COSEPUP mainly conducts studies on cross-cutting issues in science and technology policy. It was chartered by the Academies to address "the concerns and requests of the President's Science Advisor, the Director of the National Science Foundation, the Chair of the National Science Board, and heads of other federal research and development departments and agencies, and the Chairs of key science and technology-related committees of the Congress." It also monitors key developments in U.S. science and technology policy for the Academies' leadership.
COSEPUP studies are usually conducted by special interdisciplinary panels comprising the nation's best scientific and engineering expertise. While many studies are sponsored by government agencies, COSEPUP procedures safeguard its studies from the influence of sponsors or other outside groups.
LATEST REPORT RELEASES
No person or place is immune from disasters or disaster-related losses. Infectious disease outbreaks, acts of terrorism, social unrest, or financial disasters in addition to natural hazards can all lead to large-scale consequences for the nation and its communities. Communities and the nation thus face difficult fiscal, social, cultural, and environmental choices about the best ways to ensure basic security and quality of life against hazards, deliberate attacks, and disasters. Beyond the unquantifiable costs of injury and loss of life from disasters, statistics for 2011 alone indicate economic damages from natural disasters in the United States exceeded $55 billion, with 14 events costing more than a billion dollars in damages each.
One way to reduce the impacts of disasters on the nation and its communities is to invest in enhancing resilience--the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from and more successfully adapt to adverse events. Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative addresses the broad issue of increasing the nation's resilience to disasters. This book defines "national resilience", describes the state of knowledge about resilience to hazards and disasters, and frames the main issues related to increasing resilience in the United States. It also provide goals, baseline conditions, or performance metrics for national resilience and outlines additional information, data, gaps, and/or obstacles that need to be addressed to increase the nation's resilience to disasters. Additionally, the book's authoring committee makes recommendations about the necessary approaches to elevate national resilience to disasters in the United States.
Enhanced resilience allows better anticipation of disasters and better planning to reduce disaster losses-rather than waiting for an event to occur and paying for it afterward. Disaster Resilience confronts the topic of how to increase the nation's resilience to disasters through a vision of the characteristics of a resilient nation in the year 2030. Increasing disaster resilience is an imperative that requires the collective will of the nation and its communities. Although disasters will continue to occur, actions that move the nation from reactive approaches to disasters to a proactive stance where communities actively engage in enhancing resilience will reduce many of the broad societal and economic burdens that disasters can cause.
Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Developing Regional Innovation Environments: A Workshop Summary
In October 2005, the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine released a policy report that served as a call to action. The report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future observed that "the scientific and technological building blocks critical to the United States economic leadership are eroding at a time when many other nations are gathering strength." The report laid out 20 recommendations in four broad areas - K-12 education, science and engineering research, higher education, and economic and technology policy - and warned that a failure to take action could have dire economic consequences.
Rising Above the Gathering Storm sparked intense discussion among policy makers, industrial leaders, and the general public. Five years after the release of the Gathering Storm report, a second report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5, assessed changes in America's competitive posture. This report concluded that "our nation's outlook has not improved, but rather has worsened" since the Gathering Storm report was released. The report noted examples of other nations that have upgraded their investments in education, technological infrastructure, and innovation systems to a greater extent than has the United States.
The ability of the states to drive innovation was the impetus behind a major workshop held in Madison, Wisconsin, on September 20-22, 2011. Titled "Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Developing Regional Innovation Environments," the workshop brought together leaders in education, government, economic development, and industrial innovation to discuss state and regional initiatives to boost competitiveness through science, technology, and innovation. The conference was organized around four major themes:
- Revitalizing K-12 Science and Mathematics Education
- Strengthening Undergraduate Education in Science and Engineering
- Building Effective Partnerships Among Governments, Universities, Companies, and Other Stakeholders
- Fostering Regional Technology Development and Entrepreneurship
Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Developing Regional Innovation Environments: A Workshop Summary gives an overview of the presentations, observations, and recommendations made during the workshop.