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VA Needs to Improve Head Injury Disability Evaluation System, Study Finds -, April 15, 2019

Extreme weather continues to batter USA this year: Is global warming to blame? - USA Today, April 15, 2019

Making sense of conflicting studies on oil spill dispersants: coastal news roundup - Times-Picayune, April 12, 2019

New Effort to Prevent Sexual Harassment - Inside Higher Ed, April 11, 2019

Chemical dispersants remain effective tool for cleaning up oil spills, study says - The Times-Picayune, April 6, 2019

Do chemicals that disperse oil spills make the problem worse? Probably not, new study finds - Science, April 5, 2019

Chemical dispersants remain effective tool for cleaning up oil spills, study says - The Times-Picayune, April 6, 2019

There was actually a study to determine if red wolves are wolves. The answer could have doomed them. - Washington Post, April 2, 2019

Government Study Confirms Endangered Red Wolves Are a Separate Species Worthy of Protection - Eco Watch, March 29, 2019

Want to Reduce Opioid Deaths? Get People the Medications They Need - New York Times, March 26, 2019

The future of nursing: Where are we now? - Atlanta Journal Constitution, March 26, 2019

US experts: Medicines for opioid addiction vastly underused - Associated Press, March 20, 2019

Many With Opioid Addiction Don't Get Meds That Can Help - Healthday, March 20, 2019

WHO panel proposes new global registry for all CRISPR human experiments - Science, March 19, 2019

News4 Your Sunday: National Academy of Sciences Family Day - NBC News, March 17, 2019

Moratorium for germline editing splits biologists - Science, March 15, 2019

Report offers roadmap for cutting child poverty in half in a decade - KALW (NPR, San Francisco), March 14, 2019

Scholars call for global moratorium on human gene editing following ‘CRISPR babies’ scandal - MedCity News, March 14, 2019

Overhaul urged for US nuclear weapons cleanup - Chemical & Engineering News, March 7, 2019

Salt Reference Intake Levels Updated - Medpage Today, March 5, 2019

Advice on salt, hidden in an array of foods, gets specific - Associated Press, March 5, 2019

One Step Closer to Reducing Quantum Computing’s Notoriously Troublesome Errors - IEEE Spectrum, March 4, 2019

Proposals from panel led by UCI professor aim to cut nation's childhood poverty by half in a decade - Los Angeles, March 1, 2019

State election officials opt for 2020 voting machines vulnerable to hacking - Politico, March 1, 2019

Report: Child Poverty Could Be Cut In Half Over 10 Years, At A Hefty Price - NPR, Feb. 28, 2019

Report offers plan to cut child poverty in U.S. in half in 10 years - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Feb. 28, 2019

We need to police gene editing. The World Health Organization agrees. - Popular Science, Feb. 25, 2019

Capturing carbon: Can it save us? - Chemical and Engineering News, Feb. 25, 2019

What is ‘safe enough’ for drone deliveries? - Seattle Times, Feb. 22, 2109

Science Versus Pseudo-Science: What Really Works to Prevent Cognitive Decline? - Forbes, Feb. 23, 2019

April 17, 2019

NAM Announces Collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation in the Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge

NAM Announces Collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation in the Healthy LonThe National Academy of Medicine announced yesterday a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation as the principal corporate partner of the Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards in the United States. The Catalyst Awards are part of the Academy's Healthy Longevity Global Grand Challenge, which aims to create a worldwide movement to improve physical, mental, and social well-being for people as they age.

NAM President Victor J. Dzau and Johnson & Johnson's Global Head of External Innovation William N. Hait formally signed the agreement during a ceremony held April 16, 2019, at the National Academy of Sciences building.

April 12, 2019

Co-Chairs of Forensic Science Report Honored by Innocence Network

Co-Chairs of Forensic Science Report Honored by Innocence NetworkHarry T. Edwards and Constantine Gatsonis, co-chairs of the committee that authored the National Academies' 2009 report Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, have been awarded the Innocence Network's 2018 Champion of Justice Award. Judge Edwards accepted the award at the annual conference of the Innocence Network.

The award "was created to honor individuals who go above and beyond in supporting and championing efforts that free the wrongfully convicted, and/or reform the criminal justice system to prevent wrongful convictions. Their work strengthens the integrity of the justice system, is imbued by their sense of fairness and professionalism, and demonstrates a lasting dedication to the fair execution of the law."

The award pays tribute to the National Academies' report on the 10th anniversary of its publication. (See a timeline of report impacts.) In notifying Edwards and Gatsonis about the award, the Innocence Project thanked the committee for the report, "which has truly transformed the state of forensic science and the involvement of the research community in service of criminal justice reform."

April 12, 2019

Cherry Murray and Peggy Hamburg Elected Co-Chairs of IAP

Cherry Murray and Peggy Hamburg Elected Co-Chairs of IAPCherry Murray, a member of NAS and NAE, and Peggy Hamburg, NAM member and foreign secretary, have been elected as co-chairs of the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) at the IAP General Assembly in Songdo, South Korea. IAP is the global network of over 140 science, engineering, and medical academies working together to provide independent, expert advice on scientific, technological, and health issues. Over the course of her career in physics, Murray has held prominent appointments in industry, academia, and the public sector, while Hamburg is a distinguished physician and public health administrator as well as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Murray and Hamburg were nominated by NAS President Marcia McNutt and NAM President Victor Dzau, respectively.

April 10, 2019

NAS Honors 10 U.S. Nobel and Kavli Prize Laureates

Nobel/Kavli Prize Winners Event 2019; photo by Kevin AllenFrom revolutionizing cancer care to modeling the economic impact of climate change, recent winners of Nobel and Kavli Prizes have explored virtually every angle of science. On Tuesday afternoon and evening, the National Academy of Sciences honored 10 of these esteemed individuals at events on Capitol Hill and at the NAS building. Read More

April 10, 2019

VA's Process for Determining Traumatic Brain Injury in Veterans Seeking Disability Compensation Examined in New Report

© DebenportThe U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs should expand the requirement in its disability compensation process regarding who can diagnose traumatic brain injury (TBI) to include any health care professional with pertinent and ongoing brain injury training and experience, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Currently, one of four specialties must diagnose TBI — a neurologist, neurosurgeon, physiatrist, or psychiatrist — but the report says that it is the training and experience, not necessarily the medical specialty that renders a health care provider capable of an accurate diagnosis.

April 10, 2019

National Academies and Academic Institutions Launch Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education

© Academies have joined with over 40 colleges, universities, and research institutions to launch an Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. The purpose of the action collaborative is to bring together academic leaders and key stakeholders to prevent sexual harassment across all disciplines and among all people in higher education. The action collaborative is designed to be an active space where colleges, universities, and research and training organizations can research and develop efforts that move beyond basic legal compliance to evidence-based policies and practices for addressing and preventing all forms of sexual harassment.

April 8, 2019

NAS Signs Cooperation Agreement with Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities

right to left: NAS President Marcia McNutt; President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin; and IASH President Nili Cohen (photo by Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt and Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities President Nili Cohen signed a historic cooperation agreement yesterday to benefit outstanding scientists in both countries and to formalize cooperative relations between the two countries' scientific communities. The signing took place in the presence of Reuven Rivlin, president of the State of Israel.

Under the terms of the agreement, annual national scientific conferences with the participation of dozens of leading scientists will take place alternately in Israel and the United States. The accord also provides for annual binational exchanges of eminent scientists and scholars, who will hold meetings and seminars at local academic institutions and deliver public lectures.

April 5, 2019

Dispersants Can Be an Effective Tool for Managing Impacts During a Major Marine Oil Spill

U.S. Air Force photoA new report from the National Academies examines the effects and efficacy of using dispersants in marine oil spill response. Dispersants reduce oil at the water's surface by promoting the formation and diffusion of small oil droplets that may biodegrade more readily. Field and modeling studies show that dispersants can be a useful tool for oil spill response, the report says. By reducing the amount of surface oil, dispersants can reduce response personnel's potential exposure to hazardous compounds in oil and lessen the extent of surface oil encountered by marine species.

March 29, 2019

New Report Calls for Different Approaches to Predict and Understand Urban Flooding

Photo by Dominick Del Vecchio/FEMAUrban flooding is a complex and distinct kind of flooding, compounded by land use and high population density, and it requires a different approach to assess and manage, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report calls for multi-agency and cross-jurisdictional efforts to assess urban flood hazards, advance understanding of social impacts, and effectively communicate urban flood risk.

March 28, 2019

Evaluating the Taxonomic Status of Red Wolf and Mexican Gray Wolf

Photo by B. Bartel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceCurrent evidence supports the classification of the contemporary red wolf as a distinct species of wolf, although additional genomic evidence from historic wolf specimens could change that assessment, says a new National Academies report. It also concludes that the Mexican gray wolf is a valid subspecies of gray wolf.

March 27, 2019

$5 Million in Grants Available to Advance Understanding of U.S. Gulf Coastal Ecosystems and Their Interactions with Natural Processes and Human Activities

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced a new funding opportunity under its Healthy Ecosystems Initiative. Up to $5 million is available to fund research projects that will improve understanding of how coastal ecosystems in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico region are affected by or interact with natural processes and human activities for the purpose of informing natural resource decision-making and management practices.

March 20, 2019

Medications to Treat Opioid Addiction Are Effective and Save Lives, But Barriers Prevent Broad Access and Use, Says New Report

© three U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medications to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) are safe and effective, most people who could benefit from these treatments do not receive them, and access is inequitable, especially among certain subpopulations, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Medications for Opioid Use Disorder Save Lives says that withholding or failing to have available these medications for the treatment of OUD in any care or criminal justice setting is denying appropriate medical treatment. 

March 20, 2019

New Report Identifies Ways Communities Can More Effectively Measure Progress Toward Resilience

© A new report from the National Academies recommends steps U.S. communities can take to better measure their progress in building resilience to disasters, including measuring resilience around multiple dimensions of a community, and incentivizing the measurement of resilience. The report also recommends that the National Academies' Gulf Research Program develop a major, coordinated initiative around building or enhancing community resilience across the Gulf of Mexico region.

March 19, 2019

NAS Member Is First Woman to Win the Abel Prize

Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck. Photo credit: Andrea Kane, Institute for Advanced Study. The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters will award the Abel Prize in Mathematics for 2019 to Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck of the University of Texas at Austin “for her pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory, and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry, and mathematical physics.”

Established in 2002, the Abel Prize recognizes contributions to the field of mathematics that are of extraordinary depth and influence. The prize amount is NOK 6 million. Visit for more information on the prize.

March 15, 2019

NAE Awards Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grants

Two Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Grants of $30,000 each have been awarded to attendees of the National Academy of Engineering’s 2018 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium. The grants provide seed funding to enable further pursuit of important new interdisciplinary research and projects stimulated by the symposia.

March 13, 2019

Joint Statement on Need for International Framework on Heritable Genome Editing

© response to a commentary in Nature that calls for a moratorium on clinical uses of heritable genome editing and the establishment of an international governance framework, a statement by the presidents of the National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Society says that the commentary "underscores the urgent need for an internationally accepted framework that addresses these complex scientific, ethical, and societal issues. 

"Toward that end, the U.S. National Academies and the Royal Society are leading an international commission to detail the scientific and the ethical issues that must be considered in planning any genome editing, and to define specific criteria and standards for evaluating whether proposed clinical trials or applications that involve germline editing should be permitted."

March 13, 2019

Russian and U.S. Academies Sign Agreement to Continue Cooperation

Russian and U.S. Academies Sign Agreement to Continue Cooperation The president of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the presidents of NAS, NAE, and NAM have signed a five-year agreement to continue their cooperation on studies, workshops, and other activities in areas of mutual interest, marking 60 years of cooperation between the Russian and U.S. academies.

March 8, 2019

NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents Highlight Facts on Vaccine Safety in Light of Measles Outbreaks

Facts About Vaccine SafetyThe current measles outbreaks in the United States and elsewhere are being fueled by misinformation about the safety of vaccines. To help counter such misinformation, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine created a website that provides clear, concise, and evidence-based answers to questions about vaccine safety and other commonly asked questions about health and science. The evidence base includes a number of our studies examining vaccine access, safety, scheduling, and possible side effects. Our work has validated that the science is clear — vaccines are extremely safe.

March 7, 2018

2018 Cozzarelli Prize Recipients Announced

The Editorial Board of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has selected six papers published by PNAS in 2018 to receive the Cozzarelli Prize, an award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the scientific disciplines represented by the National Academy of Sciences. Papers were chosen from the more than 3,200 research articles that appeared in the journal last year.

March 6, 2019

NAS President Testifies on Capitol Hill

McNutt before House Science Committee on March 6, 2019 (photo by Cable Risdon)Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences, spoke to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee about "Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Science and Technology."

March 6, 2019

G20 Science Academies Release Statement on Threats to Coastal and Marine Ecosystems and Conservation of the Ocean Environment

G20 Science Academies StatementRepresentatives from the national academies of sciences of the G20 countries handed over recommendations for improving marine conservation to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinz┼Ź Abe today in Tokyo, for later consultation at this year's G20 summit. The statement was jointly drafted by the G20 National Academies of Sciences under the leadership of the Science Council of Japan. The G20 summit will take place on June 28 and 29 in Osaka, Japan.

March 6, 2019

$2.5 Million in Grants Available to Advance Understanding and Prediction of Gulf of Mexico Loop Current

The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced a new funding opportunity to provide up to $2.5 million in grants to foster innovative approaches that support its ongoing efforts to improve understanding and prediction of the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current System.

March 5, 2019

Sodium and Potassium Dietary Reference Intake Values Updated in New Report; Introduces New Category for Sodium Based on Chronic Disease Risk Reduction

© new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine reviews current evidence and updates intake recommendations known as the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for sodium and potassium that were established in 2005. Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium revises the Adequate Intakes (AIs), which are the best estimate of intakes assumed adequate for apparently healthy individuals. The report reaffirms the sodium AI for individuals ages 14-50, decreases the sodium AIs for children age 1-13, increases the sodium AIs for adults ages 51 and older, and decreases the potassium AIs for individuals age 1 and older. The report also uses guidance from a 2017 National Academies report to introduce the first DRI specific to chronic disease risk reduction.

March 5, 2019

New Decadal Survey for the Social and Behavioral Sciences Presents Guidance to the Intelligence Community

© new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that the U.S. Intelligence Community make sustained collaboration with researchers in the social and behavioral sciences a key priority as it develops research objectives for the coming decade.

March 4, 2019

Breakthrough Solutions and Technologies Needed to Speed Cleanup of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Sites

DOE photoA new report from the National Academies recommends changes in the way that the U.S. Department of Energy manages science and technology (S&T) development in order to accelerate the cleanup of radioactive waste and contaminated soil, groundwater, and facilities at U.S. nuclear weapons sites. A portion of DOE's technology development should focus on breakthrough solutions and technologies that can substantially reduce schedules, risks, and uncertainties in the cleanup, the report says. This effort should be managed by ARPA-E, a DOE division that has a record of investing in innovative solutions for complex technical challenges; it would require substantial new funding, along with a different model for managing research and stimulating innovation.

Feb. 28, 2019

Child Poverty Rate Could Be Cut in Half in Next Decade Following Proposals in New Expert Report

© light of the many costs generated by child poverty for the United States, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine provides evidence-based policy and program packages that could cut the child poverty rate by as much as 50 percent and increase employment and earnings among adults living in low-income families.

Feb. 20, 2019

Improving EPA's Permitting Program for Industrial Stormwater Pollution

©Wavetop/iStock.comA new report from the National Academies offers guidance to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to inform the next revision of a permit program that requires industries to manage stormwater to minimize discharges of pollutants to the environment. The report recommends several ways that EPA can strengthen the Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) program to provide its intended environmental protection while balancing the overall burden of monitoring on industry.

Feb. 18, 2019

Tenth Anniversary of Landmark Report on Forensic Science

Ten years ago, Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward. This landmark report stimulated a national discussion about the need to reform forensic science, fostered a re-evaluation of how forensic evidence is reported in court, prompted increased funding for forensic science research, and inspired reforms in practice and procedure for forensic science professionals. The report also led to re-examinations of forensic techniques that are frequently used in criminal investigations.

Feb. 13, 2019

National Academy of Sciences Elects Home Secretary and Councilors

NAS Elects Home Secretary and CouncilorsSusan R. Wessler, distinguished professor of genetics and Neil and Rochelle Campbell Presidential Chair for Innovation in Science Education, University of California, Riverside, has been re-elected as home secretary for the National Academy of Sciences. Wessler will continue to be responsible for the membership activities of the Academy during her third four-year term. In addition, four members have been elected to serve on the Academy's governing Council for three years. All terms begin July 1.

The new councilors are:
• Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences and the Bezos Family Foundation Professor of Early Childhood Learning, University of Washington;
• Richard E. Lenski, John Hannah Professor of Microbial Ecology, Michigan State University;
• Sean C. Solomon, director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University; and
• Ruth J. Williams, distinguished professor of mathematics and Charles Lee Powell Chair in Mathematics I, University of California, San Diego.

Feb. 11, 2019

Call for Creation of Research Policy Board

Marcia McNutt. Photo courtesy AAASIn a new Nature commentary, NAS President Marcia McNutt and several colleagues make the case for the creation of a U.S. advisory board for research integrity and quality, which would be "a central resource to which institutional leaders and other members of the scientific enterprise could turn for assistance in creating and sustaining cultures for reliable and efficient research."

Feb. 7, 2019

National Academy of Engineering Elects 86 Members and 18 Foreign Members

NAE Announces 2019 Class of New MembersThe National Academy of Engineering has elected 86 new members and 18 foreign members, announced NAE President C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., today. Election to the Academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.

Feb. 7, 2019

Partnerships Between NASA and Industry Can Support Lunar Exploration, Say Two New Reports

Partnerships Between NASA and Industry Can Support Lunar ExplorationRenewed interest in exploration of the moon has the potential to benefit lunar science greatly and could evolve into a program facilitated by partnerships between commercial companies and NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD), say companion reports by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. However, the two reports find that the activities undertaken to date, although aligned with community consensus for lunar science priorities, do not replace missions recommended in the National Academies' most recent planetary science decadal survey and remain subject to many unknowns, such as the ability of standardized commercial lunar landers to interface with complex science payloads.

Feb. 4, 2019

A Message from the Presidents of the NAS, NAE, and NAM

A Message from the Presidents of the NAS, NAE, and NAMMarcia McNutt, C. D. Mote, Jr., and Victor Dzau share their outlook for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2019.

Jan. 28, 2019

Agnes Kalibata to Receive Public Welfare Medal -- Academy's Most Prestigious Award

Agnes Kalibata to Receive 2019 Public Welfare Medal The National Academy of Sciences is presenting its 2019 Public Welfare Medal to agricultural scientist, policymaker, and visionary leader Agnes Kalibata "for her work to drive Africa's agricultural transformation through modern science and effective policy, helping to lift more than a million Rwandans out of poverty and scaling impacts for millions more African farmers." The medal is the Academy's most prestigious award, established in 1914 and presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good.

"Agnes Kalibata has long championed science and evidence as the basis for practical agricultural policies that have transformed Rwanda to a model of prosperity and security," said Marcia McNutt, president of the National Academy of Sciences. "Her actions exemplify science as a powerful force for growth and well-being, and we are thrilled to present her with our highest award."

Jan. 25, 2019

Academies' Climate Communications Initiative Releases Strategic Plan

Academies' Climate Communications Initiative Releases Strategic PlanThe National Academies established the Climate Communications Initiative (CCI) last year to enable their extensive work on climate science, impacts, and response options to inform decision-makers and the public more effectively. A new strategic plan, which will guide the CCI's efforts going forward, has been developed by an external advisory committee, in cooperation with an Academies staff team. The advisory committee -- composed of experts in climate science, public and environmental health, science education, communication research and practice, brand strategy, industry, policy, and decision making -- will provide ongoing advice as the Academies implement the plan.

Jan. 23, 2019

Academy Honors 18 for Major Contributions to Science

NAS Honors 18 for Major Contributions to Science The National Academy of Sciences will honor 18 individuals with awards in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, and medical sciences. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Sunday, April 28, during the National Academy of Sciences' 156th annual meeting.

Jan. 18, 2019

Report Recommends Martian Moon Samples Be Designated Unrestricted Earth Return

Samples returned from the Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, should be designated unrestricted as the relative influx of Martian microbes from a Phobos/Deimos sample versus the natural influx of direct Mars-to-Earth transfer can be shown to be several orders of magnitude smaller, says a new report from the National Academies. The committee that wrote the report recommends that Phobos and Deimos should not currently be treated differently in their Planetary Protection requirements. The report also states that more research is needed before suggesting refinements in planetary protection requirements that might be needed to accommodate spacecraft missions to and samples returned from Phobos and Deimos. Read More

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In Focus Fall 2018

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Vol. 17/No. 2
Fall 2018

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Read the latest Report to Congress, which details the National Academies' work in 2017.