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News from the National Academies

The president of the National Academy of Engineering and several National Academies staff will participate in a variety of sessions at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in Chicago, Feb. 13 – 17:

 

U.S. Looks to the Global Science, Technology, and Innovation Horizon

Friday, Feb. 14, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

National Academy of Engineering President C.D. (Dan) Mote Jr. will join academic, industry, and government leaders to discuss how the U.S. can strengthen its ability to see and understand trends being driven by transformational technologies and new investments by other nations.

 

Building National Capacity in Science Communication for STEM Graduate Students

Friday, Feb. 14, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Effective science communication is an essential skill needed by the science work force of tomorrow.  Jay B. Labov, director of the National Research Council’s Teacher Advisory Council and newly elected Education section chair of AAAS, is a discussant in this session that will identify needs and challenges for improving the quantity and quality of communications training for STEM graduate students.

 

Optics and Photonics: An International Perspective

Friday, Feb. 14, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

This session examines the grand challenges and potential of optics and photonics in an international as well as an economic context, based on the recent National Research Council report Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation.

 

Creating an Ecosystem for Science Learning In and Out of School

Friday, Feb. 14, 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Martin Storksdieck, director of the Research Council’s Board on Science Education, will moderate this discussion on the rapidly expanding infrastructure for STEM education in informal settings, such as after-school programs, museums, or science centers, and the feasible outcomes for learning in these settings that complement in-school learning.

 

Convergence Science A Revolution for Health Solutions

Saturday, Feb. 15, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

In biomedical research, the potential for breakthroughs lies at the intersection of the life sciences, the physical sciences, and engineering, in a collaboration known as convergence science.  Joseph M. DeSimone, chemistry professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Susan J. Hockfield, President Emerita of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both of whom are serving on a National Research Council committee studying issues related to convergence science, will participate in the session.

 

How to Rebuild Informed Trust in Science: Insights from Social Sciences

Saturday, Feb. 15, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Martin Storksdieck serves as a discussant in this session centered on the issues faced by non-experts in understanding scientific information and making informed choices about which sources to trust in light of fragile and conflicting scientific evidence.

 

Santa’s Revenge: The Impacts of Arctic Warming on the Mid-Latitudes

Saturday, Feb. 15, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

At this session organized by Ester Sztein, assistant director of the Research Council’s Board on International Scientific Organizations, leading climate scientists will discuss the connection between warmer temperatures in the Arctic and disruptive weather patterns across the United States and examine the effects on freshwater resources, food availability, and national security.

 

STEM Education Policies and Policymaking: Pushing in the Same Direction

Saturday, Feb. 15, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Jay Labov will moderate and speak at a discussion exploring key questions that must be addressed to provide clearer pathways for students who wish to pursue STEM careers.

 

Streamlining U.S. Visa and Immigration Policies

Sunday, Feb. 16, 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Ester Sztein will discuss how the National Academy of Sciences’ International Visitors Office assists foreign scientists and STEM students with visa and immigration issues. This talk will report on trends in the types of issues facing these visitors, by field, nationality, and other characteristics, and the impacts of recent and possible future visa processing innovations.

 

Challenges in Conducting Risk-Based Technology Assessments Globally

Sunday, Feb. 16, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Peter Blair, executive director of the Research Council’s Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, will present lessons learned from the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, a former congressional advisory body, and compare its practices to those of the current Government Accountability Office and the National Research Council for conducting technology assessments. The session will include discussions on the new forces shaping the current context for science and technology issues facing the Congress and an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of those efforts.