News from the National Academies- en-us News from the National Academies- New Report Proposes Framework for Policymakers to Address Debate Over Encryption- A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine proposes a framework for evaluating proposals to provide authorized government agencies with access to unencrypted versions of encrypted communications and other data. The framework is the product of an 18-month study led by a diverse array of leaders from law enforcement, computer science, civil liberties, law, and other disciplines. Read More  Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:00 EST National Academies Announce Initiative on Environmental Health, Appoint Advisory Committee- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are launching an Academies-wide initiative to transform how the nation addresses the complex issues associated with environmental health — a field that examines how the environment affects human health. The initiative will bring together expertise across the institution, including environmental, medical, and social science, energy, and engineering, and involve leaders from government, corporate, and academic entities to explore the latest science, identify promising solutions, and create innovative pathways toward improving environmental health. Read More Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:00 EST NAS Announces Launch of the LabX Public Engagement Program- In keeping with its mission to communicate the nature, values, and judgments of science to the public, the National Academy of Sciences is launching LabX, a public engagement initiative that will promote evidence-based decision-making on issues that have significant relevance to communities and in which science is an important factor. The new program will kick off with an immersive event on March 7, organized in conjunction with Museum Hack and the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences. "In today's world where the boundary between science and science fiction is hard to discern, it is too easy to forget the very real way that science and technology are — and should be — applied to make meaningful differences in our lives," said National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt. "LabX engages citizens in the application of science to community decision-making to promote resilience, improve safety and security, and achieve any number of other desirable outcomes." Read More Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:00 EST NAE Elects 83 Members and 16 Foreign Members- Olivierclement of Engineering has elected 83 new members and 16 foreign members, announced NAE President C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., today. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,293 and the number of foreign members to 262. Election to the Academy is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. A list of the newly elected members and foreign members is available, with their primary affiliations at the time of election and a brief statement of their principal engineering accomplishments. Wed, 07 Feb 2018 15:00 EST VA Provides Mental Health Care to Veterans of Recent Iraq and Afghanistan Wars of Comparable or Superior Quality to Other Providers, Yet Substantial Unmet Need Remains- While the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides mental health care of comparable or superior quality to care provided in private and non-VA public sectors, accessibility and quality of services vary across the VA health system, leaving a substantial unmet need for mental health services among veterans of the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. A survey of these veterans developed and fielded by the committee that conducted the study found that approximately half of those who may have a need for mental health care do not use VA or non-VA services, indicating that a large proportion of veterans do not receive any treatment for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use disorder, or depression. In addition, more than half of veterans who screened positive in the survey for having a mental health care need do not perceive a need for mental health services. Read More Wed, 31 Jan 2018 11:00 EST Gulf Research Program Awards $5.3 Million to Enhance Environmental Restoration Outcomes and Improve Oil Spill Risk Assessment- The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced grants totaling $5.3 million awarded for seven new projects. Five of the projects involve developing or testing new technologies or methods for monitoring or evaluating environmental restoration projects to improve future restoration efforts. The remaining two projects focus on improving the information available to decision-makers for evaluating public health risks resulting from oil spills. Read More Wed, 24 Jan 2018 11:00 EST One of the Most Comprehensive Studies on Health Effects of E-Cigarettes Finds That Using E-Cigarettes May Lead Youth to Start Smoking, Adults to Stop Smoking- Evidence suggests that while e-cigarettes are not without health risks, they are likely to be far less harmful than conventional cigarettes, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. They contain fewer numbers and lower levels of toxic substances than conventional cigarettes, and using e-cigarettes may help adults who smoke conventional cigarettes quit smoking. However, their long-term health effects are not yet clear. Among youth -- who use e-cigarettes at higher rates than adults do -- there is substantial evidence that e-cigarette use increases the risk of transitioning to smoking conventional cigarettes. Although the research base is limited given the relatively short time e-cigarettes have been used, the committee that conducted the study identified and examined over 800 peer-reviewed scientific studies, reaching dozens of conclusions about a range of health impacts. Read More  Tue, 23 Jan 2018 11:00 EST Paul Farmer to Receive National Academy of Sciences' Public Welfare Medal- Olivierclement of Sciences is presenting its 2018 Public Welfare Medal to physician, anthropologist, and humanitarian Paul Farmer for "pioneering enduring, community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings in the U.S. and other countries." 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. Read More Mon, 22 Jan 2018 11:00 EST Integration of a Wide Range of Safety Systems Is Needed to Develop an In-Time Aviation Safety Management System, New Report Says- A comprehensive aviation safety system as envisioned by NASA would require integration of a wide range of systems and practices, including building an in-time aviation safety management system (IASMS) that could detect and mitigate high-priority safety issues as they emerge and before they become hazards, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. An IASMS could continuously monitor the national airspace system, assess the data that it has collected, and then either recommend or initiate safety assurance actions as necessary. Read More Thu, 18 Jan 2018 10:30 EST New Report Calls for Lowering Blood Alcohol Concentration Levels for Driving, Increasing Federal and State Alcohol Taxes, Increasing Enforcement, Among Other Recommendations- Despite progress in recent decades, more than 10,000 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities occur each year in the U.S. To address this persistent problem, stakeholders -- from transportation systems to alcohol retailers to law enforcement -- should work together to implement policies and systems to eliminate these preventable deaths, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The committee that conducted the study and wrote the report recommended a number of actions, such as lowering state laws criminalizing alcohol-impaired driving from 0.08 percent to 0.05 percent blood alcohol concentration, increasing alcohol taxes significantly, strengthening policies to prevent illegal alcohol sales to people under 21 and to already-intoxicated adults, enacting all-offender ignition interlock laws, and providing effective treatment for offenders when needed. Read More Wed, 17 Jan 2018 10:30 EST Academy Honors 19 for Major Contributions to Science- Olivierclement of Sciences will honor 19 individuals with awards in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, and medical sciences. Read More Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:00 EST Statement by NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents on the Political Review of Scientific Proposals- The highest standards of scientific integrity, transparency, and accountability are critical to maintaining public confidence in our nation’s research enterprise and in the wise use of the public investment in research. The public expects policymakers and agencies to base those investments on independent advice and assessment from unbiased experts without political interference. For these reasons, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine view any political review of scientific proposals as inappropriate, as it gives the appearance of political interference in science. At the same time, we recognize the prerogative of federal agencies to align funding programs with their mission priorities in their calls for proposals and in their requests that reviewers assess the relevance of proposals to agency priorities as one of the criteria in proposal evaluation. Marcia McNutt President, National Academy of Sciences C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr. President, National Academy of Engineering Victor J. Dzau President, National Academy of Medicine Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:00 EST Prasad Raghavendra, David Steurer to Receive Inaugural Michael and Sheila Held Prize From the National Academy of Sciences- Olivierclement of Sciences will award the first annual Michael and Sheila Held Prize to Prasad Raghavendra, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, and David Steurer, professor of theoretical computer science at ETH Zurich. The pair are receiving the $100,000 prize "for a body of work which revolutionizes our understanding of optimization and complexity" in computer science. The prize honors outstanding, innovative, creative, and influential research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory. Read More Tue, 16 Jan 2018 10:00 EST Review of NASA's Evidence Reports on Human Health Risks: 2017 Letter Report- NASA asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to review more than 30 publicly available evidence reports on human health risks for long-duration and exploration space flight. A new letter report -- the fifth and final in the series -- examines five NASA evidence reports on astronauts’ risk of bone fracture due to spaceflight-induced changes to bone, early onset osteoporosis due to spaceflight, cardiac rhythm problems during spaceflight, renal stone formation, and adverse health outcomes and decreases in performance due to in-flight medical conditions. Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:00 EST NIOSH, BLS, and OSHA Should Strengthen Coordination for Occupational Injury, Illness, and Exposure Surveillance- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health should lead a collaborative effort with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the states to establish and strengthen regional occupational safety and health surveillance programs, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The nation needs a robust occupational safety and health surveillance system to provide critical information about the relationships between work and injuries and illnesses in order to inform policy development, guide educational and regulatory activities, develop safer technologies, and enable research and prevention strategies that serve and protect all workers. A smarter surveillance system will minimize the undercounting of occupational injuries and illnesses by making strategic use of different datasets and surveys, and will maximize appropriate use of technologies. Read More Tue, 09 Jan 2018 11:00 EST National Academies Announce Initiative on Climate Communication; Appoints Advisory Committee- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are launching a major initiative to more effectively enable their extensive body of work on climate science, impacts, and response options to inform the public and decision-makers. "The National Academies have a vast library of authoritative information to help everyone from savvy citizens to responsible decision-makers understand, prepare, and respond to climate change," said Marcia McNutt, president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. "This initiative facilitates access to that storehouse to help protect the many sectors of human investment from unnecessary surprises." Tue, 09 Jan 2018 10:00 EST Reducing Climate Uncertainty, Improving Weather Forecasts, and Understanding Sea-Level Rise Are Among Top Science Priorities for Space-Based Earth Observation Over Next Decade- NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Geological Survey should implement a coordinated approach for their space-based environmental observations to further advance Earth science and applications for the next decade, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This approach should be based on key scientific questions in areas such as reducing climate uncertainty, improving weather and air quality forecasts, predicting geological hazards, and understanding sea-level rise. The report also recommends building a robust, resilient, and balanced U.S. program of Earth observations from space that will enable the agencies to strategically advance the science and applications with constrained resources. Read More Fri, 05 Jan 2018 11:00 EST 2018 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education Awarded to Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University's School of Medicine- Olivierclement of Engineering announced today that the 2018 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education will be awarded to Paul G. Yock of Stanford University "for the development and global dissemination of Biodesign, a biomedical technology program creating leaders and innovations that benefit patients." The $500,000 annual award recognizes new methods and concepts in higher education aimed at developing engineering leaders. Read More Thu, 04 Jan 2018 11:00 EST New Report Calls for Comprehensive Research Campaign to Better Understand, Predict Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current System- A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine calls for an international, multi-institutional comprehensive campaign of research, observation, and analysis activities that would help improve understanding and prediction of the Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current System (LCS). The position, strength, and structure of the LCS -- the dominant ocean circulation feature in the Gulf -- has major implications for oil and gas operations, hurricane intensity, coastal ecosystems, oil spill response, the fishing industry, tourism, and the region's economy. Read More Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:00 EST Computer Science Pioneer to Receive the 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering- Olivierclement of Engineering announced today that the 2018 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering will be awarded to Bjarne Stroustrup "for conceptualizing and developing the C++ programming language." The $500,000 annual award is given to engineers whose accomplishments have significantly benefited society. Read More Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:00 EST Withdrawal from ITER Could Isolate U.S. Scientists from International Effort on Fusion Energy, New Report Says- /catalog/24971/interim-report-of-the-committee-on-a-strategic-plan-for-us-burning-plasma-research A decision by the U.S. to withdraw from the ITER project – a large international burning plasma experiment – could isolate scientists from the international effort and require a new domestic approach to study fusion, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. This report is the first in a two-phase study examining the state and potential of magnetic fusion research in the U.S. and providing guidance on a long-term strategy for the field. Thu, 21 Dec 2017 14:00 EST /catalog/24971/interim-report-of-the-committee-on-a-strategic-plan-for-us-burning-plasma-research Statement on Stop-Work Order for National Academies Study on the Department of the Interior's Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Inspection Program- The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement has ordered the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to suspend all work on a study to review and update the bureau’s offshore oil and gas operations inspection program to enhance safety. The stop-work order, dated Dec. 7, says that within 90 days the stop-work order will either be lifted and work on the study can resume, or the contract to perform the study will be terminated. The committee conducting the study held its first and only meeting (to date) in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 26-27. Future meetings planned to be held in the Gulf of Mexico region have been put on hold. The National Academies are grateful to the committee members for their service and disappointed that their important study has been stopped. Read More Thu, 21 Dec 2017 11:00 EST Statement by NAS, NAE, and NAM Presidents on Report of Banned Words at CDC- We are concerned deeply by a report that staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were instructed not to use certain words in budget documents. As leaders of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, we are especially stunned that “evidence-based” and “science-based” are reportedly among the barred terms. Evidence-based advice to inform policymakers and public discourse has been the foundation of National Academies’ counsel since the creation of the NAS more than 150 years ago by Abraham Lincoln. Evidence-based advice drove American prosperity, health, and national security throughout the 20th century, and continues to do so today. If it is true that the terms “evidence-based” and “science-based” are being censored, it will have a chilling effect on U.S. researchers – who may question whether their advice is still welcome – as well as on the quality of the counsel actually rendered to government. Other supposedly banned words – “diversity,” “entitlement,” “fetus,” “transgender,” and “vulnerable” – are equally important to the CDC research portfolio, and banning them is turning our backs to today’s reality. Such a directive would be unprecedented and contrary to the spirit of scientific integrity that all federal departments embrace. Although the guidance to CDC staff to not use certain words reportedly pertained to budget documents, it also sends a dangerous message that CDC’s broader research and public health mission could be unduly politicized as well. Marcia McNutt President, National Academy of Sciences C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr. President, National Academy of Engineering Victor J. Dzau President, National Academy of Medicine Mon, 18 Dec 2017 11:00 EST NASA Makes Progress Toward Space Exploration Science Priorities Outlined in 2011 Decadal Survey, Should Develop U.S. Strategy for International Space Station Beyond 2024- Although NASA has made progress toward the overall space exploration science priorities recommended in a 2011 decadal survey by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the space agency should raise the priority of scientific research that addresses the risks and unknowns of human space exploration. This heightened priority is particularly important given the limited remaining lifetime of the International Space Station (ISS) – the most significant destination for microgravity research – and because the U.S. currently does not have a strategy for the station beyond 2024, says a new midterm assessment report by the National Academies. Read More Fri, 15 Dec 2017 11:00 EST Report Offers Guidance on How to Monitor the Quality of STEM Undergraduate Education- Monitoring the quality and impact of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education will require the collection of new national data on changing student demographics, instructors' use of evidence-based teaching approaches, student transfer patterns, and other dimensions of STEM education, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read More Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:00 EST Members in the News- Forty-three members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – including National Academy of Engineering President C. D. Mote, Jr. – have been elected to the 2017 class of National Academy of Inventors Fellows. According to the National Academy of Inventors, which is not affiliated with the National Academies, “election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional accolade bestowed to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society. National Academies' Gulf Research Program Launches New Funding Opportunity to Advance Scientific and Environmental Literacy- The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced a new opportunity for nonprofit, state, and local entities to apply for grant funding to advance the scientific and environmental literacy and problem-solving skills of children and youth in the K-12 grade range. Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:00 EST Report Offers Framework to Guide Decisions About Spirit Lake and Toutle River System at Mount St. Helens; Inclusive Decision-Making Process Is Needed- A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine offers a framework to guide federal, tribal, state and local agencies, community groups, and other interested and affected parties in making decisions about the Spirit Lake and Toutle River system, near Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington state. The process should include broader participation by groups and parties whose safety, livelihoods, and quality of life are affected by decisions about the lake and river system, the report says. Read More Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:00 EST National Academies' Gulf Research Program Awards $10.8 Million to Address Systemic Risk in Offshore Oil and Gas Operations- The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced awards for six new projects totaling $10.8 million. All six projects involve research to develop new technologies, processes, or procedures that could result in improved understanding and management of systemic risk in offshore oil and gas operations. Read More Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:00 EDT Guidance for Academies on Sustainable Development Goals- The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development identified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whose realization will require expertise from many sectors, including science, engineering, and medicine. Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals: A Guide for Merit-Based Academies, a new publication from the InterAcademy Partnership, explains why and how academies around the globe can support the Sustainable Development Goals – for example, by providing advice to governments about implementing the goals, and by monitoring and evaluating progress toward the goals. Learn More Wed, 06 Dec 2017 15:00 EDT U.S. Has Lost Its Dominance in Highly Intense, Ultrafast Laser Technology to Europe and Asia, New Report Says- A new National Academies report offers a roadmap that would improve the nation's position in high-intensity laser science and technology, which has broad applications in manufacturing, medicine, and national security. Currently, 80 percent to 90 percent of the high-intensity laser systems are overseas, and all of the highest power research lasers currently in construction or already built are overseas as well. Some of the report's recommendations are for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to create a broad network to support science, applications, and technology of these lasers, as well as for DOE to plan for at least one large-scale, open-access high-intensity laser facility that leverages other major science infrastructures in the DOE complex. Read More Wed, 06 Dec 2017 11:00 EDT Academy Members Receive Breakthrough Prizes- NAS members Joanne Chory and Peter Walter as well as Don W. Cleveland, a member of both NAS and NAM, are among those awarded the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. And NAS members Charles L. Bennett, Lyman Page Jr., and David N. Spergel are among recipients of this year's Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The prizes, known as the "Oscars of science," each come with a $3 million award. Mon, 04 Dec 2017 12:00 EDT Gulf Research Program Accepting Applications for 2018 Fellowships- The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is now accepting applications for its Early-Career Research Fellowships and Science Policy Fellowships for 2018. Both fellowship programs are designed to help early-career scientists hone their skills and build leadership experience while conducting research or working on issues relevant to the GRP’s focus on advancing science, practice, and capacity at the intersections of human health, environmental resources, and offshore energy safety. Mon, 04 Dec 2017 11:00 EDT Consumer Access to Affordable Medicines Is a Public Health Imperative, Says New Report; Government Negotiation of Drug Prices, Prevention of 'Pay-for-Delay' Agreements, and Increased Financial Transparency Among Recommendations- Consumer access to effective and affordable medicines is an imperative for public health, social equity, and economic development, but this need is not being served adequately by the biopharmaceutical sector, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report offers eight recommendations with 27 actions for their implementation to improve the affordability of prescription drugs without discouraging the development of new and more effective drugs for the future. Over the past several decades, the biopharmaceutical sector in the United States has been successful in developing and delivering effective drugs for improving health and fighting disease, and many medical conditions that were long deemed untreatable can now be cured or managed effectively. However, high and increasing costs of prescription drugs coupled with the broader trends in overall medical expenditures, which now equals 18 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product, are unsustainable to society as a whole. Read More Thu, 30 Nov 2017 13:00 EDT New Report Calls for Greater Oversight of Precursor Chemicals Sold at the Retail Level to Reduce Threats from Improvised Explosive Devices- Policymakers' efforts to reduce threats from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) should include greater oversight of precursor chemicals sold at the retail level – especially over the Internet – that terrorists, violent extremists, or criminals use to make homemade explosives, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. While retail sales of these precursor chemicals present a substantial vulnerability, they have not been a major focus of federal regulations so far. Read More Tue, 14 Nov 2017 11:00 EDT A Number of Proactive Policing Practices Are Successful at Reducing Crime; Insufficient Evidence on Role of Racial Bias- A number of strategies used by the police to proactively prevent crimes have proved to be successful at crime reduction, at least in the short term, and most strategies do not harm communities' attitudes toward police, finds a new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. However, the committee that conducted the study and wrote the report said there is insufficient evidence to draw strong conclusions on the potential role of racial bias in the use of proactive policing strategies. Read More Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:00 EDT National Academies Serving as New Host for IAP-R Secretariat- The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are now serving as the host for the InterAcademy Partnership for Research (IAP-R) secretariat. The IAP-R, formerly known as the InterAcademy Council, mobilizes the world's leading experts to produce reports that provide scientific advice on issues critical to the global community. Read More Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:00 EDT National Academies' Gulf Research Program Commits $2 Million to Assist Scientific Research Impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma- The Gulf Research Program (GRP) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today announced it will award up to $2 million in fast-track grants to help scientific research efforts recover from the impacts of Gulf Coast hurricanes Harvey and Irma. To be eligible, affected research efforts must be relevant to the GRP’s focus on enhancing human health, environmental resources, and offshore energy safety in the Gulf of Mexico region. Read More Mon, 06 Nov 2017 11:00 EDT Statement on Wall Street Journal Op-Ed on National Academies' Review of Climate Science Special Report- An op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal questions the conclusions of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine analysis, issued earlier this year, of a draft of the federal government's U.S. Global Change Research Program’s Climate Science Special Report (CSSR). The National Academies' analysis -- authored by a committee of 11 renowned experts and subjected to the Academies' rigorous independent external peer-review process -- is a comprehensive assessment of the draft CSSR. The analysis provides more than 100 pages of comments on the draft CSSR with the intention of improving the accuracy of the final version of the CSSR, released by the federal government today. The National Academies stand by their analysis. In particular, we stand by the committee's conclusion that the CSSR chapter on sea-level rise accurately reflects the current scientific literature. Scientists have high confidence in recent estimates of sea-level rise, because multiple lines of corroborating evidence are available, including data from satellites, tidal gauges, and a global array of thousands of profiling floats. Together these lines of evidence provide strong support for the conclusion that sea-level rise is accelerating because of the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, along with continued thermal expansion of ocean waters. The committee's analysis of the draft CSSR can be read here. Fri, 03 Nov 2017 11:00 EDT Public Safety During Severe Weather and Other Disasters Could Be Improved With Better Alert Systems and Improved Understanding of Social and Behavioral Factors- A more cohesive alert and warning system that integrates public and private communications mechanisms and adopts new technologies quickly is needed to deliver critical information during emergency situations. At the same time, better understanding of social and behavioral factors would improve the ways we communicate about hazards, inform response decisions such as evacuations, develop more resilient urban infrastructure, and take other steps to improve weather readiness. Two reports by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine propose steps to improve public safety and resilience in the face of extreme weather and other disasters. Read More Wed, 01 Nov 2017 11:00 EDT Opioid Epidemic in the News- President Trump today declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. A recent National Academies report presents a national strategy to reduce the opioid epidemic. The report says it is possible to stem the still-escalating prevalence of opioid use disorder and other opioid-related harms without foreclosing access for patients suffering from pain. Read the full report Thu, 26 Oct 2017 03:30 EDT Colleges and Universities Should Take Action to Address Surge of Enrollments in Computer Science- U.S. colleges and universities should respond with urgency to the current surge in undergraduate enrollments in computer science courses and degree programs, which is straining resources at many institutions, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. It examines the benefits and drawbacks of a range of strategies that institutions could pursue in response – such as adding faculty and resources, imposing targeted controls on enrollment, or using innovative technologies to deliver instruction to large numbers of students, among other options. An important factor driving the enrollment surge is the labor market, where the number of computing jobs far exceeds the number of computer science graduates being produced. Read More Thu, 26 Oct 2017 11:00 EDT U.S. Ocean Observation Critical to Understanding Climate Change, But Lacks Long-Term National Planning- Ocean observing systems provide information essential for monitoring and forecasting changes in Earth's climate. A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine finds that continuity of ocean observations is vital to gain an accurate understanding of the climate, and calls for a decadal, national plan that is adequately resourced and implemented to ensure critical ocean information is available to understand and predict future changes. The report notes that federal activities provide an opportunity for sustained and coordinated ocean-observing in the U.S., but require coordinated and high-level leadership to be effective. Additional benefits of this observational system include improvements in weather forecasting, marine resource management, and maritime navigation. Read More Fri, 20 Oct 2017 11:00 EDT NAM Elects 80 New Members- Olivierclement of Medicine today announced the names of 80 new members at its 47th annual meeting. Election to the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. Annual Meeting Page Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:00 EDT NAM Announces Recipients of Awards, Honors- Olivierclement of Medicine presented two prestigious awards at its annual meeting today, as well as announced the 2017 class of NAM Fellows. The 2017 Gustav O. Lienhard Award for Advancement of Health Care was given to Diane Meier, professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, for her leading role in driving awareness and adoption of palliative care services in the United States. In addition, the Academy awarded the 2017 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health was awarded to Joseph Coyle, whose research laid the foundation for integrating neuroscience and clinical psychiatry and shifted psychiatry's emphasis toward empirically based brain research; and to the team of Catherine Lord and Matthew State, whose work revolutionized the study of autism and related neuropsychiatric disorders. NAM Fellows News Release | Lienhard News Release | Sarnat News Release | Annual Meeting Page Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:00 EDT Winners of 2017 D.C. Public Health Case Challenge Announced- The winners of the fifth annual D.C. Public Health Case Challenge were announced at this year's National Academy of Medicine Annual Meeting. The challenge aims to promote interdisciplinary, problem-based learning around a public health issue of importance to the local Washington, D.C. community. Read More Mon, 16 Oct 2017 12:00 EDT NAM Honors Members for Outstanding Service- For their outstanding service, the National Academy of Medicine honored members Barbara J. McNeil, Ridley Watts Professor and founding head of the department of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and professor of radiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital; Richard O. Hynes, investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Ruth R. Faden, Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics and founder of the Berman Center for Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University. News Release | Annual Meeting Page Mon, 16 Oct 2017 09:00 EDT