National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM)

NASEM Meeting: Standing Committee to Advise the US Department of State on Unexplained Health Effects on US Government Employees and their Families at Overseas Embassies

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Board on Global Health, will hold a data gathering meeting of its Standing Committee to Advise the US Department of State (DOS) on Unexplained Health Effects on US Government Employees and their Families at Overseas Embassies. The standing committee will provide a public forum to review the current medical investigations through presentations by lead scientific researchers closely affiliated with these cases. 

Since 2016 there have been reports of unexplained health effects on US Government employees and their families who were working at overseas embassies. While the scientific community is still deciphering the possible causes for these health effects, determining these causes and preventing future cases has remained a pressing DOS priority.

In order to facilitate the Department of State in implementing its responsibility to protect US government employees and their family members overseas, the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has formed a Standing Committee to Advise the US DOS on Unexplained Health Effects on US Government Employees and their Families at Overseas Embassies. The standing committee will evaluate current DOS practices for pre- and post-assignment health screening, provide expertise on potential epidemiologic studies, help with characterizing and understanding the current cases of potential trauma, and develop a  better understanding of possible causes of these cases and approaches for future incidents whether of an apparent acoustic nature or a different environmental or clinical presentation. The standing committee will also keep DOS abreast of any emerging concerns, interventions, and protective measures as these come available.

Members of the public may attend in person with advance registration. More information is available at this NASEM website.

NASEM Webinar: Review of the BOEM "Air Quality Modeling in the Gulf of Mexico Study"

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, will hold a webinar to review the Bureau of Energy Ocean Management (BOEM)'s "Air Quality Modeling in the Gulf of Mexico Study".

The project will conduct an independent review of the "Air Quality Modeling in the Gulf of Mexico Study." The review will provide an overall critique of the study and address the following questions:

  • Does the study meet its stated goals?
  • Does the study accurately reflect the scientific literature? Are there any critical content areas missing from the study?
  • Are the data inputs to modeling analyses reasonable, well documented and adequately supported by existing literature?
  • Are the approaches to quantitative modeling reasonable, well documented and adequately supported by existing literature?
  • Are the findings documented in a consistent, transparent and credible way?
  • Is the study consistent with guidelines in Appendix W of 40 CFR part 51?

Members of the public may attend the webinar. More information is available at this NASEM website.

NASEM Webinar: Mathematical Frontiers: Machine Learning for Text

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), as part of their Mathematical Frontiers series, will hold a webinar titled "Machine Learning for Text." Professors Marine Carpuat and Tengyu Ma will discuss how machine learning methods are being applied to text analysis and what these efforts could unveil.

Members of the public may attend the webinar with advance registration. More information is available at this event registration website.

NASEM Meeting: Science and Innovation Leadership for the 21st Century: Challenges and Strategic Implications for the United States

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy, will hold a meeting of its project titled "Science and Innovation Leadership for the 21st Century: Challenges and Strategic Implications for the United States." Items on the agenda for the public session of the meeting include introductory remarks from the co-chairs and presentations by four invited speakers. 

This ad hoc committee, under the auspices of the Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy in cooperation with the Committee on Science, Technology, and Law (CSTL), will explore the implications of the loss of US economic capability and leadership relative to other countries on issues such as national security, unemployment or underemployment of the US. workforce, and international development and global stability. The committee will convene a series of public workshops to help gather information and produce a consensus report with findings and recommendations to: 1) draw attention to the most overlooked challenges, based on current research on US competitiveness and trade, technology, and innovation policies; 2) develop a future agenda for needed research in areas that have not been fully explored; 3) identify current government infrastructure that hinders the United States' ability to address these challenges; and 4) produce recommendations for the federal government to effectively meet these challenges.

Members of the public may attend in person. More information is available at this NASEM website.

NASEM Meeting: Review and Update of Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Inspection Program

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) will hold a committee meeting of its project titled "Review and Update of Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Offshore Oil and Gas Operations Inspection Program." Items on the agenda for the public component of the meeting include remarks from the Committee Chair and presentations from representatives of Oceana and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

The project aims to address the following components:

  • Is BSEE’s “inspection program” effectively meeting its regulatory mission?
  • Evaluate BSEE’s current risk-based inspection program and provide recommendations for improvements.
  • What proven value-added practices used by other international regulators, such as but not limited to Norway, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Mexico, can be best employed by BSEE to supplement its current inspection program?
  • What process could BSEE use to determine the activities that a third party could perform in support of the inspection and verification functions?  Are there other regulators with an inspection function that use external parties to perform parts of the inspection function, if so how and in what capacity?   How would the regulator ensure that third parties are acting in the public interest and representing an extension of the government regulator?  What type of oversight should be placed over third parties that inspect?
  • What is the appropriate role of remote real-time monitoring and other safety enhancing technologies for the BSEE inspection program?
  • What current and potential policies, risks, technologies and practices should BSEE consider in evolving the inspection program in the near term (1 to 10 years) and the long term (> 10 years) to enhance safety and environmental protection?

Members of the public may attend in person. More information is available at this NASEM website.

NASEM Meeting: Advancing Commercialization from the Federal Laboratories

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy, will hold a meeting of its project titled "Advancing Commercialization from the Federal Laboratories." Among others, agenda items include discussions about technology transfer at the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Institutes of Health; assessing the value of digital products from federal laboratories; research on the industrial use of public research and development research; and intermediary and industry partnerships with labs.

will identify and prioritize opportunities to add economic value to U.S. industry through enhanced utilization of intellectual property around digital products created at federal laboratories. Specifically, the committee will:

  1. examine commercialization of digital products from federally funded R&D at laboratories and extramural awardees;
  2. consider issues in the ownership, use, and repurposing of data, and the effect of data use restrictions on the use and analysis of multiple data sets from different sources;
  3. examine the current state of commercialization of digital products, including barriers to commercialization of digital products;
  4. evaluate approaches for  government-owned, contractor-operator and government-owned, government-operated federal labs to incentivize their researchers and the private sector to commercialize digital products;
  5. review open source versus protected proprietary control of digital products and the factors that lead to making a determination of a selected pathway for commercialization; and
  6. offer recommendations for improvements regarding these digital products, especially with regard to increasing commercialization and use of these digital products in the private sector. 

Members of the public may attend in person. More information is available at this NASEM website.

NASEM Workshop: Exploring the Frontiers of Innovation to Tackle Microbial Threats

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Board on Global Health, will hold a workshop titled "Exploring the Frontiers of Innovation to Tackle Microbial Threats." The workshop will examine the major advancements in scientific, technological, and social innovations that have been taking place to tackle microbial threats, including diagnostics, vaccine development and production, new antimicrobials as well as non-pharmaceutical interventions and surveillance. Particular considerations will be given to innovations that occur at the human-animal-plant-environment interface and those that are practical and can be implemented in different resource-level settings.

Members of the public may attend in person with advance registration, or via webcast. More information is available at this NASEM website.