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- June 19, 2018

 

Aug. 7, 2018


JPL/NASA PhotoDespite significant cuts to NASA's Planetary Science Division budget early in this decade, the agency has made impressive progress in meeting goals outlined in the 2013-2022 planetary decadal survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, says a midterm assessment from the National Academies. The report notes that NASA met or exceeded the decadal survey's recommendations for funding research and analysis, and for technology programs.



Aug. 7, 2018


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Task Force on the 2020 Census today issued a and submitted it as a public comment to the U.S. Department of Commerce, which recently requested public comments on the 2020 Census.

The task force, which was established by the Academies' Committee on National Statistics to examine challenges in conducting the next decennial census, concluded that the Commerce Department's recent decision to add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 census is inconsistent with the "proper performance of the functions" of the Census Bureau. The American Community Survey already meets the stated need for citizenship data, it noted, and adding the question without proper testing impairs the quality of the 2020 census as a whole. Furthermore, adding the citizenship question and using the method described in the secretary of commerce's memo and the Census Bureau's review would create a new population register. Such a register has unclear statistical purposes and could not under current law be used for nonstatistical purposes, such as law enforcement against individuals, and still comport with the bureau’s mission.

While citizenship is an important public policy topic and worthy of high-quality data collection, adding this question to the 2020 census risks undermining the credibility of the Census Bureau and the decennial census, the trust of its respondents, and the independence of the Census Bureau's professional staff to develop, produce, and disseminate objective information while protecting confidentiality of respondents.



Aug. 1, 2018


of director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. This is a key step toward giving science a seat at the table so decisions that shape our country are informed by the best available evidence. In particular, our nation is facing mounting costs from weather-related disasters, including more severe hurricanes, floods, droughts, and forest fires. Having a distinguished atmospheric scientist advising the president is timely and a great choice. I look forward to working with Dr. Droegemeier.

Marcia McNutt
President, National Academy of Sciences




Aug. 1, 2018


The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced the recipients of its 2018 Science Policy Fellowships. These competitive awards are among a suite of program activities aimed at supporting the development of future generations of scientists, engineers, and health professionals who are prepared to work at the intersections of offshore energy system safety, human health and well-being, and environmental stewardship in the Gulf of Mexico and other U.S. coastal regions.



July 31, 2018


Launch of NAM Action Collaborative to Counter Opioid EpidemicIn recognition of the need for a national coordinated and collective response to the epidemic of opioid addiction in the U.S., the National Academy of Medicine, in partnership with the Aspen Institute, launched a public-private partnership made up of more than 35 organizations representing federal, state, and local governments, health systems, associations and provider groups, health education and accrediting institutions, pharmacies, payers, industry, nonprofits, and academia. This partnership -- the -- is committed to sharing knowledge, aligning ongoing initiatives, and addressing complex challenges that require a shared response from public and private actors. The collaborative will establish shared priorities, identify unmet needs, and develop and disseminate evidence-based, multi-sector solutions to reduce rates of opioid misuse and improve outcomes for individuals, families, and communities affected by addiction.



July 25, 2018


The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today a new grant opportunity focused on enhancing coastal community resilience and well-being in the Gulf of Mexico region. The GRP intends to award up to $10 million to projects bringing together researchers and practitioners to collaborate on efforts that increase understanding of how community attributes and systems affect resilience and provide actionable information that can be used to implement policies and practices to enhance resilience.

This new funding opportunity builds on previous GRP funding intended to bridge the gap between the knowledge and practice of community resilience, including $10.8 million in grants awarded last year in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on the same topic. This opportunity aims to continue to advance information exchange and collaboration between researchers and those who seek to implement policies and practices to enhance the resilience of their communities. For more information about this opportunity, how to apply, and past GRP grants awarded on this topic, visit
.



July 24, 2018


©iStock/Rost-9DThe science questions that could be answered by an electron ion collider (EIC) – a very large-scale particle accelerator – are significant to advancing our understanding of the atomic nuclei that make up all visible matter in the universe, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Beyond its impact on nuclear science, the advances made possible by an EIC could have far-reaching benefits to the nation's science- and technology-driven economy as well as to maintaining U.S. leadership in nuclear physics and in collider and accelerator technologies.



July 18, 2018


©iStock/tdub303A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies the most promising scientific breakthroughs that are possible to achieve in the next decade to increase the U.S. food and agriculture system's sustainability, competitiveness, and resilience. The urgent progress needed today, given challenges such as water scarcity, increased weather variability, floods, and droughts, requires a convergent research approach that harnesses advances in data science, materials science, information technology, behavioral sciences, economics, and many other fields.



July 18, 2018

Academies' Presidents Comment on the EPA's Proposed Rule for Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a for strengthening transparency in regulatory science (April 30, 2018, 83 Federal Register 18768), which stipulates that EPA will ensure that the data and models underlying the pivotal science that informs significant regulatory actions are made publicly available, in a format that allows for outside analysis and validation. In a July 16 letter to EPA's acting administrator, the presidents of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine said that while EPA's proposed provision is generally consistent with advice from the National Academies, overly stringent requirements for transparency may cause valid evidence to be discarded and thereby pose a threat to the credibility of regulatory science. In the letter, the presidents pointed to several National Academies reports to help inform EPA decisions about the proposed rule, and cautioned that the rule's "scope, complexities, and potential serious implications for regulatory science and action clearly warrant additional thorough, independent, objective, and context-specific evaluation and analysis."



July 17, 2018


Speeding Progress Toward Open ScienceWhile significant progress has been made in providing open access to scientific research, a range of challenges -- including the economics of scientific publication and cultural barriers in the research enterprise -- must be overcome to further advance the openness of science, says a new report from the National Academies. It recommends coordinated action from the academic community and other research stakeholders, and the use of an "open science by design" framework to foster openness throughout the research process.



July 11, 2018


©iStock/Natali_MisA new report from the National Academies examines evidence on whether providing permanent supportive housing (PSH) -- a combination of stable housing and supportive services -- to individuals who are experiencing homelessness improves their health. PSH holds potential for improving the health outcomes of people experiencing homelessness, and there is evidence that it improves outcomes among individuals with HIV/AIDS. However, evidence of its impact on other health conditions is lacking, largely because of multiple limitations in the research conducted so far. High priority should be given to studies aimed at identifying “housing-sensitive conditions,” whose course and medical management are strongly influenced by stable housing.



July 10, 2018


©iStock/ca-ssisWhen conducting research involving the testing of human biospecimens, investigators and their institutions should routinely consider whether and how to return individual research results to participants on a study-specific basis through an informed decision-making process, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Decisions will vary depending on the characteristics of the research, the nature of the results, and the interests of participants.

The undertaking of biomedical research with human participants — from exploratory, basic science inquiries to clinical trials using well-validated tests — often includes development of laboratory test results associated with an individual research participant. Recent changes to federal regulations have promoted transparency and allowed individuals greater access to these results; however, regulations are not consistent, the report says.


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