New Video: Convergence in the Life Sciences

The life sciences are poised to change the 21st century the way that physics and engineering changed the 20th century.  Significant advances can be made with novel approaches to problem solving—one that brings together of the best of the life sciences with the physical sciences, computational sciences, and engineering.    
Watch this new 90-second video to learn why convergence in the life sciences is needed and how to make it happen.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Have you used a cell phone while driving? Did you know that driver behavior has been identified as the major factor in approximately 90% of roadway accidents?
April 2014 has been designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a time to recognize the dangers of cognitive distraction to the brain while driving.
Stop by the Koshland Science Museum to take a spin in our driving simulator to (safely!) see for yourself the effects of distracted driving.

STEM Integration in K-12 Education

A new video from the National Research Council challenges viewers to consider how K-12 education might make science education more relevant to students’ lives and open doors to new and exciting careers.
The video is based on the report STEM Integration in K-12 Education, which examines current efforts to connect the STEM disciplines in K-12 education.
STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But while kindergarten through 12th grade education usually focuses on science or mathematics in isolation, all four of these disciplines are closely intertwined in the real world. The report identifies existing approaches to integrated STEM education, reviews the evidence for the impact of integrated approaches on various student outcomes, and proposes a set of priority research questions to advance the understanding of integrated STEM education.

March 27: DC Art Science Evening Rendezvous

Join Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences for the next D.C. Art Science Evening Rendezvous (DASER) on Thursday, March 27 at 6:00 p.m. DASER is a monthly discussion forum on art science projects in the national capital region and beyond. The theme this month is creating spaces that challenge perceptions. The event is free and open to the public, but registration and photo ID are required.

5:30 to 6:00 p.m. Check in

6:00 to 6:10 p.m. Welcoming remarks and community sharing time. Anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.
6:10 to 7:10 p.m. Panelists' presentations (15 minutes each)
John Craig Freeman, Professor of New Media, Emerson College, Boston
Ryan Hill, Director of Digital Learning Programs and ARTLAB+, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Margot Knight, Executive Director, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Woodside, California
7:10 to 8:00 p.m. Discussion
8:00 to 9:00 p.m. Reception
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. DASER fosters community and discussion around the intersection of art and science. The thoughts and opinions expressed in the DASER events are those of the panelists and speakers and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the National Academy of Sciences or of Leonardo.

March 22 is World Water Day

Did you know that more than one billion people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water? March 22 is the United Nations World Water Day, a time to consider the critical role of water in human health and sanitation, energy, and the environment. Explore these resources to learn about the past, present, and future of Earth’s water and crucial water-related challenges.

New Booklet on Climate Change Evidence & Causes

The US National Academy of Sciences and The Royal Society have released “Climate Change: Evidence & Causes,” a new publication produced jointly by the two institutions. Written by a UK-US team of leading climate scientists and reviewed by climate scientists and others, the publication is intended as a brief, readable reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and other individuals seeking authoritative information on the some of the questions that continue to be asked.
The publication makes clear what is well-established and where understanding is still developing. It echoes and builds upon the long history of climate-related work from both national academies, as well as on the newest climate-change assessment from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It touches on current areas of active debate and ongoing research, such as the link between ocean heat content and the rate of warming.
Download the booklet or explore its gallery of climate-related figures.

Learn more about climate change trends, modeling, processes, and impacts at the Koshland Science Museum’s online interactive exhibit, Earth Lab: Degrees of Change.

March 18: Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

As part of the 2014 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences will be screening the world premiere of the scientific adventure story in Your Inner Fish, based on the best-selling book of the same name by evolutionary biologist Dr. Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago. The screening will be held Tuesday, March 18 at 7:00 p.m. at the NAS Building, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W. The event is free and open to the public, but photo ID and registration are required.

YOUR INNER FISH (USA, 2013, 60 min.) World Premiere. Your middle ear comes from the jawbone of a prehistoric fish. Your skin and hair can be traced to a shrew-like mammal that lived around 195 million years ago. As for your bad back--well, you can thank your primate ancestors for that. It took more than 350 million years for the human body to take its present shape. How did it become the complicated, quirky and amazing machine it is today? Follow this scientific adventure story in Your Inner Fish, based on the best-selling book of the same name by evolutionary biologist Dr. Neil Shubin of the University of Chicago. The film, part of a three-hour series set to air on Wednesdays in April at 10 p.m. ET on PBS, takes us back in time to uncover the amazing history of the human body. Produced by Tangled Bank Studios and Windfall Films for PBS.
Welcome by J.D. Talasek, Director, Cultural Programs, National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS). Remarks by Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive, PBS. Introduced by Michael Rosenfeld, Head of Tangled Bank Studios and Executive Producer, Your Inner Fish. Discussion with Dr. Neil Shubin, moderated by Miles O'Brien, Science Correspondent for PBS NewsHour, follows the screening.
Every March, the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital presents a diverse selection of quality environmental films at a wide variety of venues throughout the region. Cultural Programs participates for the fourth time this year.

March 13: The Contemporary Challenge of the Sea

The Ocean Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences cordially invites you to this year’s Roger Revelle Commemorative Lecture on Thursday, March 13, 2014 from 5:30-6:30 pm at the Smithsonian’s Baird Auditorium (10th & Constitution).  Dr. David M. Karl of the University of Hawaii will present “The Contemporary Challenge of the Sea: Science, Society, and Sustainability.”  Dr. Karl will examine the crucial role of marine microorganisms in sustaining the habitability of the Earth, and explain why understanding them is more important than ever before.  A reception in the Smithsonian’s Ocean Hall will immediately follow.
To learn more and to pre-register (not required for attendance), visit

March 9: Series Premiere of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Mark your calendar for the premiere of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, on Sunday, March 9, at 9:00 p.m. eastern/8:00 p.m. central time. This series is a new version of Carl Sagan's groundbreaking 1980 series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which is hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and will be aired on Fox and the National Geographic Channel. Executive producer Seth MacFarlane first met Tyson through the Science & Entertainment Exchange, the National Academy of Sciences program that connects the entertainment media with scientists.  
Learn more at

Celebrate National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month, a time to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits. Does your dinner plate reflect the latest science-based nutrition guidelines? Do you know what’s in your supplements? How can we help schools give students the foundation they need to develop a healthy lifestyle?
Explore the Koshland Science Museum’s free online Life Lab exhibit for quizzes, games and information.


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