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Science, Engineering, and Technology — Projects

The Academy’s research projects in this topic area from the 1950s through today are available for viewing below. They are listed alphabetically, with the project dates and descriptions.

Project launched from    thru     
Displaying records 1 through 24.
Project Name ↑DateDescription
The Alternative Energy Future

Chair(s): Granger Morgan, Maxine L. Savitz and Robert W. Fri † (2010–2014)

2010– To meet growing energy demands and the parallel challenge of confronting climate change, society must embrace and implement new technologies. The Alternative Energy Future project examines how to facilitate the adoption of cleaner and more efficient energy technologies using knowledge from the social and behavioral sciences.
ARISE II—Advancing Research In Science and Engineering: The Role of Academia, Industry, and Government in the 21st Century

Chair(s): Venkatesh Narayanamurti and Keith Yamamoto

2010–2014 The United States has a history of innovation in the sciences. However, as the research ecosystem and the economic climate begin to shift, government, industry, and universities must adapt by reexamining their funding practices and institutional structures. The ARISE II project is developing actionable recommendations to sustain a competitive U.S. research enterprise. This work will foster new relationships across the disciplines and between the private and public sectors.
ARISE: Advancing Research In Science and Engineering: Investing in Early-Career Scientists and High-Risk, High-Reward Research

Chair(s): Thomas R. Cech

2000–2008 The ARISE project addressed two issues central to the vitality of America's research enterprise: 1) the support of early-career investigators; and 2) the encouragement of high-risk, high-reward research. The goal of the project and its resulting report was to foster a new generation of scientists and stimulate innovation to generate competitive advantage in a global economy.
Center for Advanced Studies in Amazonian Biodiversity (PROBEM/Amazonia)

1998–2001 The Academy hosted an international planning meeting to develop a proposal for a new world-class research center in Brazil that would help develop the country’s research capabilities in the life sciences.
Challenges for International Scientific Partnerships

Chair(s): Arthur Bienenstock and Peter Michelson

2018– Challenges for International Scientific Partnerships is a three-year American Academy project to articulate the benefits of international research collaborations and explore solutions to ongoing challenges associated with their design and execution. The project will examine a range of types of international scientific collaborations involving university-affiliated researchers, government and international research agencies, and non-government organizations. The first phase of the project will evaluate the organizational dynamics and institutional support structures that enable successful collaboration across borders, and elaborate the key metrics and strategies to assess the success of such partnerships. In the second phase of the project, the Academy will establish working groups to develop recommendations and best practices for the implementation of various types of international scientific partnerships.
The Collected Works of Count Rumford

1965–1970 In 1965, Academy Fellow Sanborn C. Brown received funding to edit and reprint the collected works of Count Rumford. The resulting five volumes contain Rumford’s work on the nature of heat and light; descriptions of practical applications; diverse papers on devices and techniques; work dealing with light and armament; papers on public institutions; and works related to Bavaria and Great Britain.
Ethical Aspects of Experimentation on Human Subjects

1966–1970 With new surgical techniques, like heart transplants, becoming indispensable tools in prolonging human life, the issue of human experimentation became a matter of increasing public interest. The Academy created an interdisciplinary working group to study the ethics of human experimentation, and the working group’s papers were initially published in Dædalus in 1969.
Governance of Innovation in the Biosciences

2000–2001 The Academy convened a series of meetings in 2000 and 2001 to reflect on the social implications of new technologies. During those sessions, participants discussed the risks and benefits of revolutionary advances not only in genetics but also in nanotechnology and robotics.
History of Women Scientists in America

1978–1982 The increased role of women in science in this country was the result of the convergence of two trends: the growth in higher education and expanded employment for middle-class women on the one hand, and the growth, bureaucratization and professionalization of science and technology, on the other.
Humankind's Origins

1999–2002 This project brought together experts in the biological sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences to examine the evolution and origin of human biology, behavior, and society.
Human Diversity

1971–1976 Human diversity is an enormous cultural and biological resource and a source of social and political tension. The Academy convened a group of scholars to address the controversy over the relative roles of genetics and environment in determining human capacities and behavior.
Human Performance Enhancement

Chair(s): Steven Hyman

2015– Performance-enhancing drugs are transforming athletic competitions; bionic suits are aiding transportation of heavy goods by military personnel; and psychotropic pills are shifting the learning landscape of our schools. Efforts to advance the performance enhancement field have accelerated as a result, and the confluence of technologies – biological, mechanical, behavioral, informatic – suggests that artificially enhanced human performance will become pervasive in the twenty-first century, with profound implications for society and the self. The Academy will convene leaders from a diverse range of academic subjects to review and analyze the current state of research and public discourse; to identify issues that require further attention; and to develop a roadmap for a multi-year study that could profoundly advance our understanding of performance enhancement.
Human Values, Systems Analysis, and the Environment

1970–1976 The Academy gathered together a multidisciplinary group of scholars to design a study of environmental decision-making that focused on the theoretical aspects of the process and examined policy analysis and decision-making.
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology

1970–1978 The Academy was instrumental in the establishment in 1970 of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi, Kenya. The goal of the ICIPE is to develop more effective and less dangerous pesticides through a greater understanding of insect biology.
International Foundation for Science

1970–1972 in the 1960s, as the economic and technological gap widened between the developed nations and the developing world, the Academy, the National Academy of Sciences, and other scientific organizations considered the feasibility of establishing an International Foundation for Science to support the research of young scientists and technical investigators in developing countries. In 1972, the IFS was established as a nongovernmental organization in Stockholm. Today, the IFS supports the work of indigenous scientists in developing countries in a wide range of fields.
International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis

1983–2003 IIASA was formed in 1972 to provide a venue for collaboration between Western and Eastern bloc scientists on non-military matters, such as global energy needs, environmental change, and human health concerns.
New Models for U.S. Science and Technology Policy

Chair(s): Norman R. Augustine and Neal Lane

2013– During the Cold War, a strong partnership among the federal government, universities, and industry supported the scientific discovery and technological innovation that are fundamental to the prosperity, health, and security of the United States. However, in an increasingly globalized and accelerated world, the U.S. may need to develop new models for long-range thinking on science and technology matters. The Academy is exploring the creation of a national working group to sustain a long-term, nonpartisan, and national focus on vital science and technology policy issues.
Protecting the Internet as a Public Commons

Chair(s): David D. Clark

2006–2011 The constantly evolving nature of the Internet raises questions about its use and security. This project investigates how the complex social issues of identity, access, and trust will affect the future of the Internet.
The Public Face of Science

Chair(s): Richard A. Meserve and Geneva Overholser

2016– The Public Face of Science, a three-year project of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, engages the expertise of a broad range of leaders in communication, law, humanities, the arts, journalism, public affairs, and the physical, social, and life sciences. The initiative will comprise a series of activities to address various aspects of the complex and evolving relationship between scientists and the public.
Public Trust in Vaccines

Chair(s): Barry Bloom, Edgar Marcuse and Seth Mnookin

2012–2014 Public attitudes toward immunization recommendations are complex, informed by a variety of sources, and anchored by ethics, customs, and values. The Academy is analyzing public trust in vaccines from multiple disciplines to identify barriers to vaccine coverage, examine the history and roots of the anti-vaccination movement, evaluate the role of the media in the public’s attitudes towards vaccines, and provide recommendations to improve the public’s trust in vaccines.
Science in the Liberal Arts Curriculum

2006–2010 Less than one-third of American undergraduates major in the natural sciences, mathematics, or engineering. This project examines the goals of science requirements for nonscientists, and how students fulfill those requirements, in an effort to inform curriculum policies at higher education institutions.
Scientists' Understanding of the Public

Chair(s): David Clark, David Altshuler, Thomas Isaacs and Robert Fri

2008–2010 This project examines how to improve the scientific community’s appreciation of public concerns about science and technology. The project reverses the more common question of public understanding of science by asking what scientists know or should know about the public and its concerns.
Social Values and Technology Choice in an International Context

1978–1980 This Academy-organized symposium brought together more than 30 scientists, scholars and public officials, from developed and developing nations, to discuss how social values do and should influence technology choice by nations and by groups of nations.
Space Exploration and Society

1962–1966 In 1962, the Academy received a grant from NASA to study the long-range effects of space exploration on American life. At a time when the nation was committing enormous and unprecedented financial, scientific and manpower resources to the NASA program, the Academy study was charged with investigating the potential consequences, intended and unintended, of this mobilization on various sectors of society.