October 30: Extreme Event Challenge

Immerse yourself in a challenging group game in which you must prioritize and collaborate to survive a fictitious disaster. With fun group dynamics and a surprising twist, the game will raise real-world questions about what it takes to make our communities more resilient.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students & fellows (includes refreshments). Advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. Buy tickets at or by calling the Koshland Science Museum at (202) 334-1201.
Schedule of Events
6:00 p.m. Sign in and select a game role
6:00-6:30 p.m. Network and enjoy refreshments
6:30 p.m. Welcome and game introduction
6:35-8:15 p.m. Game play
8:15-8:30 p.m. Wrap-up
The Extreme Event Challenge was developed by the Koshland Science Museum in partnership with scientific advisors and staff from the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council. Learn more about resilience activities at the National Academies online at Disaster Resilience in America: Launching a National Conversation.
This event is part of the Koshland Science Museum's Science Social program series, which launched in fall 2013 focused on community resilience. Stay tuned for new interactive museum features and more events to come in 2014: Email to sign up for resilience programming updates.

NAE Launches ‘Engineering for You’ Video Contest

Engineering achievements in the past 50 years have helped land astronauts on the moon, create the Internet, and decode the human genome. What will engineering create in the next 50 years?
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), NAE has launched a video contest called “Engineering for You.” The contest challenges entrants to create a 1 to 2 minute video showing engineering contributions that serve human welfare and the needs of society occurring anywhere during the time period from 1964 to 2064. The best overall video will be awarded $25,000, with category-specific awards and a People’s Choice award of $5,000 each.
Visit the contest website to learn more.

Recognizing Infection Prevention Week

About one-quarter of deaths worldwide are caused by infectious organisms. On October 20-26, 2013 the international community recognizes Infection Prevention Week, an opportunity to raise awareness of infectious disease and advance efforts to prevent infection, particularly in health care settings.
Expert reports, booklets, and interactive online tools from the National Academies are available to help health care workers and the public understand and prevent infection:

Hollywood & Science Team Up to Help Girls Find Mentors

In Marvel’s "Thor: The Dark World," Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman portrays astrophysicist Jane Foster, an independent spirit who follows her heart and journeys to a new world. Now through October 20th, girls ages 14 and up in ninth to 12th grade can enter Marvel's THOR: The Dark World - Ultimate Mentor Adventure and find out what it takes to become a successful woman in science.
The program offers girls the opportunity to meet mentors—real-world female scientists in communities across the country—and consider whether a career in a STEM field is right for them. Entrants can also apply for a chance to travel to California to meet female leaders in the STEM community.
The program is a collaboration between the National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange, Marvel Studios, UL (Underwriters Laboratories), Dolby Laboratories, Girl Scouts USA, and Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre.

Oct. 16-18 - The NAS at 150: Celebrating Service to the Nation

Wednesday, Oct. 16 through Friday, Oct. 18, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) hosts a colloquium to commemorate its 150th anniversary. The Colloquium, called The NAS at 150: Celebrating Service to the Nation, features talks by historians Daniel Kevles, Ruth Schwartz Cowan, and Peter Westwick.
The agenda includes an overview of the founding of the Academy and its place in American democracy, how the Academy has served national interests while striving to maintain its independence, and discussion about the expanded meaning of the sciences in the Academy’s history. Each talk will be followed by roundtable discussions with panelists who are familiar with the work of the Academy and with the issues raised in the talks.
Attendance is free but limited, and registration is required. Register here.

Oct. 17: D.C. Art Science Evening Rendezvous: Science Fiction

Join D.C. Art Science Evening Rendezvous (DASER) on Thursday, October 17 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for a discussion on the theme of science fiction. DASER is a monthly forum on art and science projects in the national capital region and beyond to provide a snapshot of the cultural environment and foster interdisciplinary networking.
Thursday, October 17, 2013, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30)
Keck Center, 500 Fifth St., N.W., Room 100
Free and open to the public. Registration and photo ID required.
Register here.
View the live webcast (begins streaming at 6:30 p.m. Eastern time).
Featured speakers include:

  • Catherine Asaro, Science Fiction and Fantasy Author; Author of Saga of the Skolian Empire
  • Joel Garreau, Lincoln Professor of Law, Culture, and Values, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University; and Future Tense Fellow, New America Foundation, Washington, D.C.
  • Lee Konstantinou, Author of Pop Apocalypse and co-editor of The Legacy of David Foster Wallace; Assistant Professor of English, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Celia Peters, Filmmaker and Visual Artist, Columbus, OH and New York City

The evening will be moderated by Kevin Finneran, Director, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (COSEPUP); and Editor-in-Chief, Issues in Science and Technology, The National Academies, Washington, D.C.
DASER is co-sponsored by Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) and Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts. Sciences, and Technology. This month, DASER is organized in collaboration with the Koshland Science Museum and Issues in Science and Technology.

Oct. 7-11: A Week to Promote Safe Driving

The leading cause of death for Americans aged 5-34 is motor vehicle accidents. Driver behavior has been identified as the major factor in approximately 90% of roadway accidents. On October 7-11, people around the country are recognizing opportunities for preventing traffic crashes as part of the national campaign, Drive Safely Work Week. 
The Koshland Science Museum lets visitors get behind the wheel of our driving simulator to see—in a safe environment—how distraction can affect driving safety. You can check it out in person Wednesdays-Mondays, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. In the meantime, check out these videos on how the human brain processes multiple tasks and distractions at different stages of life.
Driving Safety Video Resources

Recognizing Health Literacy Month

October is Health Literacy Month! The idea behind health literacy is that all people should be able to understand information that helps them maintain good health. Many organizations, health care providers, government bodies, and businesses have made concerted efforts to increase health literacy by helping to educate people about health issues and by making sources of health information more understandable.
The Koshland Science Museum has a wealth of resources to help you become more health-literate:

  • In our Food for Thought exhibit, learn how to apply dietary recommendations and test your knowledge about supplements.
  • In our Life Lab, see the science of aging and human development and get insights on staying healthy through all of life’s stages.  
  • In our exhibit, Infectious Disease: Evolving Challenges to Human Health, track the spread of infectious diseases and learn the science of vaccines, treatments, and antibiotic resistance.

Other National Academies health literacy resources include the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Health Literacy, the 2013 workshop summary “Health Literacy: Improving Health, Health Systems, and Health Policy around the World,” and the information graphic, “What makes a health literate organization?

Oct. 3 - A Building Reborn: The Restoration of the National Academy of Sciences

Join Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) and the Washington Conservation Guild for an evening of talks about the conservation and restoration of the 1924 National Academy of Sciences Building on Constitution Avenue. Designed by the renowned architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, the building features a wide array of Art Deco elements and finishes including world-class decorative painting, gilding, marquetry, and bronze work.
Thursday, October 3, 2013, 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W.
Register here.
The evening will begin with a reception at 5:00 p.m. in the Great Hall, followed by the speakers' presentations beginning at 6:00 p.m. in the Auditorium. Attendees will have the opportunity to see the Great Hall, Board Room, and Members' Room after the presentations.
Beginning in 2010, the building underwent a complex and multi-faceted effort to conserve, restore, and rehabilitate its spaces and finishes. The two-year project enlisted a wide range of professionals associated with the conservation and preservation fields. Maria Bonet will speak about the conservation of architectural woodwork and marquetry; Michael Kramer, President of the Gilder's Studio (Olney, MD). will speak about the conservation of gilded finishes; Jacquelyn (Lindy) Gulick, Conservator at Conservation Solutions, Inc. (Washington, DC), will speak about the restoration of exterior bronze elements, and David Olin, Chief of Conservation at Olin Conservation, Inc. (Great Falls, VA) will speak about the conservation treatment of two murals by Albert Herter, Prometheus and Lincoln and the Academy Founders.

IPCC: Physical Science Basis of Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a report calling climate change “unequivocal” and reinforcing the scientific consensus that human activity influences climate change. The report, the IPCC’s 5th Assessment Report (AR5), was written by an expert working group and focuses on the physical science basis of climate change.
"The release of AR5 is another significant milestone in the advancement of climate change science," said Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. "We express our gratitude to the hundreds of experts from around the world who volunteered to take part in this important scientific endeavor. The result of their combined expertise reinforces the evidence base and scientific consensus that human activity is causing climate change. Their critical review and synthesis of the latest models, measurements, observations, and other data give policymakers an important evidence base upon which to make decisions about how best to mitigate and adapt to climate change."

The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. Its First Assessment Report in 1990 led to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty intended to limit greenhouse gas emissions, which President George H.W. Bush signed at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.

The National Research Council has issued several reports on climate change; these reports, as well as videos, booklets, and other resources, are available at
The Koshland Science Museum has developed an interactive exhibit on climate change called Earth Lab: Degrees of Change that can be accessed online or in person. The museum’s Global Warming Webquest can be used as a virtual field trip for high school and undergraduate level students.


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