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Recent Publications

(Including joint publications with other units)  


SBIR2014SBIR at the Department of Defense (October 2014)

SBIR at the Department of Defense considers ways that the Department of Defense SBIR program could work better in addressing the congressional objectives for the SBIR program to stimulate technological innovation, use small businesses to meet federal research and development (R & D) needs, foster and encourage the participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses, and increase the private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal R&D. An earlier report, An Assessment of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the Department of Defense, studied how the SBIR program has stimulated technological innovation and used small businesses to meet federal research and development needs. This report builds on the previous one, with a revised survey of SBIR companies. SBIR at the Department of Defense revisits some case studies from the 2009 study and develops new ones, and interviews agency managers and other stakeholders to provide a second snapshot of the program's progress toward achieving its legislative goals. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))


Female EngineersCareer Choices of Female Engineers: A Summary of a Workshop (October 2014)

Despite decades of government, university, and employer efforts to close the gender gap in engineering, women make up only 11 percent of practicing engineers in the United States. What factors influence women graduates' decisions to enter the engineering workforce and either to stay in or leave the field as their careers progress? Researchers are both tapping existing data and fielding new surveys to help answer these questions.On April 24, 2013, the National Research Council Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine held a workshop to explore emerging research and to discuss career pathways and outcomes for women who have received bachelor's degrees in engineering. Participants included academic researchers and representatives from the Department of Labor, National Science Foundation, and Census Bureau, as well as several engineering professional societies. Career Choices of Female Engineers summarizes the presentations and discussions of the workshop. (Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM))


Eyewitness IDIdentifying the Culprit: Assessing Eyewitness Identification (October 2014)
Eyewitnesses play an important role in criminal cases when they can identify culprits. Estimates suggest that tens of thousands of eyewitnesses make identifications in criminal investigations each year. Research on factors that affect the accuracy of eyewitness identification procedures has given us an increasingly clear picture of how identifications are made, and more importantly, an improved understanding of the principled limits on vision and memory that can lead to failure of identification. Factors such as viewing conditions, duress, elevated emotions, and biases influence the visual perception experience. Perceptual experiences are stored by a system of memory that is highly malleable and continuously evolving, neither retaining nor divulging content in an informational vacuum. As such, the fidelity of our memories to actual events may be compromised by many factors at all stages of processing, from encoding to storage and retrieval. Unknown to the individual, memories are forgotten, reconstructed, updated, and distorted. Complicating the process further, policies governing law enforcement procedures for conducting and recording identifications are not standard, and policies and practices to address the issue of misidentification vary widely. These limitations can produce mistaken identifications with significant consequences. What can we do to make certain that eyewitness identification convicts the guilty and exonerates the innocent? Identifying the Culprit makes the case that better data collection and research on eyewitness identification, new law enforcement training protocols, standardized procedures for administering line-ups, and improvements in the handling of eyewitness identification in court can increase the chances that accurate identifications are made. (Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL))/ (Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE)) 
 

Cultural MattersCulture Matters: International Research Collaboration in a Changing World--Summary of a Workshop (September 2014)
Culture Matters is the summary of a workshop convened by the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) in July 2013 to address how culture and cultural perception influence and impact the process by which research agreements are made and negotiated across international boundaries. In this workshop, "Culture Matters: An Approach to International Research Agreements", representatives from around the world and from GUIRR's three constituent sectors - government, university, and industry - gathered to provide input into four specific meeting tracks or domains. The tracks focused on research and agreements affecting or involving people/human subjects; environmental and natural resources; science, engineering, and manufacturing; and agriculture and animal issues. This report examines each of these domains and the role that culture and cultural expectations may have in the forging and implementation of international research agreements. (Government University Industry Research Round Table (GUIRR))
 


Sustainability NationBest Practices for Risk-Informed Decision Making Regarding Contaminated Sites: Summary of a Workshop Series (July 2014)

This report is the summary of two workshops convened in October 2013 and January 2014 on best practices for risk-informed remedy selection, closure, and post-closure control of radioactive and chemically contaminated sites that present significant difficulty for remediation to unrestricted release. The workshop series aimed to explore best practices that promote effective, risk-informed decision making and future opportunities to improve remediation approaches and practices.In the Workshop #1 section of Best Practices for Risk-Informed Decision Making Regarding Contaminated Sites, the report examines holistic approaches for remediating sites with multiple contaminant sources and post-closure uses, and approaches for incorporating a sustainability framework into decision making regarding site remediation, closure, and post-closure control. In Workshop #2, the report focuses on post-closure controls, assessment of long-term performance of site remedies, and best practices for risk-based remediation decisions. (Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS)

GSTOCStrategic Engagement in Global S&T: Opportunities for Defense Research (June 2014)
The U.S. Department of Defense has long relied on its historical technological superiority to maintain military advantage. But as the U.S. share of global scientific and technological output shrinks, DOD needs to re-examine its strategy for maintaining awareness of S&T developments emerging around the world. This report recommends that the U.S. Department of Defense develop an implementable strategy to improve its awareness of the global S&T landscape and identify opportunities for collaboration. The report urges DOD to pursue a full spectrum of activities ranging from data analytics and reading emerging scientific literature, to holding and attending international scientific conferences, to funding collaborative research projects. (Board on Global Science and Technology) 


 

Networked Humans and MachinesComplex Operational Decision Making in Networked Systems of Humans and Machines: A Multidisciplinary Approach (June 2014)
The potential for using technology to enhance the way people make complex decisions is significant now, as advances in software and memory storage make access to large amounts of data possible. Still, human beings do not have the ability to analyze the vast quantities of computer-generated data. How might humans and computers team up to turn this data into reliable and timely decisions?  This report explores the possibilities for better decision making through collaboration between humans and computers. It outlines research goals and relevant milestones in several subfields that could enhance human-machine collaboration for complex decision making. 


 

S&TLetter Science and Technology Capabilities of the Department of State: Letter Report (April 2014)
This interim report of the National Research Council was written in response to a request from former Under Secretary Robert Hormats, to undertake an assessment of the capabilities of the Department of State that are particularly important as science and technology become integral aspects of diplomacy.. (Development, Security, and Cooperation (DSC))


 

 

 

Competitive ResearchThe Arc of the Academic Research Career: Issues and Implications for U.S. Science and Engineering Leadership: Summary of a Workshop (March 2014)
America's research universities have undergone striking changes in recent decades, and the traditional career path for faculty --developed in the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries -- is now a source of strain for both the individuals pursuing it and the institutions in which they work. This report summarizes a workshop held in September 2013 to examine major points of tension in academic research careers from the viewpoints of both faculty members and institutions. Workshop presentations explored the challenges universities face, such as nurturing the talent of future faculty members and managing their progress through all the stages of their careers, as well as challenges faced by faculty, such as navigating early-career bottlenecks and balancing work and family. National experts from a variety of disciplines and institutions discussed successful strategies in use on campuses and identified issues not yet effectively addressed. (Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP))

Sustainability NationPathways to Urban Sustainability: Perspective from Portland and the Pacific Northwest: Summary of a Workshop (March 2014)
For more than 40 years, the Portland Metropolitan Region has been a national leader in urban policies and investments intended to revitalize the central city and adjacent neighborhoods, preserve the environment, improve equity, and make the city more economically competitive and livable. Among the elements contributing to Portland’s success have been strong public-private partnerships, a culture of planning, and a willingness to implement diverse ideas generated by federal, state, and local agencies, academics, and the private sector. This report summarizes a 2013 workshop that examined issues related to sustainability in the Portland metropolitan and greater Pacific Northwest regions. Presentations and discussions explored the role of land use restrictions on development, transportation innovations, and economic and social
challenges, among other subjects. The workshop was the third in a series of place-based workshops on urban sustainability, preceded by events in Atlanta and Houston. (Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS))  

Emerging Tech

Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security-A Framework for Addressing Ethical, Legal, and Societal Issues (prepublication December 2013)
Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security is a study on the ethical, legal, and societal issues relating to the research on, development of, and use of rapidly changing technologies with low barriers of entry that have potential military application, such as information technologies, synthetic biology, and nanotechnology. The report also considers the ethical issues associated with robotics and autonomous systems, prosthetics and human enhancement, and cyber weapons. These technologies are characterized by readily available knowledge access, technological advancements that can take place in months instead of years, the blurring of lines between basic research and applied research, and a high uncertainty about how the future trajectories of these technologies will evolve and what applications will be possible.Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security addresses topics such as the ethics of using autonomous weapons that may be available in the future; the propriety of enhancing the physical or cognitive capabilities of soldiers with drugs or implants or prosthetics; and what limits, if any, should be placed on the nature and extent of economic damage that cyber weapons can cause. This report explores three areas with respect to emerging and rapidly available technologies: the conduct of research; research applications; and unanticipated, unforeseen, or inadvertent ethical, legal, and societal issues. The report articulates a framework for policy makers, institutions, and individual researchers to think about issues as they relate to these technologies of military relevance and makes recommendations for how each of these groups should approach these considerations in its research activities. Emerging and Readily Available Technologies and National Security makes an essential contribution to incorporate the full consideration of ethical, legal, and societal issues in situations where rapid technological change may outpace our ability to foresee consequences. (Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL))/Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB)/Other units

Seeking SolutionsSeeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia: Summary of a Conference (December 2013)
Seeking Solutions: Maximizing American Talent by Advancing Women of Color in Academia is the summary of a 2013 conference convened by the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering and Medicine of the National Research Council to discuss the current status of women of color in academia and explore the challenges and successful initiatives for creating the institutional changes required to increase representation of women of color at all levels of the academic workforce. While the number of women, including minority women, pursuing higher education in science, engineering and medicine has grown, the number of minority women faculty in all institutions of higher education has remained small and has grown less rapidly than the numbers of nonminority women or minority men. Seeking Solutions reviews the existing research on education and academic career patterns for minority women in science, engineering, and medicine to enhance understanding of the barriers and challenges to the full participation of all minority women in STEM disciplines and academic careers. Additionally, this report identifies reliable and credible data source and data gaps, as well as key aspects of exemplary policies and programs that are effective in enhancing minority women's participation in faculty ranks. Success in academia is predicated on many factors and is not solely a function of talent. Seeking Solutions elucidates those other factors and highlights ways that institutions and the individuals working there can take action to create institutional cultures hospitable to people of any gender, race, and ethnicity. (Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM))

IndonesiaReducing Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Indonesia: Saving Lives, Saving the Future (December 2013)
The Republic of Indonesia, home to over 240 million people, is the world's fourth most populous nation. Ethnically, culturally, and economically diverse, the Indonesian people are broadly dispersed across an archipelago of more than 13,000 islands. Rapid urbanization has given rise to one megacity (Jakarta) and to 10 other major metropolitan areas. And yet about half of Indonesians make their homes in rural areas of the country. Indonesia, a signatory to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, has committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, recent estimates suggest that Indonesia will not achieve by the target date of 2015 MDG 4 - reduction by two-thirds of the 1990 under - 5 infant mortality rate (number of children under age 5 who die per 1,000 live births) - and MDG 5 - reduction by three-quarters of the 1990 maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths within 28 days of childbirth in a given year per 100,000 live births). Although much has been achieved, complex and indeed difficult challenges will have to be overcome before maternal and infant mortality are brought into the MDG-prescribed range. Reducing Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Indonesia is a joint study by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Indonesian Academy of Sciences that evaluates the quality and consistency of the existing data on maternal and neonatal mortality; devises a strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals related to maternal mortality, fetal mortality (stillbirths), and neonatal mortality; and identifies the highest priority interventions and proposes steps toward development of an effective implementation plan. According to the UN Human Development Index (HDI), in 2012 Indonesia ranked 121st out of 185 countries in human development. However, over the last 20 years the rate of improvement in Indonesia\'s HDI ranking has exceeded the world average. This progress may be attributable in part to the fact that Indonesia has put considerable effort into meeting the MDGs. This report is intended to be a contribution toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals. (Development, Security, and Cooperation (DSC))

Since the 1950s, under congressional mandate, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) - through its National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) and predecessor agencies - has produced regularly updated measures of research and development expenditures, employment and training in science and engineering, and other indicators of the state of U.S. science and technology. A more recent focus has been on measuring innovation in the corporate sector. NCSES collects its own data on science, technology, and innovation (STI) activities and also incorporates data from other agencies to produce indicators that are used for monitoring purposes - including comparisons among sectors, regions, and with other countries - and for identifying trends that may require policy attention and generate research needs. NCSES also provides extensive tabulations and microdata files for in-depth analysis. Capturing Change in Science, Technology, and Innovation assesses and provides recommendations regarding the need for revised, refocused, and newly developed indicators of STI activities that would enable NCSES to respond to changing policy concerns. This report also identifies and assesses both existing and potential data resources and tools that NCSES could exploit to further develop its indicators program. Finally, the report considers strategic pathways for NCSES to move forward with an improved STI indicators program. The recommendations offered in Capturing Change in Science, Technology, and Innovation are intended to serve as the basis for a strategic program of work that will enhance NCSES's ability to produce indicators that capture change in science, technology, and innovation to inform policy and optimally meet the needs of its user community. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))/ (Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT))

Flexible ElectronicsFlexible Electronics for Security, Manufacturing, and Growth in the United States: Summary of a Symposium (November 2013)
Flexible Electronics for Security, Manufacturing, and Growth in the United States is the summary of a workshop convened in September 2010 by Policy and Global Affairs' Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy to review challenges, plans, and opportunities for growing a robust flexible electronics industry in the United States. Business leaders, academic experts, and senior government officials met to review the role of research consortia around the world to advance flexible electronics technology. Presenters and participants sought to understand their structure, focus, funding, and likely impact, and to determine what appropriate steps the United States might consider to develop a robust flexible electronics industry. Flexible electronics refers to technologies that enable flexibility in the manufacturing process as well as flexibility as a characteristic of the final product. Features such as unconventional forms and ease of manufacturability provide important advantages for flexible electronics over conventional electronics built on rigid substrates. Today, examples of flexible electronics technologies are found in flexible flat-panel displays, medical image sensors, photovoltaic sheets, and electronic paper. According to some industry estimates, the global market for flexible electronics products is expected to grow from a few billion dollars today to $60 billion by the end of the decade, but most experts believe that the United States is not currently poised to capitalize on this opportunity. Flexible Electronics for Security, Manufacturing, and Growth in the United States examines and compares selected innovation programs, both foreign and domestic, and their potential to advance the production of flexible electronics technology. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP)) 
Competitive ResearchThe Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (November 2013)
The primary federal program designed to ensure that all states are capable of participating the nation's research enterprise fall under the general rubric of the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCOR). The National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration have active EPSCOR programs. Since its inaugural year in 1979, the EPSCOR program has grown from funding programs in five states to awarding funding to 31 states in 2012. The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research assesses the effectiveness of EPSCOR and similar federal agency programs in improving national research capabilities, promoting an equitable distribution of research funding, and integrating their efforts with other initiatives designed to strengthen the nation's research capacity. This report also looks at the effectiveness of EPSCOR states in using awards to develop science engineering research and education, as well a science and engineering infrastructure within their state. The Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research makes recommendations for improvement for each agency to create a more focused program with greater impact. (Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP))
 
New York's Nanotechnology Model: Building the Innovation Economy is the summary of a 2013 symposium convened by the National Research Council Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy and members of the Nano Consortium that drew state officials and staff, business leaders, and leading national figures in early-stage finance, technology, engineering, education, and state and federal policies to review challenges, plans, and opportunities for innovation-led growth in New York. The symposium participants assessed New York's academic, industrial, and human resources, identified key policy issues, and engaged in a discussion of how the state might leverage regional development organizations, state initiatives, and national programs focused on manufacturing and innovation to support its economic development goals. This report highlights the accomplishments and growth of the innovation ecosystem in New York, while also identifying needs, challenges, and opportunities. New York's Nanotechnology Model reviews the development of the Albany nanotech cluster and its usefulness as a model for innovation-based growth, while also discussing the New York innovation ecosystem more broadly. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))
 
vet medWorkforce Needs in Veterinary Medicine (October 2013)
The U.S. veterinary medical profession contributes to society in diverse ways, from developing drugs and protecting the food supply to treating companion animals and investigating animal diseases in the wild. In a study of the issues related to the veterinary medical workforce, including demographics, workforce supply, trends affecting job availability, and capacity of the educational system to fill future demands, a National Research Council committee found that the profession faces important challenges in maintaining the economic sustainability of veterinary practice and education, building its scholarly foundations, and evolving veterinary service to meet changing societal needs. Many concerns about the profession came into focus following the outbreak of West Nile fever in 1999, and the subsequent outbreaks of SARS, monkeypox, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, highly pathogenic avian influenza, H1N1 influenza, and a variety of food safety and environmental issues heightened public concerns. They also raised further questions about the directions of veterinary medicine and the capacity of public health service the profession provides both in the United States and abroad. To address some of the problems facing the veterinary profession, greater public and private support for education and research in veterinary medicine is needed. The public, policymakers, and even medical professionals are frequently unaware of how veterinary medicine fundamentally supports both animal and human health and well-being. This report seeks to broaden the public's understanding and attempts to anticipate some of the needs and measures that are essential for the profession to fulfill given its changing roles in the 21st century.(Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW)/Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources (BANR))
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) - a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology - has sought for more than two decades to strengthen American manufacturing. It is a national network of affiliated manufacturing extension centers and field offices located throughout all fifty states and Puerto Rico. Funding for MEP Centers comes from a combination of federal, state, local and private resources. Centers work directly with manufacturing firms in their state or sub-state region. MEP Centers provide expertise, services and assistance directed toward improving growth, supply chain positioning, leveraging emerging technologies, improving manufacturing processes, work force training, and the application and implementation of information in client companies through direct assistance provided by Center staff and from partner organizations and third party consultants. 21st Century Manufacturing seeks to generate a better understanding of the operation, achievements, and challenges of the MEP program in its mission to support, strengthen, and grow U.S. manufacturing. This report identifies and reviews similar national programs from abroad in order to draw on foreign practices, funding levels, and accomplishments as a point of reference and discusses current needs and initiatives in light of the global focus on advanced manufacturing. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))
 
Patent ChallengsPatent Challenges for Standard-Setting in the Global Economy: Lessons from Information and Communication Technology (October 2013)
Patent Challenges for Standard-Setting in the Global Economy: Lessons from Information and Communication Technology examines how leading national and multinational standard-setting organizations (SSOs) address patent disclosures, licensing terms, transfers of patent ownership, and other issues that arise in connection with developing technical standards for consumer and other microelectronic products, associated software and components, and communications networks including the Internet. Attempting to balance the interests of patent holders, other participants in standard-setting, standards implementers, and consumers, the report calls on SSOs to develop more explicit policies to avoid patent holdup and royalty-stacking, ensure that licensing commitments carry over to new owners of the patents incorporated in standards, and limit injunctions for infringement of patents with those licensing commitments. The report recommends government measures to increase the transparency of patent ownership and use of standards information to improve patent quality and to reduce conflicts of laws across countries. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))

India-USIndia-United States Cooperation on Global Security: Summary of a Workshop on Technical Aspects of Civilian Nuclear Materials Security (September 2013)
The U.S. government has made safeguarding of weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium an international policy priority, and convened The 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., on April 12 and 13, 2010. Forty six governments sent delegations to the summit and twenty nine of them made national commitments to support nuclear security. During the Summit, India announced its commitment to establish a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership. The Centre is to be open to international participation through academic0 exchanges, training, and research and development efforts. India-United States Cooperation on Global Security is the summary of a workshop held by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) together with its partner of more than 15 years, the National Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS) in Bangalore, India. The workshop identified and examined potential areas for substantive scientific and technical cooperation between the two countries on issues related to nuclear material security. Technical experts from India and the United States focused on topics of nuclear material security and promising opportunities for India and the United States to learn from each other and cooperate. This report discusses nuclear materials management issues such as nuclear materials accounting, cyber security, physical security, and nuclear forensics. (Committee on International Security and Arms Control (CISAC))

Disaster WorkshopLaunching a National Conversation on Disaster Resilience in America: Workshop Summary (September 2013)
With the increasing frequency of natural and human-induced disasters and the increasing magnitude of their consequences, a clear need exists for governments and communities to become more resilient. The National Research Council's 2012 report Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative addressed the importance of resilience, discussed different challenges and approaches for building resilience, and outlined steps for implementing resilience efforts in communities and within government. Launching a National Conversation on Disaster Resilience in America is a summary of a one-day event in November 2012 to formally launch a national conversation on resilience. Nationally-recognized experts in disaster resilience met to discuss developing a culture of resilience, implementing resilience, and understanding federal perspectives about resilience. This report includes a broad range of perspectives and experiences derived from many types of hazards and disasters in all parts of the country.. ((Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP))
 

Role of Manuf.Strengthening American Manufacturing: The Role of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership : Summary of a Symposium (September 2013)
The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)-- a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-- has sought for more than two decades to strengthen American manufacturing. It is a national network of affiliated manufacturing extension centers and field offices located throughout all fifty states and Puerto Rico. Qualified MEP Centers work directly with small and medium manufacturing firms in their state or sub-state region, providing expertise, services and assistance directed to foster growth, improve supply chain positioning, leverage emerging technologies, upgrade manufacturing processes, develop work force training, and apply and implement new information. Strengthening American Manufacturing: The Role of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership is the summary of a symposium convened to review current operations and some of the recent MEP initiatives in the broader context of global manufacturing trends and the opportunities for high-value manufacturing companies. Business leaders, academic experts, and state and federal officials addressed the metrics and impacts of MEP and identified potential areas of improvement. The meeting drew attention to the scale and focuses of MEP, and highlighted the role it plays in supporting and enabling U.S. manufacturers to compete more effectively in the global marketplace. This report includes an overview of key issues raised at this workshop and a detailed summary of the conference presentations. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))

Synthetic BioPositioning Synthetic Biology to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century: Summary Report of a Six Academies Symposium Series (August 2013)
Synthetic biology -- unlike any research discipline that precedes it -- has the potential to bypass the less predictable process of evolution to usher in a new and dynamic way of working with living systems. Ultimately, synthetic biologists hope to design and build engineered biological systems with capabilities that do not exist in natural systems -- capabilities that may ultimately be used for applications in manufacturing, food production, and global health. Importantly, synthetic biology represents an area of science and engineering that raises technical, ethical, regulatory, security, biosafety, intellectual property, and other issues that will be resolved differently in different parts of the world. As a better understanding of the global synthetic biology landscape could lead to tremendous benefits, six academies -- the United Kingdom's Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, the United States' National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering, and the Chinese Academy of Science and Chinese Academy of Engineering -- organized a series of international symposia on the scientific, technical, and policy issues associated with synthetic biology. Positioning Synthetic Biology to Meet the Challenges of the 21st Century summarizes the symposia proceedings. (Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL))

Sustainability NationSustainability for the Nation: Resource Connection and Governance Linkages (June 2013)
A "sustainable society," according to one definition, "is one that can persist over generations; one that is far-seeing enough, flexible enough, and wise enough not to undermine either its physical or its social system of support." As the government sector works hard to ensure sufficient fresh water, food, energy, housing, health, and education for the nation without limiting resources for the future generations, it's clear that there is no sufficient organization to deal with sustainability issues. Each federal agency appears to have a single mandate or a single area of expertise making it difficult to tackle issues such as managing the ecosystem. Key resource domains, which include water, land, energy, and nonrenewable resources, for example, are nearly-completely connected yet different agencies exist to address only one aspect of these domains.The legendary ecologist John Muir wrote in 1911 that "when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." Thus, in order for the nation to be successful in sustaining its resources, "linkages" will need to be built among federal, state, and local governments; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); and the private sector. The National Research Council (NRC) was asked by several federal agencies, foundations, and the private sector to provide guidance to the federal government on issues related to sustainability linkages. The NRC assigned the task to as committee with a wide range of expertise in government, academia, and business. The committee held public fact-finding meetings to hear from agencies and stakeholder groups; examined sustainability management examples; conducted extensive literature reviews; and more to address the issue. Sustainability for the Nation: Resource Connection and Governance
Linkages is the committee's report on the issue.The report includes insight into high-priority areas for governance linkages, the challenges of managing connected systems, impediments to successful government linkages, and more. The report also features examples of government linkages which include Adaptive Management on the Platte River, Philadelphia's Green Stormwater Infrastructure, and Managing Land Use in the Mojave. (Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS))

 Innovation Best PracticeBest Practices in State and Regional Innovation Initiatives: Competing in the 21st Century (June 2013)
Most of the policy discussion about stimulating innovation has focused on the federal level. This study focuses on the significant activity at the state level, with the goal of improving the public's understanding of key policy strategies and exemplary practices. Based on a series of workshops and conferences that brought together policymakers along with leaders of industry and academia in a select number of states, the study highlights a rich variety of policy initiatives underway at the state and regional level to foster knowledge based growth and employment. Perhaps what distinguishes this effort at the state level is most of all the high degree of pragmatism. Operating out of necessity, innovation policies at the state level often involve taking advantage of existing resources and recombining them in new ways, forging innovative partnerships among universities, industry and government organizations, growing the skill base, and investing in the infrastructure to develop new technologies and new industries. Many of these initiatives are being guided by leaders from the private sector and universities.
  

 

The U.S. Congress charged the National Academies with conducting a review of the Internal Revenue Code to identify the types of and specific tax provisions that have the largest effects on carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions and to estimate the magnitude of those effects. To address such a broad charge, the National Academies appointed a committee composed of experts in tax policy, energy and environmental modeling, economics, environmental law, climate science, and related areas. For scientific background to produce Effects of U.S. Tax Policy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions, the committee relied on the earlier findings and studies by the National Academies, the U.S. government, and other research organizations. The committee has relied on earlier reports and studies to set the boundaries of the economic, environmental, and regulatory assumptions for the present study. The major economic and environmental assumptions are those developed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its annual reports and modeling. Additionally, the committee has relied upon publicly available data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which inventories greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from different sources in the United States. The tax system affects emissions primarily through changes in the prices of inputs and outputs or goods and services. Most of the tax provisions considered in this report relate directly to the production or consumption of different energy sources. However, there is a substantial set of tax expenditures called "broad-based" that favor certain categories of consumption—among them, employer-provided health care, owner-occupied housing, and purchase of new plants and equipment. Effects of U.S. Tax Policy on Greenhouse Gas Emissions examines both tax expenditures and excise taxes that could have a significant impact on GHG emissions. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))

 Illinois InnovationBuilding the Illinois Innovation Economy: Summary of a Symposium (May 2013)
Responding to the challenges of fostering regional growth and employment in an increasingly competitive global economy, many U.S. states and regions have developed programs to attract and grow companies as well as attract the talent and resources necessary to develop innovation clusters. These state and regionally based initiatives have a broad range of goals and increasingly include significant resources, often with a sector focus and often in partnership with foundations and universities. These are being joined by recent initiatives to coordinate and concentrate investments from a variety of federal agencies that provide significant resources to develop regional centers of innovation, business incubators, and other strategies to encourage entrepreneurship and high-tech development. Building the Illinois Innovation Economy is a study of selected state and regional programs to identify best practices with regard to their goals, structures, instruments, modes of operation, synergies across private and public programs, funding mechanisms and levels, and evaluation efforts. This report reviews selected state and regional efforts to capitalize on federal and state investments in areas of critical national needs. This review includes both efforts to strengthen existing industries as well as specific new technology focus areas such as nanotechnology, stem cells, and energy in order to improve our understanding of program goals, challenges, and accomplishments. As a part of this review, The Committee on Competing in the 21st Century: Best Practice in State and Regional Innovation Initiatives is convening a series of public workshops and symposia involving responsible local, state, and federal officials and other stakeholders. These meetings and symposia will enable an exchange of views, information, experience, and analysis to identify best practice in the range of programs and incentives adopted. Building the Illinois Innovation Economy summarizes discussions at these symposia, fact-finding meetings, and commissioned analyses of existing state and regional programs and technology focus areas, the committee will subsequently produce a final report with findings and  recommendations focused on lessons, issues, and opportunities for complementary U.S. policies created by these state and regional initiatives. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))

copyright Copyright in the Digital Era: Building Evidence for Policy (May 2013)
Over the course of several decades, copyright protection has been expanded and extended through legislative changes occasioned by national and international developments. The content and technology industries affected by copyright and its exceptions, and in some cases balancing the two, have become increasingly important as sources of economic growth, relatively high-paying jobs, and exports. Since the expansion of digital technology in the mid-1990s, they have undergone a technological revolution that has disrupted long-established modes of creating, distributing, and using works ranging from literature and news to film and music to scientific publications and computer software.In the United States and internationally, these disruptive changes have given rise to a strident debate over copyright's proper scope and terms and means of its enforcement--a debate between those who believe the digital revolution is progressively undermining the copyright protection essential to encourage the funding, creation, and distribution of new works and those who believe that enhancements to copyright are inhibiting technological innovation and free expression. Copyright in the Digital Era: Building Evidence for Policy examines a range of questions regarding copyright policy by using a variety of methods, such as case studies, international and sectoral comparisons, and experiments and surveys. This report is especially critical in light of digital age developments that may, for example, change the incentive calculus for various actors in the copyright system, impact the costs of voluntary copyright transactions, pose new enforcement challenges, and change the optimal balance between copyright protection and exceptions. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))

  The objective of Best Practices in State and Regional Innovation Initiatives: Competing in the 21st Century is not to do an empirical review of the inputs and outputs of various state programs. Nor is it to evaluate which programs are superior. Indeed, some of the notable successes, such as the Albany nanotechnology cluster, represent a leap of leadership, investment, and sustained commitment that has had remarkable results in an industry that is actively pursued by many countries. The study's goal is to illustrate the approaches taken by a variety of highly diverse states as they confront the increasing challenges of global competition for the industries and jobs of today and tomorrow.(Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))

Avian FluPerspectives on Research with H5N1 Avian Influenza: Scientific Inquiry, Communication, Controversy: Summary of a Workshop (April 2013)
When, in late 2011, it became public knowledge that two research groups had submitted for publication manuscripts that reported on their work on mammalian transmissibility of a lethal H5N1 avian influenza strain, the information caused an international debate about the appropriateness and communication of the researchers' work, the risks associated with the work, partial or complete censorship of scientific publications, and dual-use research of concern in general. Recognizing that the H5N1 research is only the most recent scientific activity subject to widespread attention due to safety and security concerns, on May 1, 2012, the National Research Council's Committee on Science, Technology and Law, in conjunction with the Board on Life Sciences and the Institute of Medicine's Forum on Microbial Threats, convened a one-day public workshop for the purposes of 1) discussing the H5N1 controversy; 2) considering responses by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which had funded this research, the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), scientific publishers, and members of the international research community; and 3) providing a forum wherein the concerns and interests of the broader community of stakeholders, including policy makers, biosafety and biosecurity experts, non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and the general public might be articulated.Perspectives on Research with H5N1 Avian Influenza: Scientific Enquiry, Communication, Controversy summarizes the proceedings of the workshop. (Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL))

Miners ReportEmerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries: A Call to Action  
(Prepublication March 2013)
Energy and mineral resources are essential for the nation's fundamental functions, its economy, and security. Nonfuel minerals are essential for the existence and operations of products that are used by people every day and are provided by various sectors of the mining industry. Energy in the United States is provided from a variety of resources including fossil fuels, and renewable and nuclear energy, all with established commercial industry bases. The United States is the largest electric power producer in the world. The overall value added to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2011 by major industries that consumed processed nonfuel mineral materials was $2.2 trillion.Recognizing the importance of understanding the state of the energy and mining workforce in the United States to assure a trained and skilled workforce of sufficient size for the future, the Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Energy technology Laboratory (NETL) contracted with the National Research Council (NRC) to perform a study of the emerging workforce trends in the U.S. energy and mining industries. Emerging Workforce Trends in the U.S. Energy and Mining Industries:  A Call to Action summarizes the findings of this study. (Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (BESR)/Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW)/Earth and Life Studies (DELS))

Ohio Innovation

Building the Ohio Innovation Economy: Summary of a Symposium (February 2013)
Since 1991, the National Research Council, under the auspices of the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, has undertaken a program of activities to improve policymakers' understandings of the interconnections of science, technology, and economic policy and their importance for the American economy and its international competitive position. The Board's activities have corresponded with increased policy recognition of the importance of knowledge and technology to economic growth. One important element of STEP's analysis concerns the growth and impact of foreign technology programs. U.S. competitors have launched substantial programs to support new technologies, small firm development, and consortia among large and small firms to strengthen national and regional positions in strategic sectors. Some governments overseas have chosen to provide public support to innovation to overcome the market imperfections apparent in their national innovation systems. They believe that the rising costs and risks associated with new potentially high-payoff technologies, and the growing global dispersal of technical expertise, underscore the need for national R&D programs to support new and existing high-technology firms within their borders. Similarly, many state and local governments and regional entities in the United States are undertaking a variety of initiatives to enhance local economic development and employment through investment programs designed to attract knowledge-based industries and grow innovation clusters. These state and regional programs and associated policy measures are of great interest for their potential contributions to growth and U.S. competitiveness and for the "best practice" lessons that they offer for other state and regional programs. STEP's project on State and Regional Innovation Initiatives is intended to generate a better understanding of the challenges associated with the transition of research into products, the practices associated with successful state and regional programs, and their interaction with federal programs and private initiatives. The study seeks to achieve this goal through a series of complementary assessments of state, regional, and federal initiatives; analyses of specific industries and technologies from the perspective of crafting supportive public policy at all three levels; and outreach to multiple stakeholders. Building the Ohio Innovation Economy: Summary of a Symposium explains the of the study, which is to improve the operation of state and regional programs and, collectively, enhance their impact. (Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP))

HoustonPathways to Urban Sustainability: A Focus on the Houston Metropolitan Region: Summary of a Workshop  (January 2013)
The workshop was convened to explore the region's approach to urban sustainability, with an emphasis on building the evidence base upon which new policies and programs might be developed. Participants examined how the interaction of various systems (natural and human systems; energy, water, and transportation systems) affected the region's social, economic, and environmental conditions. The objectives of the workshop were as follows: Discuss ways that regional actors are approaching sustainability— specifically, how they are attempting to merge environmental, social, and economic objectives; Share information about ongoing activities and strategic planning efforts, including lessons learned; Examine the role that science, technology, and research can play in supporting efforts to make the region more sustainable; Explore how federal agency efforts, particularly interagency partnerships, can complement or leverage the efforts of other key stakeholders. Pathways to Urban Sustainability: A Focus on the Houston Metropolitan Region: Summary of a Workshop was designed to explore the complex challenges facing sustainability efforts in the Houston metropolitan region and innovative approaches to addressing them, as well as performance measures to gauge success and opportunities to link knowledge with action. In developing the agenda, the planning committee chose topics that were timely and cut across the concerns of individual institutions, reflecting the interests of a variety of stakeholders. Panelists were encouraged to share their perspectives on a given topic; however, each panel was designed to provoke discussion that took advantage of the broad experience of the participants. (Science and Technology for Sustainability (STS))
 
GeoSpaceFuture U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence (Prepublication January 2013)
We live in a changing world with multiple and evolving threats to national security, including terrorism, asymmetrical warfare (conflicts between agents with different military powers or tactics), and social unrest. Visually depicting and assessing these threats using imagery and other geographically-referenced information is the mission of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). As the nature of the threat evolves, so do the tools, knowledge, and skills needed to respond. The challenge for NGA is to maintain a workforce that can deal with evolving threats to national security, ongoing scientific and technological advances, and changing skills and expectations of workers. Future U.S. Workforce for Geospatial Intelligence assesses the supply of expertise in 10 geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) fields, including 5 traditional areas (geodesy and geophysics, photogrammetry, remote sensing, cartographic science, and geographic information systems and geospatial analysis) and 5 emerging areas that could improve geospatial intelligence (GEOINT fusion, crowdsourcing, human geography, visual analytics, and forecasting). The report also identifies gaps in expertise relative to NGA's needs and suggests ways to ensure an adequate supply of geospatial intelligence expertise over the next 20 years..  (Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (BESR)/Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW)/Earth and Life Studies (DELS))

US-Russia BioThe Unique U.S.-Russian Relationship in Biological Science and Biotechnology: Recent Experience and Future Directions (Prepublication January 2013)

In the fall of 2010, the U.S. National Academies (consisting of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine) and the Russian Academy of Sciences (in cooperation with the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences) initiated a joint study of U.S.-Russian bilateral engagement in the biological sciences and biotechnology (hereinafter collectively referred to as bioengagement). The U.S. Department of State and the Russian Academy of Sciences provided support for the study. The academies established a joint committee of 12 leading scientists from the two countries to assess bioengagement activities since 1996 and to provide recommendations as to collaborative efforts in the near future. The Unique U.S.-Russian Relationship in Biological Science and Biotechnology: Recent Experience and Future Directions summarizes the principal conclusions and recommendations of the study. (Development, Security, Cooperation (DSC)

 

 

PGA_054800PGA_041596PGA_041690PGA_041695PGA_041692PGA_073332PGA_041693PGA_041694PGA_041691PGA_041696