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The Sounds of Science Podcast

subscribe to the sounds of science podcastThis informative and entertaining weekly series of audio podcasts puts the spotlight on the high-impact work of the National Academies. Focusing on a wide range of critical issues in science, engineering, and medicine, these short 10-minute episodes are a quick and easy way to tune in to the all the key findings and important recommendations made by the Academies.

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Where the Weather Meets the Road (Fri, 2 Mar 2007 10:31:13 -0500)

Where the Weather Meets the Road: A Research Agenda for Improving Road Weather Services, a National Academies report, recommend that the Federal Highway Administration take the lead in creating a coordinated national road weather research program. This is a report brief from this report highlighting the important findings and recommendations given to FHWA.  Read the report online.

When I'm 64 (Mon, 8 Oct 2007 16:54:19 -0400)

By 2030 there will be about 70 million people in the United States older than 64, nearly 22 percent of the population. In anticipation to the societal changes that are sure to follow, this podcast covers some of the findings from the NRC report by the same name.  Read the report online.

What Works for Health Care? (Fri, 7 Mar 2008 14:49:43 -0500)

There is currently heightened interest in optimizing health care through the generation of new knowledge on the effectiveness of health care services. This podcast looks at some of the basic findings of the IOM report.  Read the Report Online.   Visit the IOM report page.

Weight Gain During Pregnancy: How Much is Too Much? (Fri, 11 Sep 2009 10:45:48 -0400)

As women of childbearing age have become heavier, the trade-off between maternal and child health created by variation in gestational weight gain has become more difficult to reconcile. The Weight Gain During Pregnancy podcast looks at some of the key findings and recommendations for the Institute of Medicine report.

Visual Culture and Evolution: An Online Symposium (Tue, 30 Mar 2010 12:47:09 -0400)

This podcast introduces the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences, which organizes events and exhibitions for the public that explore the relationships among culture and the sciences, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about one of their upcoming events, the Visual Culture and Evolution Online Symposium, which brings together scientists, artists, and a number of other experts to reflect on the ways in which the idea of evolution has impacted visual culture, and vice versa.

Up in the Cloud: the New Age of Computing (Thu, 8 Oct 2009 15:54:19 -0400)

The internet is entering a new phase that represents a fundamental shift in how computing is done. This phase, called the Cloud, is discussed by Kevin Finneran, editor-in-chief of Issues in Science and Technology and based on the article, The Cloud, the Crowd and Public Policy by Michael R. Nelson, in the Summer 2009 issue.

Uninsured in America (Fri, 6 Jul 2007 11:07:13 -0400)

More that 43 million U.S. residents under the age of 65 lacked health insurance for all of 2002 and millions more went uncovered for at least part of the year. This Podcast reviews the findings of 6 Institute of Medicine reports on uninsurance and the key principles for closing the coverage gap.  Read the report online.  Visit the IOM report page.

Unequal Treatment:Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care (Fri, 25 Jan 2008 15:13:31 -0500)

Racial and ethnic disparities in health care are known to reflect access to care and other issues that arise from differing socioeconomic conditions. The podcast provides a brief glimpse at how disparities in treatment may arise in health care systems and looks at aspects of the clinical encounter that may contribute to such disparities.  Read the report online.  Visit the IOM report page.

Understanding the Ocean's Role in Human Health (Fri, 2 Mar 2007 14:00:07 -0500)

The ocean has greater affects on human health than the average person realizes. This report brief discusses the health and medical hazards, benefits, and potential found in the ocean's depths.  Read the report online.

Treating Infectious Diseases in a Microbial World (Tue, 8 May 2007 16:18:15 -0400)

Humans coexist with millions of harmless microorganisms, but emerging diseases, resistance to antibiotics, and the threat of bioterrorism are forcing scientists to look for new ways to confront the microbes that do pose a danger. This report identifies innovative approaches to the development of antimicrobial drugs and vaccines based on a greater understanding of how the human immune system interacts with both good and bad microbes. The report concludes that the development of a single superdrug to fight all infectious agents is unrealistic.  Read the report online.

Thirsty for Energy: Biofuels and Water (Fri, 8 Feb 2008 14:19:45 -0500)

Because of a strong U.S. national interest in greater energy independence, biofuels have become important liquid transportation fuels and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. This report explores the reality of biofuels, including their effect on our water supply.  Read the report online.

The Sky Is Falling; The Threat of Near Earth Objects (Tue, 16 Mar 2010 16:50:03 -0400)

The United States spends approximately four million dollars each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. What is the true threat that we are facing and what can we do about it?

The Reality of Virtual Reality (Fri, 18 Apr 2008 14:44:51 -0400)

Movies and TV had depicted a highly sophisticated virtual reality. But what is its true capability and potential? Advancing virtual reality is one of the 14 Grand Challenges of Engineering identified by the National Academy of Engineering with input from people from around the world.  Learn more about the Grand Challenges of Engineering.

The Path Not Studied (Fri, 11 Jul 2008 16:23:30 -0400)

Quality post-secondary education is no doubt important to the future of the United States, but can everyone benefit from the same type? This week's podcast looks at need for more studies for the less traveled paths of higher education.

The Ocean's Role in Human Health (Tue, 3 Aug 2010 15:30:20 -0400)

The ocean has greater affects on human health than the average person realizes. This report brief discusses the health and medical hazards, benefits, and potential found in the ocean's depths.  Read the report online.

The New Science of Metagenomics: Revealing the Secrets of Our Microbial Planet (Fri, 25 May 2007 14:08:29 -0400)

Although we can't see them, microbes are essential for every part of human life - indeed all life on Earth. The emerging field of metagenomics provides a new way of viewing the microbial world that will not only transform modern microbiology, but also may revolutionize understanding of the entire living world. This report briefs looks at the recommendations the National Research Council gave on how to shape this emerging field of study and manage the immense findings that it is sure to provide.  Read the report online.

The Future of Emergency Care (Fri, 26 Oct 2007 11:58:42 -0400)

Emergency Care is a critical component of our nation's health care system, providing response and medical care to millions of sick and injured Americans each year. However, it is being pushed beyond its breaking point. This podcast looks at the status of the system and the recommendation made by the IOM to improve it to meet our future needs.  Read the report free.  Visit the IOM report page.

The Dirt on Soil (Thu, 17 Jul 2008 16:11:22 -0400)

Soil has a bad reputation as just dirt, but in actuality it is a veritable wild kingdom where you can find more life concentrated in the three inches below the surface than anywhere in the world above the soil. In week's podcast, we explore the importance of soil.

The African Science Academy Development Initiative (Fri, 25 Apr 2008 14:50:26 -0400)

The African Science Academy Development Initiative of the U.S. National Academies directly engages African academies of science in building their capacity to provide independent, evidence-based advice to their governments and countries on health-related matters. Visit the ASADI web page.

Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy (Fri, 23 Mar 2007 13:09:46 -0400)

Technology is pervasive; an informed citizenship needs to know what technology is, how it works, how it is created, how it shapes our society, and how society influences technological development. This podcast provides insights into the importance of technology in our society and how and why we need to measure our understanding of it.  Read the report online.

Sweet and Salty (Fri, 2 May 2008 17:16:50 -0400)

Efforts to identify new and untapped sources of water have dominated water policy for the past century. And since the mid 1960s there has been an interest in desalination as a process of ensuring fresh drinking water. In this podcast we look at the potential and issues with this process. Read the report free.

Stem Cells and the Future of Regenerative Medicine (Fri, 2 Mar 2007 11:16:15 -0500)

Stem cells are the primitive cells that give rise to the different tissue types in the body. This podcast provides a summary of the issues surrounding stem cell research, including the debate, the types of research they are used for, and report recommendations.  Read the report online.  Visit the IOM report page.

Starting Out Right: Promoting Children's Reading Success (Tue, 1 Apr 2008 10:02:32 -0400)

A devastatingly large number of people in America cannot read as well as they need for success in life. With literacy problems plaguing as many as four in ten children in America, this podcast discusses how best to help children succeed in reading.  Read the report online.

Show Me The (fake) Money (Fri, 29 Feb 2008 15:16:42 -0500)

The rapid pace at which digital printing is advancing is posing a very serious challenge to the U.S. Department of the Treasury s Bureau of Printing (BEP). The BEP needs to stay ahead of the evolving counterfeiting threats to U.S. currency. This podcast explores both the history of counterfeiting and the threat it poses today.  Read the report online.

Scientists Without Borders: The International Visitors Office (Wed, 12 Mar 2008 16:59:45 -0400)

In this podcast we are introduced to the International Visitors Office of the National Academies - a special office designed to help foreign Scientists and Students navigate the sometimes difficult visa process to come to the United States.

Science, Stated (Fri, 20 Jun 2008 16:05:04 -0400)

The federal government plays the predominant role in supporting research and development (R&D) and in establishing public policies that affect science and technology (S&T) in the United States. However, the federal government is no longer the sole focus of R&D funding and S&T policy making. State and local policy makers are unquestionably making more and more decisions that affect all of us on a daily basis. This podcast looks at the recent Convocation addressing these issues.  Read more online free.

Science, Medicine, and Animals (Thu, 12 Jun 2008 16:10:33 -0400)

This podcast provides an overview to the 2004 report Science, Medicine, and Animals. This report explains the role that animals play in biomedical research and the ways in which scientists, governments, and citizens have tried to balance the experimental use of animals with a concern for all living creatures.  Read this report and the accompaning Teacher's Guide online for free

Science, Evolution, and Creationism (Fri, 11 Jan 2008 12:03:09 -0500)

Science, Evolution, and Creationism explains the fundamental methods of science, documents the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluates the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including "intelligent design." The podcast gives a brief over the report, released January 4th. Read the report and summary report online free.

Science and Security in a Post 9-11 World (Fri, 30 Nov 2007 15:56:55 -0500)

The tragedy of September 11, 2001, the subsequent anthrax attacks, and ongoing terror threats internationally have markedly changed national and international security and information sharing. While, the success of U.S. science and engineering has been built on a system of information sharing and open communication, not only among U.S. institutions, but also with the international science and technology communities. This podcast explores how these two important endeavors must be balanced for the future of our country.  Read the report free

Science 2.0: Communicating Science in a Web 2.0 World (Wed, 1 Jul 2009 13:57:00 -0400)

The increasing popularity of blogs, social networking sites, and twitter has created many new and interactive forums for people to communicate about science. The National Academies recently invited Phil Plait, author of the blog BAD ASTRONOMY and president of the James Randi Educational Foundation to speak to us about these technologies and how they are being used by the science community. This weeks podcast provides some highlights from his presentation.

School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children (Fri, 6 Nov 2009 14:38:37 -0500)

This podcast provides a historical overview of the emergence of school meal programs and provides recommendations to update the nutrition standard and the meal requirements for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The recommendations reflect new developments in nutrition science, increase the availability of key food groups in the school meal programs, and allow these programs to better meet the nutritional needs of children, foster healthy eating habits, and safeguard children's health.  Visit the IOM report page.

Revolutionizing Science: Managing Research Data in the Digital Age (Fri, 31 Jul 2009 16:30:31 -0400)

As digital technologies are expanding the power and reach of research, they are also raising complex issues. These include complications in ensuring the validity of research data; standards that do not keep pace with the high rate of innovation; restrictions on data sharing that reduce the ability of researchers to verify results and build on previous research; and huge increases in the amount of data being generated, creating severe challenges in preserving that data for long-term use. This podcast examines the consequences of the changes affecting research data with respect to three issues - integrity, accessibility, and stewardship-and finds a need for a new approach to the design and the management of research projects

Reducing the Sodium Intake in the United States (Tue, 8 Jun 2010 15:29:06 -0400)

Reducing the intake of sodium is an important public health goal for Americans. Since the 1970s, an array of public health interventions and national dietary guidelines has sought to reduce sodium intake. However, the U.S. population still consumes more sodium than is recommended, placing individuals at risk for diseases related to elevated blood pressure.

Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility (Fri, 6 Apr 2007 13:01:32 -0400)

Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility drinking, the greater the danger. This Podcast presents strategies for state-level leadership, community mobilization, and restricting youth access to alcohol as well as the proposed 10 component national strategy from this important report, Reducing Underage Drinking: A Collective Responsibility.  Read the report online.  Visit the IOM report page.

Reaping the Benefits of attending the TRB Annual Meeting (Fri, 18 Dec 2009 11:44:31 -0500)

What if you could clearly define in dollars saved, crashes averted, and better technology implemented the benefits of attending an conference. When it comes to the benefits of attend the Transportation Research Board's Annual Meeting, the Utah Department of Transportation can.

Ready...Set...Science! (Thu, 8 Nov 2007 15:51:21 -0500)

What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators, teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to create and support such experiences? This podcast takes a brief look into this increasingly important topic.  Read the report free

Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up? (Wed, 6 Jun 2007 13:52:37 -0400)

The remarkable increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and youth in the United States over a relatively short timespan represents one of the defining public health challenges of the 21st century. The country is beginning to recognize childhood obesity as a major public health epidemic that will incur substantial costs to the nation. This report brief summarizes the recommendations and next steps made in the report.  Read the report online.Visit the IOM report page.

Preventing Medication Errors (Fri, 2 Mar 2007 10:31:14 -0500)

Most of the time medications are beneficial, or at least they cause no harm, but on occasion they do injure the person taking them. This report brief highlights the findings and recommendation from the Institute of Medicine report, Preventing Medication Errors, to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Read the report online.  Visit the IOM report page.

Preparing Teachers: Building Evidence for Sound Policy (Tue, 25 May 2010 16:40:36 -0400)

Teachers make a difference. The success of any plan for improving educational outcomes depends on the teachers who carry it out and thus on the abilities of those attracted to the field and their preparation. Yet there are many questions about how teachers are being prepared and how they ought to be prepared. Yet, teacher preparation is often treated as an afterthought in discussions of improving the public education system. This podcast provides an overview of the teacher preparation landscape and identifies the need for a data collection model to provide valid and reliable information about teacher preparation programs.

Pants on Fire (Fri, 1 Aug 2008 15:37:06 -0400)

How can we know for certain when someone is up to no good? Most people will say, give them a lie detector test. But, is it truly the best, most reliable means? This weeks podcast reviews the reality of the lie detector test based on the conclusions of the report The Polygraph and Lie Detection. Read more online free.

Organ Donation: Opportunities for Action (Fri, 27 Apr 2007 12:01:05 -0400)

Rates of organ donation lag far behind the increasing need. At the start of 2006, more than 90,000 people were waiting to receive a solid organ (kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, heart, or intestine). Organ Donation examines a wide range of proposals to increase organ donation, including policies that presume consent for donation as well as the use of financial incentives such as direct payments, coverage of funeral expenses, and charitable contributions.  Read the report online.Visit the IOM report page.

On Being a Scientist (Fri, 21 Dec 2007 13:23:46 -0500)

On Being a Scientist is one of the most popular reports published by the National Academies. No in it's second edition and written for beginning researchers, it's subtitled "Responsible Conduct in Research" and seeks to describe the ethical foundations of the scientific practices. As the final podcast of 2007, this topic seemed to touch everyone involved in or concerned with the scientific enterprise.  Read the report free.

Ocean Acidification: The Other Carbon Dioxide Problem (Tue, 14 Sep 2010 12:06:39 -0400)

The ocean has absorbed a significant portion of all human-made carbon dioxide emissions. This benefits human society by moderating the rate of climate change, but also causes unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry. Carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean makes the water more acidic and leads to a suite of chemical changes collectively known as ocean acidification. The long term consequences of ocean acidification are not known, but are expected to result in changes to many ecosystems and the services they provide to society. This podcast gives an overview of the current state of knowledge, explores gaps in understanding, and identifies several key findings.  Read the Report Online

None of Your Business: Privacy in the Information Age (Fri, 14 Sep 2007 16:04:58 -0400)

Privacy is a growing concern in the United States and around the world. This podcast takes a closer look at the three major drivers of the vast changes affection notions, perceptions, and expectations of privacy today.  Read the report online.

News and Terrorism: Radiological Attacks (Fri, 14 Dec 2007 16:49:54 -0500)

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been more mindful of the potential risks to the security of our nation. This podcast is third in a series of four fact sheets produced to inform the media and public about the different types, potential impact, and how to protect themselves from these risks.  Read the Fact Sheets online.

News and Terrorism: Nuclear Attacks (Fri, 21 Sep 2007 13:32:51 -0400)

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been more mindful of the potential risks to the security of our nation. This podcast is part of a series of four fact sheets produced to inform the media and public about the different types, potential impact, and how to protect themselves from these risks.    Read the Fact Sheets online.

News and Terrorism: Chemical Attacks (Fri, 2 Nov 2007 15:24:32 -0400)

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been more mindful of the potential risks to the security of our nation. This podcast is second in a series of four fact sheets produced to inform the media and public about the different types, potential impact, and how to protect themselves from these risks.   Read the Fact Sheets online.

News and Terrorism: Biological Attacks (Fri, 1 Feb 2008 10:07:03 -0500)

Since September 11, 2001, the United States has been more mindful of the potential risks to the security of our nation. This podcast is the last in a series of four fact sheets produced to inform the media and public about the different types, potential impact, and how to protect themselves from these risks.  Read the Fact Sheets online.

Multiple Origins, Uncertain Destinies: Hispanics and the American Future (Fri, 3 Aug 2007 13:23:34 -0400)

Given current demographic trends, nearly one in five U.S. residents will be of Hispanic origin by 2025. This major demographic shift and its implications for both the United States and the growing Hispanic population make Multiple Origins, Uncertain Destinies a most timely podcast. This report from the National Research Council describes how Hispanics are transforming the country as they disperse geographically.  Read the report online.

Managing Coal Combustion Residues in Mines (Fri, 4 May 2007 10:25:41 -0400)

Burning coal in electric utility plants produces, in addition to power, residues that contain constituents which may be harmful to the environment. The management of large volumes of coal combustion residues (CCRs) is a challenge for utilities, because they must either place the CCRs in landfills, surface impoundments, or mines, or find alternative uses for the material. This study focuses on the placement of CCRs in active and abandoned coal mines.  Read the report online.

Making Solar Energy Economical: A Grand Challenge of Engineering (Fri, 28 Mar 2008 10:51:22 -0400)

Solar energy provides less than 1% of the world's total energy but has the potential to provide much more. This podcast explores the potential of solar energy and its challenges. Making solar energy economical is one of the 14 Grand Challenges of Engineering identified by the National Academy of Engineering with input from people from around the world.  Learn more about the Grand Challenges of Engineering.

Loud and Clear: The 2007 National Academies Communications Awards (Fri, 16 Nov 2007 15:48:26 -0500)

Beginning in 2003, the National Academies has recognized outstanding examples of science communication. The awards were given to individuals in three categories: book author, newspaper, magazine, or online journalist, and TV/radio correspondent or producer. In today's podcast, we're going to introduce you to three individuals who were awarded the 2007 National Academies Communication Awards.  Learn more about the National Academies Communication Awards.

Lost Fruits of Africa (Fri, 6 Jun 2008 11:18:58 -0400)

This podcast is based on the third book in a series evaluating underexploited African plant resources that could help broaden and secure Africa's food supply. Read this report online free

Lost Crops of Africa Volume II: Vegetables (Fri, 1 Jun 2007 13:54:57 -0400)

This report is the second in a series of three evaluating underexploited African plant resources that could help broaden and secure Africa's food supply. The podcast describes the characteristics of several little-known indigenous African vegetables (including tubers and legumes) that have potential as food- and cash-crops but are typically overlooked by scientists and policymakers and in the world at large.  Read the report online.

Lifting the Veil: Technology, Policy, Law and the Ethics of Cyberattack (Fri, 5 Jun 2009 10:48:49 -0400)

The United States is increasingly dependent on information and information technology for both civilian and military purposes, as are many other nations. Although there is a substantial literature on the potential impact of a cyberattack on the societal infrastructure of the United States, little has been written about the use of cyberattack as an instrument of U.S. policy. In this podcast, cyberattacks- -actions intended to damage or adversary computer systems or networks-- are looked at from a variety of angles.

Let's Talk Transportation (Fri, 18 Jan 2008 13:38:54 -0500)

This past week, the Transportation Research Board, a division of the National Research Council, held it's annual meeting. With more than 10,000 people expected, the TRB Annual Meeting is a multi-national, multi-modal meeting of transportation minds. In this week's podcast we learn about TRB.

Learning to Think Spatially (Fri, 2 Mar 2007 11:30:04 -0500)

Spatial thinking is a skill used in everyday life, the workplace, and science to solve problems using concepts of space, visualization, and reasoning. This report brief looks into the importance and teaching spatial thinking skills as part of the K - 12 curriculum, specifically through the use of GIS technology.  Read the report online.

Learning Science in Informal Environments (Fri, 23 Oct 2009 15:33:24 -0400)

Informal science is a burgeoning field that operates across a broad range of venues and envisages learning outcomes for individuals, schools, families, and society. This podcast looks at what how and where informal science learning takes place and the benefits it can provide to all people.

Keeping H.O.M.E.S. Clean: Preventing Invasive Species in the Great Lakes (Fri, 25 Jul 2008 13:52:28 -0400)

Since its opening in 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway has provided a route into the Great Lakes not only for trade, but also unfortunately for aquatic invasive species (AIS) that have had severe economic and environmental impacts on the region. This podcast looks at research and efforts underway to reduce their effects and further invasion. Read the report online free.

Just What the IOM Ordered (Fri, 9 May 2008 13:31:27 -0400)

In each age of medicine, an increase in knowledge has led to improved public health. The decisions that guide and shape these advances are profoundly important and often politically charged. Today, health care sits at the top of the nation’s agenda and the Institute of Medicine is here to guide in. In this week's podcast learn about the IOM and its important role. Read Informing the Future for free.

Visit the IOM website.

Is Soccer Bad for Children's Heads? (Wed, 7 Jul 2010 09:10:56 -0400)

Given the popularity of the World Cup, the Sounds of Science revisits a 2002 IOM workshop reports on head injury in young soccer players. This podcast addresses the biology of concussion, when to return a concussed player to the field, studies of soccer and football players, and the policy issues relevant to head injuries in youth sports.

Is Fido Too Fat?: Your Dog's Nutritional Needs (Fri, 20 Jul 2007 11:32:34 -0400)

According to the latest information from the National Research Council, one out of every four dogs in the western world is now obese. Like humans, dogs that are obese run a higher risk of developing health problems. This podcast provides pet owners with sound information to base their feeding decisions on.Read the report online.

Is America Falling off the Flat Earth? (Fri, 16 May 2008 15:07:22 -0400)

A couple of weeks ago, the National Academies hosted a national convocation to take stock of what has happened since the fall of 2005, when the Academies released its report on the future of American economic competitiveness. This podcast summarizes that meeting and what it means to America's future.
Read Rising Above the Gathering Storm for free
Read Is America Falling off the Flat Earth? for free

Innovation in Global Industry (Fri, 23 May 2008 14:16:48 -0400)

The debate over offshoring of production, transfer of technological capabilities, and potential loss of U.S. competitiveness is a long-running one. Prevailing thinking is that the world is flat that is, innovative capacity is spreading uniformly; as new centers of manufacturing emerge, research and development and new product development follow. Innovation in Global Industries challenges this thinking. This podcast is centered around an interview with Jeffrey T. Macher, one of the editors of this book.  Read the report for free.

IOM's Twelve Tips to Take Charge of your Health (Fri, 17 Aug 2007 10:05:11 -0400)

In a special episode of the Sounds of Science, Dr. Harvey Fineberg, President of the Institute of Medicine, shares his top 12 Tips for Taking Charge of Your Health. Read these tips here.

Hispanics in America: Multiple Origins, Uncertain Destinies: (Fri, 7 May 2010 15:57:35 -0400)

Given current demographic trends, nearly one in five U.S. residents will be of Hispanic origin by 2025. This major demographic shift and its implications for both the United States and the growing Hispanic population make Multiple Origins, Uncertain Destinies a most timely podcast. This report from the National Research Council describes how Hispanics are transforming the country as they disperse geographically.  Read the report online.

Hidden Costs of Energy (Fri, 29 Jan 2010 16:12:09 -0500)

Description: We depend heavily on energy for a variety of modern goods and services. Yet the provision and use of that energy comes with many costs to society that are not reflected in the market price. In 2005 alone, the hidden costs of energy amounted to about $120 billion dollars in damages to human health and the environment. This podcast discusses where the key external costs that are associated with the production, distribution, and use of energy come from.

Here's Looking At You: Earth Observations from Space (Fri, 8 Aug 2008 11:58:14 -0400)

Over the past 50 years, thousands of satellites have been sent into space on missions to collect data about the Earth. Today, the ability to forecast weather, climate, and natural hazards depends critically on these satellite-based observations. At the request of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Research Council convened a committee to examine the scientific accomplishments that have resulted from space-based observations. This podcast takes a brief look at some of those accomplishments. Read more for free.

Grand Challenges For Engineering (Wed, 13 Feb 2008 16:45:48 -0500)

In the last century alone, many great engineering achievements became so commonplace that we now take them mostly for granted. As remarkable as these engineering achievements are, certainly just as many more great challenges and opportunities remain to be realized. While some seem clear, many others are indistinct and many more surely lie beyond most of our imaginations. Visit the Grand Challenges Website

Getting Rid of Polio... for Good (Fri, 10 Aug 2007 13:26:30 -0400)

When the global polio eradication campaign was launched in 1988, polio virus caused more than 350,000 cases of paralytic disease annually in more than 125 countries. By 2003, only 784 cases of poliomyelitis were reported in a total of six countries (Aylward et al. 2005). The final steps in the eradication of polio, however, pose a challenge. The week's podcast looks at the challenges being faced in the final steps to eradicate this disease.  Read the report online.

Getting Better Health Care for Your Buck (Wed, 3 Mar 2010 10:30:06 -0500)

Regardless of how we decide to pay for health care, we now have the tools and knowledge necessary to improve the performance of the U.S. health care system and reduce costs. Kevin Finneran, Editor-in-Chief of Issues in Science and Technology, discusses some of the strategies we could take based on the article Better U.S. Health Care at Lower Cost by Arnold Milstein and Helen Darling in the Winter 2010 issue.

Genes, Behavior, and the Social Environment (Fri, 2 Mar 2007 13:54:53 -0500)

We have made great strides over the past century in reducing rates of disease and enhancing people's general health. This report brief discusses the findings and recommendations from the Institute of Medicine on how to move these efforts forward in the next century.  Read the report online.Visit the IOM report page.

From Neurons to Neighborhoods: Applying the Science of Early Childhood Development (Tue, 27 Mar 2007 15:42:37 -0400)

There has been an explosion of knowledge in understanding the infant brain and in pinpointing the factors that influence whether young children get off to a promising or a worrisome start. This Podcast explores the conclusions and findings related to providing our Nation's youth with a positive future.  Read the report online.  Visit the IOM report page.

Fresher Water: Restoring Florida's Everglades (Tue, 1 Apr 2008 16:32:00 -0400)

Florida's Everglades is like no other place on earth. However, the Everglades have been drastically changed by urban and agricultural development. This podcast looks at the work being done to restore the Everglades and what that means.

Examining Proceedings (Fri, 3 Oct 2008 15:46:37 -0400)

PNAS is one of the world's most-cited multidisciplinary scientific serials and has been published by the National Academies since 1914. This podcast looks at the history and future of this publication

Engineering the Tools for Exploration (Fri, 30 May 2008 11:14:12 -0400)

In the popular mind, scientists and engineers have distinct job descriptions but in truth, the distinction is blurry. In the century ahead, engineers will continue to be partners with scientists in the great quest for understanding many unanswered questions of nature and the solar system. Learn more about this Grand Challenge and other online.

Engaging Schools (Fri, 16 Mar 2007 15:34:24 -0400)

When it comes to motivating people to learn, disadvantaged urban adolescents are usually perceived as a hard sell. Yet, in a recent MetLife survey, 89 percent of the low-income students claimed I really want to learn applied to them. This report brief summarizes the major findings and recommendations in this National Academies report.  Read the report online.

Ending the Tobacco Problem (Fri, 15 Jun 2007 14:11:50 -0400)

The nation has made tremendous progress in reducing tobacco use during the past 40 years. Despite extensive knowledge about successful interventions, however, approximately one-quarter of American adults still smoke. Tobacco-related illnesses and death place a huge burden on our society.  Read the report online.  Visit the IOM report page.

Easy as 1, 2, 3: Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood (Mon, 7 Dec 2009 15:39:04 -0500)

Early childhood mathematics is vitally important for young children's present and future educational success. Unfortunately, many children's potential in mathematics is not fully realized, especially those children who are economically disadvantaged. This is due, in part, to a lack of opportunities to learn mathematics in early childhood settings or through everyday experiences in the home and in their communities. Relying on a comprehensive review of the research, this podcast introduces the critical areas that should be the focus of young children's early mathematics education, explores how well they are currently being incorporated in early childhood settings, and identifies some of the changes needed to improve the quality of mathematics experiences for young children.

Driving and the Built Environment (Wed, 23 Jun 2010 15:56:04 -0400)

This podcast examines the relationship between land development patterns and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the United States to assess whether petroleum use, and by extension greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, could be reduced by changes in the design of development patterns.

Down on the Farm: Agricultural Mechanization (Fri, 15 Aug 2008 12:25:06 -0400)

The effect the mechanical revolution has had on farming is and continues to be enormous. From tractors to irrigation, our way of life would be not be the same without them. This podcast looks at just a few of the innovations that has changed the face of agriculture in the last century.

Critical Issues in Transportation (Fri, 31 Aug 2007 13:52:43 -0400)

The recent I-35 West bridge collapse in Minnesota has brought new attention to the U.S.'s vital and aging transportation system. This podcast highlights several critical issues in transportation as identified by the Executive Committee of TRB.  Read online.

Como Se Dice... Multilingual and Loving it (Fri, 22 Feb 2008 16:05:01 -0500)

This podcast offers a timely look at issues that are increasingly important in an interconnected world. It discusses the importance of foreign languages and cultural knowledge on national security and global competitiveness and it describes the challenges faced by the U.S. educational system and the federal government in trying to address those needs.  Read the report online.

Commuting in America III (Fri, 9 Mar 2007 14:53:08 -0500)

The average daily commute to work is taking longer now than it has in the past. This synopsis of the Commuting in America III report provides an overview of some of the major trends and factors being seen in commuting to work today.  Read the report online.

Choosing the Nation's Fiscal Future (Tue, 19 Jan 2010 16:35:51 -0500)

A mismatch between the federal government's revenues and spending, now and in the foreseeable future, requires heavy borrowing, leading to a large and increasing federal debt. That increasing debt raises a serious challenge to all of the goals that various people expect their government to pursue. This podcast assesses some of the options and possibilities for setting the nation back on a path to a sustainable federal budget.

China and India: Emerging Technological Powers (Fri, 22 Aug 2008 15:21:56 -0400)

China and India, both with populations of over 1 billion, are drawing increasing attention from the United States. Their growing populations and interaction with the world presents both opportunities and challenges. Is we are to gain a much-needed understanding

Children's Health, The Nation's Wealth: Assessing and Improving Child Health (Fri, 20 Apr 2007 11:02:29 -0400)

Children's health has clearly improved over the past several decades. Significant and positive gains have been made in lowering rates of infant mortality and morbidity from infectious diseases and accidental causes, improved access to health care, and reduction in the effects of environmental contaminants such as lead. Yet major questions still remain about how to assess the status of children's health, what factors should be monitored, and the appropriate measurement tools that should be used.  Read the report online.

Chemistry in Primetime and Online: Communicating Chemistry in Informal Environments (Tue, 27 Apr 2010 14:01:22 -0400)

Why is communicating chemistry so difficult relative to other scientific disciplines? The Chemical Sciences Roundtable will hold a workshop on May 26-27, 2010 to examine science content, especially chemistry, on television, on the internet, in museums, and in other informal educational settings. The workshop will explore how the public obtains scientific information and discuss methods chemists can use to improve and expand their efforts to reach a general, non-technical audience. This podcast introduces the issue and frames the discussion.

Changing the Conversation: Improving Public Understanding of Engineering (Fri, 27 Jun 2008 10:50:22 -0400)

Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent in the United States to improve the public understanding of engineering (NAE, 2002). Despite these efforts, educational research shows that K–12 teachers and students generally have a poor understanding of what engineers do. This podcast looks at the new NAE report addressing the need for better public understanding of engineering. Read the report online free.

Breast Cancer Treatment: Meeting Psychosocial Needs of Women (Fri, 19 Oct 2007 11:46:26 -0400)

In this podcast the National Cancer Policy Board of the Institute of Medicine examines the psychosocial consequences of the cancer experience, specifically on breast cancer in women because this group has the largest survivor population (over 2 million) and this disease is the most extensively studied cancer from the standpoint of psychosocial effects.  Read the report free.  Visit the IOM report page.

Breaking the Cycle: Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate (Fri, 17 Jul 2009 11:55:30 -0400)

Everyone--government agencies, private organizations, and individuals--is facing a changing climate: an environment in which it is no longer prudent to follow routines based on past climatic averages. People and organizations need to consider what they will have to do differently if the 100-year flood arrives every decade or so, if the protected areas for threatened species are no longer habitable, or if a region can expect more frequent and more severe wildfires, hurricanes, droughts, water shortages, or other extreme environmental events. This podcast examines the growing need for climate-related decision support--that is, organized efforts to produce, disseminate, and facilitate the use of data and information in order to improve the quality and efficacy of climate-related decisions.

Born to Learn: The Importance of Early Childhood Care (Fri, 20 Jul 2007 11:22:49 -0400)

Child care in the United States is changing - because society in general is changing. This podcast reviews the findings of four flagship reports from the National Research Council on early childhood development and the important of role child care providers.  .

Bio2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists (Fri, 24 Aug 2007 13:22:07 -0400)

Research in biology has undergone a major transformation in the last 10 to 15 years. Undergraduate biology education has not changed to address the evolving field. The report, Bio2010, delves into the needed changes in undergraduate biology education to properly prepare future researchers to excel in their field.  Read the report online.

Beyond Einstein: The Intersection of Physics and Astrophysics (Fri, 7 Dec 2007 16:01:01 -0500)

Observations of the cosmos have the potential to extend our basic physical laws beyond where 20th century research left them. NASA's Beyond Einstein program pushes our understanding to its limits and perhaps beyond.Read the report free.

Beyond Bias and Barriers (Fri, 13 Apr 2007 14:36:08 -0400)

Beyond Bias and Barriers explains that eliminating gender bias in academia requires immediate overarching reform, including decisive action by university administrators, professional societies, federal funding agencies and foundations, government agencies, and Congress. If implemented and coordinated across public, private, and government sectors, the recommended actions will help to improve workplace environments for all employees while strengthening the foundations of America's competitiveness.  Read the report online

Better Living Through Chemistry: The Future of Chemistry Research in the US (Fri, 12 Oct 2007 13:17:18 -0400)

Chemistry plays a key role in conquering diseases, solving energy problems, addressing environmental problems, providing the discoveries that lead to new industries, and developing new materials and technologies for national defense and homeland security. However, the field is currently facing a crucial time of change and is struggling to position itself to meet the needs of the future as it expands beyond its traditional core toward areas related to biology, materials science, and nanotechnology.  Read the report online.

BeeGone: Pollinators in Crisis (Fri, 22 Jun 2007 13:39:43 -0400)

Pollinators- insects, birds, bats, and other animals that carry pollen from the male to the female parts of flowers for plant reproduction- are an essential part of natural and agricultural ecosystems throughout North America. For example, most fruit, vegetable, and seed crops and some crops that provide fiber, drugs, and fuel depend on animals for pollination. This Podcast looks at the role they play in our economy and the steps we need to take to protect them.  Read the report online.

Back to the Future: The 1918 Influenza Revisited (Fri, 8 May 2009 16:16:08 -0400)

Public health officials and organizations around the world remain on high alert because of increasing concerns about the prospect of an influenza pandemic, which many experts believe to be inevitable.  The 1918 - 1919 influenza pandemic killed more people in absolute numbers than any other disease outbreak in history. There are lessons to be learned for the 1918 outbreak in how we address the issues facing us today.
Read more online

Baby, it's Cold in Here (Fri, 7 Sep 2007 13:01:13 -0400)

Named by the National Academy of Engineering as one of the Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century, refrigeration has changed our life in many ways. This podcast recounts the development of refrigeration and air conditioning and how it has affected our lives. Read the report online.

Are We Alone? The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems (Thu, 12 Jul 2007 13:22:08 -0400)

The idea that life may exist elsewhere in the cosmos is exciting and exhilarating. However, the search for life in the cosmos begins with our understanding of life on Earth. This week's podcast looks at how we define life and what we need to do in order to better recognize, conserve, and study alien life that is encountered.  Read the report online.

America's Uninsured Crisis (Thu, 24 Sep 2009 14:06:29 -0400)

When policy makers and researchers consider potential solutions to the crisis of uninsurance in the United States, the question of whether health insurance matters to health is often an issue. This question is far more than an academic concern. It is crucial that U.S. health care policy be informed with current and valid evidence on the consequences of uninsurance for health care and health outcomes, especially for the 45.7 million individuals without health insurance.

America's Energy Future (Fri, 21 Mar 2008 13:30:14 -0400)

Responding to a new sense of urgency about the nation's energy future and drawing on its principal strengths and reputation, the National Academies has launched an ambitious new effort designed to provide an authoritative analysis. Last week the National Academies hosted a two-day summit to provide an overview of recent influential energy studies and initiatives. This podcasts briefly looks at the importance of that event and finding new sources of energy to secure our energy future. Learn more about the National Academies' Energy Initiative

Aging Gracefully: Building the Health Care Workforce for an Aging America (Fri, 19 Jun 2009 11:58:14 -0400)

As the first of the nation's 78 million baby boomers begin reaching age 65 in 2011, they will face a health care workforce that is too small and woefully unprepared to meet their specific health needs. This podcast is based on the report Retooling for an Aging America which calls for bold initiatives starting immediately to train all health care providers in the basics of geriatric care and to prepare family members and other informal caregivers, who currently receive little or no training in how to tend to their aging loved ones. The report also recommends that Medicare, Medicaid, and other health plans pay higher rates to boost recruitment and retention of geriatric specialists and care aides.  Visit the IOM report page.

Abrupt Climate Change: Inevitable Surprises (Fri, 18 May 2007 11:37:42 -0400)

The climate record for the past 100,000 years clearly indicates that the climate system has undergone periodic and often extreme shifts, sometimes in as little as a decade or less. The causes of abrupt climate changes have not been clearly established, but the triggering of events is likely to be the result of multiple natural processes.  Read the report free.

A Salmon A Day: Balancing the Benefits and Risks of Seafood (Fri, 29 Jun 2007 14:26:07 -0400)

The fragmented information that consumers receive about the nutritional value and health risks associated with fish and shellfish can result in confusion or misperceptions about these food sources. This week's episode looks at the available research and provides listeners with tips and guidelines when choosing seafood. Read the report online. Visit the IOM report page.