under the different rules and would have better illuminated the uncertainties in making such cost estimates.
The mathematical sciences are part of everyday life. Modern communication, transportation, science, engineering, technology, medicine, manufacturing, security, and finance all depend on the mathematical sciences. Fueling Innovation and Discovery describes recent advances in the mathematical sciences and advances enabled by mathematical sciences research. It is geared toward general readers who would like to know more about ongoing advances in the mathematical sciences and how these advances are changing our understanding of the world, creating new technologies, and transforming industries. Although the mathematical sciences are pervasive, they are often invoked without an explicit awareness of their presence. Prepared as part of the study on the Mathematical Sciences in 2025, a broad assessment of the current state of the mathematical sciences in the United States, Fueling Innovation and Discovery presents mathematical sciences advances in an engaging way. The report describes the contributions that mathematical sciences research has made to advance our understanding of the universe and the human genome. It also explores how the mathematical sciences are contributing to healthcare and national security, and the importance of mathematical knowledge and training to a range of industries, such as information technology and entertainment. Fueling Innovation and Discovery will be of use to policy makers, researchers, business leaders, students, and others interested in learning more about the deep connections between the mathematical sciences and every other aspect of the modern world. To function well in a technologically advanced society, every educated person should be familiar with multiple aspects of the mathematical sciences.
The scientific and technological progress in inertial confinement fusion has been substantial during the past decade. However, many of the technologies needed for an integrated inertial fusion energy system are still at an early stage of technological maturity. For all approaches to inertial fusion energy there remain critical scientific and engineering challenges. In this interim report of the study An Assessment of the Prospects for Inertial Fusion Energy, the Committee on the Prospects for Inertial Confinement Fusion Energy Systems outlines their preliminary conclusions and recommendations of the feasibility of inertial fusion energy. The committee also describes its anticipated next steps as it prepares its final report.
The "homeland" security mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is paradoxical: Its mission space is uniquely focused on the domestic consequences of security threats, but these threats may be international in origin, organization, and implementation. The DHS is responsible for the domestic security implications of threats to the United States posed, in part, through the global networks of which the United States is a part. While the security of the U.S. air transportation network could be increased if it were isolated from connections to the larger international network, doing so would be a highly destructive step for the entire fabric of global commerce and the free movement of people. Instead, the U.S. government, led by DHS, is taking a leadership role in the process of protecting the global networks in which the United States participates. These numerous networks are both real (e.g., civil air transport, international ocean shipping, postal services, international air freight) and virtual (the Internet, international financial payments system), and they have become vital elements of the U.S. economy and civil society. Export Control Challenges Associated with Securing the Homeland found that outdated regulations are not uniquely responsible for the problems that export controls post to DHS, although they are certainly an integral part of the picture. This report also explains that the source of these problems lies within a policy process that has yet to take into account the unique mission of DHS relative to export controls. Export Control Challenges Associated with Securing the Homeland explains the need by the Department of Defense and State to recognize the international nature of DHS's vital statutory mission, the need to further develop internal processes at DHS to meet export control requirements and implement export control policies, as well as the need to reform the export control interagency process in ways that enable DHS to work through the U.S. export control process to cooperate with its foreign counterparts.
The three National Security Laboratories--Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)--are managed by private-sector entities under contract to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The FY2010 Defense Authorization Act mandated that NNSA task the National Research Council (NRC) to study the quality and management of Science and Engineering (S&E) at these Laboratories. This study (addressing a total of 5 tasks) is being conducted in two phases. This report covers the first phase, which addresses the relationship between the quality of the science and engineering at the Laboratory and the contract for managing and operating the Laboratory (task 4), and also addresses the management of work conducted by the Laboratory for entities other than the Department of Energy (task 5). The study's second phase will evaluate the actual quality of S&E in key subject areas. Managing for High-Quality Science and Engineering at the NNSA National Security Laboratories presents assessments of the evolution of the mission of the NNSA Labs and the management and performance of research in support of the missions, and the relationship between the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program and the ability of the Labs to fulfill their mission. The report examines the framework for managing science and engineering research at the Labs and provides an analysis of the relationships among the several players in the management of the Labs--the NNSA, the site offices, the contractors, and the Lab managers--and the effect of that relationship on the Laboratories' ability to carry out science and engineering research.
The Chemical Sciences Roundtable (CSR) was established in 1997 by the National Research Council (NRC). It provides a science oriented apolitical forum for leaders in the chemical sciences to discuss chemistry-related issues affecting government, industry, and universities. Organized by the National Research Council's Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, the CSR aims to strengthen the chemical sciences by fostering communication among the people and organizations - spanning industry, government, universities, and professional associations - involved with the chemical enterprise. One way it does this is by organizing workshops that address issues in chemical science and technology that require national attention. In September 2011, the CSR organized a workshop on the topic, "The Role of Chemical Sciences in Finding Alternatives to Critical Resources." The one-and-a-half-day workshop addressed key topics, including the economic and political matrix, the history of societal responses to key mineral and material shortages, the applications for and properties of existing minerals and materials, and the chemistry of possible replacements. The workshop featured several presentations highlighting the importance of critical nonfuel mineral and material resources in history, catalysis, agriculture, and electronic, magnetic, and optical applications. The Role of the Chemical Sciences in Finding Alternatives to Critical Resources: A Workshop Summary explains the presentations and discussions that took place at the workshop. In accordance with the policies of the NRC, the workshop did not attempt to establish any conclusions or recommendations about needs and future directions, focusing instead on issues identified by the speakers.
Many studies during the past few decades have sought to determine whether the death penalty has any deterrent effect on homicide rates. Researchers have reached widely varying, even contradictory, conclusions. Some studies have concluded that the threat of capital punishment deters murders, saving large numbers of lives; other studies have concluded that executions actually increase homicides; still others, that executions have no effect on murder rates. Commentary among researchers, advocates, and policymakers on the scientific validity of the findings has sometimes been acrimonious. Against this backdrop, the National Research Council report Deterrence and the Death Penalty assesses whether the available evidence provides a scientific basis for answering questions of if and how the death penalty affects homicide rates. This new report from the Committee on Law and Justice concludes that research to date on the effect of capital punishment on homicide rates is not useful in determining whether the death penalty increases, decreases, or has no effect on these rates. The key question is whether capital punishment is less or more effective as a deterrent than alternative punishments, such as a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Yet none of the research that has been done accounted for the possible effect of noncapital punishments on homicide rates. The report recommends new avenues of research that may provide broader insight into any deterrent effects from both capital and noncapital punishments.
The United States is responsible for nearly one-fifth of the world's energy consumption. Population growth, and the associated growth in housing, commercial floor space, transportation, goods, and services is expected to cause a 0.7 percent annual increase in energy demand for the foreseeable future. The energy used by the commercial and residential sectors represents approximately 40 percent of the nation's total energy consumption, and the share of these two sectors is expected to increase in the future. The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) and Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) are two major surveys conducted by the Energy Information Administration. The surveys are the most relevant sources of data available to researchers and policy makers on energy consumption in the commercial and residential sectors. Many of the design decisions and operational procedures for the CBECS and RECS were developed in the 1970s and 1980s, and resource limitations during much of the time since then have prevented EIA from making significant changes to the data collections. Effective Tracking of Building Energy Use makes recommendations for redesigning the surveys based on a review of evolving data user needs and an assessment of new developments in relevant survey methods.
The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES), at the U.S. National Foundation, is 1 of 14 major statistical agencies in the federal government, of which at least 5 collect relevant information on science, technology, and innovation activities in the United States and abroad. The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 expanded and codified NCSES's role as a U.S. federal statistical agency. Important aspects of the agency's mandate include collection, acquisition, analysis, and reporting and dissemination of data on research and development trends, on U.S. competitiveness in science, technology, and research and development, and on the condition and progress of U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Improving Measures of Science, Technology and Innovation: Interim Report examines the status of the NCSES's science, technology, and innovation (STI) indicators. This report assesses and provides recommendations regarding the need for revised, refocused, and newly developed indicators designed to better reflect fundamental and rapid changes that are reshaping global science, technology and innovation systems. The book also determines the international scope of STI indicators and the need for developing new indicators that measure developments in innovative activities in the United States and abroad, and Offers foresight on the types of data, metrics and indicators that will be particularly influential in evidentiary policy decision-making for years to come. In carrying out its charge, the authoring panel undertook a broad and comprehensive review of STI indicators from different countries, including Japan, China, India and several countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa. Improving Measures of Science, Technology, and Innovation makes recommendations for near-term action by NCSES along two dimensions: (1) development of new policy-relevant indicators that are based on NCSES survey data or on data collections at other statistical agencies; and (2) exploration of new data extraction and management tools for generating statistics, using automated methods of harvesting unstructured or scientometric data and data derived from administrative records.
In the past several years, some energy technologies that inject or extract fluid from the Earth, such as oil and gas development and geothermal energy development, have been found or suspected to cause seismic events, drawing heightened public attention. Although only a very small fraction of injection and extraction activities among the hundreds of thousands of energy development sites in the United States have induced seismicity at levels noticeable to the public, understanding the potential for inducing felt seismic events and for limiting their occurrence and impacts is desirable for state and federal agencies, industry, and the public at large. To better understand, limit, and respond to induced seismic events, work is needed to build robust prediction models, to assess potential hazards, and to help relevant agencies coordinate to address them. Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies identifies gaps in knowledge and research needed to advance the understanding of induced seismicity; identify gaps in induced seismic hazard assessment methodologies and the research to close those gaps; and assess options for steps toward best practices with regard to energy development and induced seismicity potential.
In the last 25 years, a major shift has occurred in the field of violence prevention, from the assumption that violence is inevitable to the realization that violence is preventable. As we learn more about what works to reduce violence, the challenge facing those who work in the field is how to use all of this new information to rapidly deploy or enhance new programs. At the same time, new communications technologies and distribution channels have altered traditional means of communications, and have made community-based efforts to prevent violence possible by making information readily available. How can these new technologies be successfully applied to the field of violence prevention? On December 8-9, 2011, the IOM's Forum on Global Violence Prevention held a workshop to explore the intersection of violence prevention and information and communications technology. The workshop - called "mPreventViolence" - provided an opportunity for practitioners to engage in new and innovative thinking concerning these two fields with the goal of bridging gaps in language, processes, and mechanisms. The workshop focused on exploring the potential applications of technology to violence prevention, drawing on experience in development, health, and the social sector as well as from industry and the private sector. Communication and Technology for Violence Prevention: Workshop Summary is the report that fully explains this workshop.
Recent research suggests that obesity and excess weight can play a prominent role in the incidence and progression of various cancers. Obesity results from an energy imbalance - that is, energy intake that is higher than energy expenditure - could also influence the growth of cancers. Recognizing the impact that current findings on obesity and cancer could have on future cancer prevention and care, the National Cancer policy Forum (NCPF) of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) help a 2-day workshop on "The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence," in Washington, DC, on October 31 and November 1, 2011. The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence: Workshop Summary reviews each presenter's latest clinical evidence on the obesity-cancer link and the molecular mechanisms that might explain that link. Clinicians, researchers, cancer survivors, and policy makers also discussed potential interventions to counter the effects of obesity on cancer, and research and policy measures needed to stem the rising tide of cancer mortality predicted by an increasingly overweight and older population worldwide. The Role of Obesity in Cancer Survival and Recurrence: Workshop Summary explores the complex web of molecular mechanisms that underlie the obesity-cancer link, the ways to design future studies to acquire the information needed to guide patient care, what to advise cancer patients about weight loss, diet, exercise, and other measures to reduce their risk of cancer progression or recurrence and policy suggestions related to research, education, and dissemination of the findings on obesity and cancer.
NASA's current missions to the International Space Station (ISS) and potential future exploration missions involving extended stays by astronauts on the lunar surface, as well as the possibility of near- Earth object (NEO) or Mars missions, present challenges in protecting astronauts from radiation risks. These risks arise from a number of sources, including solar particle events (SPEs), galactic cosmic rays (GCRs), secondary radiation from surface impacts, and even the nuclear isotope power sources transported with the astronauts. The serious early and late radiation health effects potentially posed by these exposures are equally varied, ranging from early signs of radiation sickness to cancer induction. Other possible effects include central nervous system damage, cataracts, cardiovascular damage, heritable effects, impaired wound healing, and infertility. Recent research, much of which has been sponsored by NASA, has focused on understanding and quantifying the radiation health risks posed by space radiation environments. Although many aspects of the space radiation environments are now relatively well characterized, important uncertainties still exist regarding biological effects and thus regarding the level and types of risks faced by astronauts. This report presents an evaluation of NASA's proposed space radiation cancer risk assessment model, which is described in the 2011 NASA report, Space Radiation Cancer Risk Projections and Uncertainties--2010. The evaluation in Technical Evaluation of the NASA Model for Cancer Risk to Astronauts Due to Space Radiation considers the model components, input data (for the radiation types, estimated doses, and epidemiology), and the associated uncertainties. This report also identifies gaps in NASA's current research strategy for reducing the uncertainties in cancer induction risks.
A 2010 IOM report, Promoting Cardiovascular Health in the Developing World, found that not only is it possible to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease and related chronic diseases in developing countries, but also that such a reduction will be critical to achieving global health and development goals. As part a series of follow-up activities to the 2010 report, the IOM held a workshop that aimed to identify what is needed to create tools for country-led planning of effective, efficient, and equitable provision of chronic disease control programs.
Natural environments provide enormously valuable, but largely unappreciated, services that aid humans and other earthlings. It is becoming clear that these life-support systems are faltering and failing worldwide due to human actions that disrupt nature's ability to do its beneficial work. Ecosystem Services: Charting a Path to Sustainability documents the National Academies' Keck Futures Initiative Conference on Ecosystem Services. At this conference, participants were divided into 14 interdisciplinary research teams to explore diverse challenges at the interface of science, engineering, and medicine. The teams needed to address the challenge of communicating and working together from a diversity of expertise and perspectives as they attempted to solve a complicated, interdisciplinary problem in a relatively short time. Ecosystem Services: Charting a Path to Sustainability describes how ecosystem services scientists work to document the direct and indirect links between humanity's well-being and the many benefits provided by the natural systems we occupy. This report explains the specific topics the interdisciplinary research teams addressed at the conference, including the following: -how ecosystem services affect infectious and chronic diseases -how to identify what resources can be produced renewably or recovered by developing intense technologies that can be applied on a massive scale -how to develop social and technical capabilities to respond to abrupt changes in ecosystem services -how to design agricultural and aquacultural systems that provide food security while maintaining the full set of ecosystem services needed from landscapes and seascapes -how to design production systems for ecosystem services that improve human outcomes related to food and nutrition -how to develop appropriate methods to accurately value natural capital and ecosystem services -how to design a federal policy to maintain or improve natural capital and ecosystem services within the United States, including measuring and documenting the effectiveness of the policy -how to design a system for international trade that accounts for impacts on ecosystem services -how to develop a program that increases the American public's appreciation of the basic principles of ecosystem services
The U.S. government supports a large, diverse suite of activities that can be broadly characterized as "global change research." Such research offers a wide array of benefits to the nation, in terms of protecting public health and safety, enhancing economic strength and competitiveness, and protecting the natural systems upon which life depends. The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which coordinates the efforts of numerous agencies and departments across the federal government, was officially established in 1990 through the U.S. Global Change Research Act (GCRA). In the subsequent years, the scope, structure, and priorities of the Program have evolved, (for example, it was referred to as the Climate Change Science Program [CCSP] for the years 2002-2008), but throughout, the Program has played an important role in shaping and coordinating our nation's global change research enterprise. This research enterprise, in turn, has played a crucial role in advancing understanding of our changing global environment and the countless ways in which human society affects and is affected by such changes. In mid-2011, a new NRC Committee to Advise the USGCRP was formed and charged to provide a centralized source of ongoing whole-program advice to the USGCRP. The first major task of this committee was to provide a review of the USGCRP draft Strategic Plan 2012-2021 (referred to herein as "the Plan"), which was made available for public comment on September 30, 2011. A Review of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Strategic Plan addresses an array of suggestions for improving the Plan, ranging from relatively small edits to large questions about the Program's scope, goals, and capacity to meet those goals. The draft Plan proposes a significant broadening of the Program's scope from the form it took as the CCSP. Outlined in this report, issues of key importance are the need to identify initial steps the Program will take to actually achieve the proposed broadening of its scope, to develop critical science capacity that is now lacking, and to link the production of knowledge to its use; and the need to establish an overall governance structure that will allow the Program to move in the planned new directions.
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