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A Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Implications and Importance of System Architecture (2015)

July 7, 2015 Comments off

A Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Implications and Importance of System Architecture (2015)
Source: National Research Council

The Next Generation Air Transportation System’s (NextGen) goal is the transformation of the U.S. national airspace system through programs and initiatives that could make it possible to shorten routes, navigate better around weather, save time and fuel, reduce delays, and improve capabilities for monitoring and managing of aircraft. A Review of the Next Generation Air Transportation provides an overview of NextGen and examines the technical activities, including human-system design and testing, organizational design, and other safety and human factor aspects of the system, that will be necessary to successfully transition current and planned modernization programs to the future system. This report assesses technical, cost, and schedule risk for the software development that will be necessary to achieve the expected benefits from a highly automated air traffic management system and the implications for ongoing modernization projects. The recommendations of this report will help the Federal Aviation Administration anticipate and respond to the challenges of implementing NextGen.

Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Embedding a Culture of Science and Technology Throughout the Department of State

June 11, 2015 Comments off

Diplomacy for the 21st Century: Embedding a Culture of Science and Technology Throughout the Department of State
Source: National Research Council

Diplomacy for the 21st Century recommends steps that the Department of State should embrace to take full advantage of the leading science and technology (S&T) capabilities of the United States. These capabilities provide the department with many opportunities to promote a variety of the interests of the United States and its allies in a rapidly changing world wherein S&T are important drivers of economic development at home and abroad and help ensure international security. This report assesses and makes recommendations concerning the changing environment for the conduct of diplomacy in the years ahead, with a focus on the role of S&T in the development and implementation of U.S. policies and programs. According to this report, prompt steps by the department’s leadership are essential to ensure adequate comprehension of the importance of S&T-related developments throughout the world and to incorporate this understanding within the nation’s foreign policy for the 21st century. This report also urges the adoption by the department of a broader whole-of-society approach in carrying out its responsibilities at home and abroad – extending beyond traditional interagency coordination and the narrow band of current external partners to include foundations, universities, research centers, and other groups who are extending their international reach.

Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (2015)

May 26, 2015 Comments off

Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles (2015)
Source: Transportation Research Board/National Research Council

In the past few years, interest in plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) has grown. Advances in battery and other technologies, new federal standards for carbon-dioxide emissions and fuel economy, state zero-emission-vehicle requirements, and the current administration’s goal of putting millions of alternative-fuel vehicles on the road have all highlighted PEVs as a transportation alternative. Consumers are also beginning to recognize the advantages of PEVs over conventional vehicles, such as lower operating costs, smoother operation, and better acceleration; the ability to fuel up at home; and zero tailpipe emissions when the vehicle operates solely on its battery. There are, however, barriers to PEV deployment, including the vehicle cost, the short all-electric driving range, the long battery charging time, uncertainties about battery life, the few choices of vehicle models, and the need for a charging infrastructure to support PEVs. What should industry do to improve the performance of PEVs and make them more attractive to consumers?

At the request of Congress, Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles identifies barriers to the introduction of electric vehicles and recommends ways to mitigate these barriers. This report examines the characteristics and capabilities of electric vehicle technologies, such as cost, performance, range, safety, and durability, and assesses how these factors might create barriers to widespread deployment. Overcoming Barriers to Deployment of Plug-in Electric Vehicles provides an overview of the current status of PEVs and makes recommendations to spur the industry and increase the attractiveness of this promising technology for consumers. Through consideration of consumer behaviors, tax incentives, business models, incentive programs, and infrastructure needs, this book studies the state of the industry and makes recommendations to further its development and acceptance.

Realizing the Potential of the American Community Survey: Challenges, Tradeoffs, and Opportunities

April 29, 2015 Comments off

Realizing the Potential of the American Community Survey: Challenges, Tradeoffs, and Opportunities
Source: National Research Council

The American Community Survey (ACS) was conceptualized as a replacement to the census long form, which collected detailed population and housing data from a sample of the U.S. population, once a decade, as part of the decennial census operations. The long form was traditionally the main source of socio-economic information for areas below the national level. The data provided for small areas, such as counties, municipalities, and neighborhoods is what made the long form unique, and what makes the ACS unique today. Since the successful transition from the decennial long form in 2005, the ACS has become an invaluable resource for many stakeholders, particularly for meeting national and state level data needs. However, due to inadequate sample sizes, a major challenge for the survey is producing reliable estimates for smaller geographic areas, which is a concern because of the unique role fulfilled by the long form, and now the ACS, of providing data with a geographic granularity that no other federal survey could provide. In addition to the primary challenge associated with the reliability of the estimates, this is also a good time to assess other aspects of the survey in order to identify opportunities for refinement based on the experience of the first few years.

Realizing the Potential of the American Community Survey provides input on ways of improving the ACS, focusing on two priority areas: identifying methods that could improve the quality of the data available for small areas, and suggesting changes that would increase the survey’s efficiency in responding to new data needs. This report considers changes that the ACS office should consider over the course of the next few years in order to further improve the ACS data. The recommendations of Realizing the Potential of the American Community Survey will help the Census Bureau improve performance in several areas, which may ultimately lead to improved data products as the survey enters its next decade.

Available Evidence Suggests That Possible Regulation of Cigarettes Not Likely to Significantly Change U.S. Illicit Tobacco Market

April 9, 2015 Comments off

Available Evidence Suggests That Possible Regulation of Cigarettes Not Likely to Significantly Change U.S. Illicit Tobacco Market
Source: National Research Council and Institute of Medicine

Although there is insufficient evidence to draw firm conclusions about how the U.S. illicit tobacco market would respond to any new regulations that modify cigarettes—for example, by lowering nicotine content—limited evidence suggests that demand for illicit versions of conventional cigarettes would be modest, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine.

Tobacco use has declined in the past few decades due to measures such as high taxes on tobacco products and bans on advertising, though there are still more than 1 billion people worldwide who regularly use tobacco, including many who purchase their products illicitly. Illicit tobacco markets can undermine public health efforts to reduce tobacco use, while depriving governments of revenue. In the United States, the revenue losses are borne mostly by the states.

Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability (2015)

April 9, 2015 Comments off

Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability (2015)
Source: National Research Council

By 2050 the world’s population is projected to grow by one-third, reaching between 9 and 10 billion. With globalization and expected growth in global affluence, a substantial increase in per capita meat, dairy, and fish consumption is also anticipated. The demand for calories from animal products will nearly double, highlighting the critical importance of the world’s animal agriculture system. Meeting the nutritional needs of this population and its demand for animal products will require a significant investment of resources as well as policy changes that are supportive of agricultural production. Ensuring sustainable agricultural growth will be essential to addressing this global challenge to food security.

Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability identifies areas of research and development, technology, and resource needs for research in the field of animal agriculture, both nationally and internationally. This report assesses the global demand for products of animal origin in 2050 within the framework of ensuring global food security; evaluates how climate change and natural resource constraints may impact the ability to meet future global demand for animal products in sustainable production systems; and identifies factors that may impact the ability of the United States to meet demand for animal products, including the need for trained human capital, product safety and quality, and effective communication and adoption of new knowledge, information, and technologies.

The agricultural sector worldwide faces numerous daunting challenges that will require innovations, new technologies, and new ways of approaching agriculture if the food, feed, and fiber needs of the global population are to be met. The recommendations of Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability will inform a new roadmap for animal science research to meet the challenges of sustainable animal production in the 21st century.

Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability (2015)

March 30, 2015 Comments off

Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability (2015)
Source: National Research Council

By 2050 the world’s population is projected to grow by one-third, reaching between 9 and 10 billion. With globalization and expected growth in global affluence, a substantial increase in per capita meat, dairy, and fish consumption is also anticipated. The demand for calories from animal products will nearly double, highlighting the critical importance of the world’s animal agriculture system. Meeting the nutritional needs of this population and its demand for animal products will require a significant investment of resources as well as policy changes that are supportive of agricultural production. Ensuring sustainable agricultural growth will be essential to addressing this global challenge to food security.

Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability identifies areas of research and development, technology, and resource needs for research in the field of animal agriculture, both nationally and internationally. This report assesses the global demand for products of animal origin in 2050 within the framework of ensuring global food security; evaluates how climate change and natural resource constraints may impact the ability to meet future global demand for animal products in sustainable production systems; and identifies factors that may impact the ability of the United States to meet demand for animal products, including the need for trained human capital, product safety and quality, and effective communication and adoption of new knowledge, information, and technologies.

The agricultural sector worldwide faces numerous daunting challenges that will require innovations, new technologies, and new ways of approaching agriculture if the food, feed, and fiber needs of the global population are to be met. The recommendations of Critical Role of Animal Science Research in Food Security and Sustainability will inform a new roadmap for animal science research to meet the challenges of sustainable animal production in the 21st century.

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