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The National Research Council's Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences held a 2-day workshop on January 15-16, 2015, in Washington, DC to explore the public interfaces between scientists and citizens in the context of genetically engineered (GE) organisms. The workshop presentations and discussions dealt with perspectives on scientific engagement in a world where science is interpreted through a variety of lenses, including cultural values and political dispositions, and with strategies based on evidence in social science to improve public conversation about controversial topics in science. The workshop focused on public perceptions and debates about genetically engineered plants and animals, commonly known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs), because the development and application of GMOs are heavily debated among some stakeholders, including scientists. For some applications of GMOs, the societal debate is so contentious that it can be difficult for members of the public, including policy-makers, to make decisions. Thus, although the workshop focused on issues related to public interfaces with the life science that apply to many science policy debates, the discussions are particularly relevant for anyone involved with the GMO debate. Public Engagement on Genetically Modified Organisms: When Science and Citizens Connect summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop.
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National Academies Press
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Published on
Jul 7, 2015
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Education / Teaching Methods & Materials / Science & Technology
Science / Life Sciences / General
Science / Life Sciences / Genetics & Genomics
Technology & Engineering / Agriculture / Agronomy / Crop Science
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Science, engineering, and technology permeate nearly every facet of modern life and hold the key to solving many of humanity's most pressing current and future challenges. The United States' position in the global economy is declining, in part because U.S. workers lack fundamental knowledge in these fields. To address the critical issues of U.S. competitiveness and to better prepare the workforce, A Framework for K-12 Science Education proposes a new approach to K-12 science education that will capture students' interest and provide them with the necessary foundational knowledge in the field.

A Framework for K-12 Science Education outlines a broad set of expectations for students in science and engineering in grades K-12. These expectations will inform the development of new standards for K-12 science education and, subsequently, revisions to curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development for educators. This book identifies three dimensions that convey the core ideas and practices around which science and engineering education in these grades should be built. These three dimensions are: crosscutting concepts that unify the study of science through their common application across science and engineering; scientific and engineering practices; and disciplinary core ideas in the physical sciences, life sciences, and earth and space sciences and for engineering, technology, and the applications of science. The overarching goal is for all high school graduates to have sufficient knowledge of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on science-related issues, be careful consumers of scientific and technical information, and enter the careers of their choice.

A Framework for K-12 Science Education is the first step in a process that can inform state-level decisions and achieve a research-grounded basis for improving science instruction and learning across the country. The book will guide standards developers, teachers, curriculum designers, assessment developers, state and district science administrators, and educators who teach science in informal environments.
A Framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) describe a new vision for science learning and teaching that is catalyzing improvements in science classrooms across the United States. Achieving this new vision will require time, resources, and ongoing commitment from state, district, and school leaders, as well as classroom teachers. Successful implementation of the NGSS will ensure that all K-12 students have high-quality opportunities to learn science.

Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards provides guidance to district and school leaders and teachers charged with developing a plan and implementing the NGSS as they change their curriculum, instruction, professional learning, policies, and assessment to align with the new standards. For each of these elements, this report lays out recommendations for action around key issues and cautions about potential pitfalls. Coordinating changes in these aspects of the education system is challenging. As a foundation for that process, Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards identifies some overarching principles that should guide the planning and implementation process.

The new standards present a vision of science and engineering learning designed to bring these subjects alive for all students, emphasizing the satisfaction of pursuing compelling questions and the joy of discovery and invention. Achieving this vision in all science classrooms will be a major undertaking and will require changes to many aspects of science education. Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards will be a valuable resource for states, districts, and schools charged with planning and implementing changes, to help them achieve the goal of teaching science for the 21st century.

Americans agree that our students urgently need better science education. But what should they be expected to know and be able to do? Can the same expectations be applied across our diverse society?

These and other fundamental issues are addressed in National Science Education Standards--a landmark development effort that reflects the contributions of thousands of teachers, scientists, science educators, and other experts across the country.

The National Science Education Standards offer a coherent vision of what it means to be scientifically literate, describing what all students regardless of background or circumstance should understand and be able to do at different grade levels in various science categories.

The standards address:

The exemplary practice of science teaching that provides students with experiences that enable them to achieve scientific literacy. Criteria for assessing and analyzing students' attainments in science and the learning opportunities that school science programs afford. The nature and design of the school and district science program. The support and resources needed for students to learn science.

These standards reflect the principles that learning science is an inquiry-based process, that science in schools should reflect the intellectual traditions of contemporary science, and that all Americans have a role in improving science education.

This document will be invaluable to education policymakers, school system administrators, teacher educators, individual teachers, and concerned parents.

Scenes of starvation have drawn the world's attention to Africa's agricultural and environmental crisis. Some observers question whether this continent can ever hope to feed its growing population. Yet there is an overlooked food resource in sub-Saharan Africa that has vast potential: native food plants.
When experts were asked to nominate African food plants for inclusion in a new book, a list of 30 species grew quickly to hundreds. All in all, Africa has more than 2,000 native grains and fruits--"lost" species due for rediscovery and exploitation.
This volume focuses on native cereals, including
African rice, reserved until recently as a luxury food for religious rituals. Finger millet, neglected internationally although it is a staple for millions. Fonio (acha), probably the oldest African cereal and sometimes called "hungry rice." Pearl millet, a widely used grain that still holds great untapped potential. Sorghum, with prospects for making the twenty-first century the "century of sorghum." Tef, in many ways ideal but only now enjoying budding commercial production. Other cultivated and wild grains.

This readable and engaging book dispels myths, often based on Western bias, about the nutritional value, flavor, and yield of these African grains.
Designed as a tool for economic development, the volume is organized with increasing levels of detail to meet the needs of both lay and professional readers. The authors present the available information on where and how each grain is grown, harvested, and processed, and they list its benefits and limitations as a food source.
The authors describe "next steps" for increasing the use of each grain, outline research needs, and address issues in building commercial production.
Sidebars cover such interesting points as the potential use of gene mapping and other "high-tech" agricultural techniques on these grains.
This fact-filled volume will be of great interest to agricultural experts, entrepreneurs, researchers, and individuals concerned about restoring food production, environmental health, and economic opportunity in sub-Saharan Africa.
Selection, Newbridge Garden Book Club

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