Table of Contents

Applying New Research to Improve Science Education

Fall 2012


The U.S.-Mexico connection; Drug policy research; Communicating uncertainty; The trouble with STEM

From the Hill

R&D funding picture remains mixed, as budget negotiations stall ; House Republicans hold controversial hearings on EPA rules; Bills introduced to improve forensic science; Senate committee examines EPA rule on air pollution from fracking; Federal science and technology in brief

Perspective: Qualitative Metrics in Science Policy: What Can’t Be Counted, Counts

Rahul Rekhi, Neal Lane

Applying New Research to Improve Science Education

Carl Wieman

Insights from several fields on how people learn to become experts can help us to dramatically enhance the effectiveness of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

Do High-Stakes Tests Improve Learning?

Michael Hout, Stuart Elliott, Sara Frueh

Test-based incentives, which reward or sanction schools, teachers, and students based on students' test scores, have dominated U.S. education policy for decades. But a recent study suggests that they should be used with caution and carefully evaluated.

Decoupling Water and Violent Conflict

Ken Conca

A basic human need, water can be the source of social conflicts. With safeguards, including informed government polices and management decisions, the dangers can be defused.

The Limits of Knowledge: Personal and Public

Amitai Etzioni

Human beings and governments typically make irrational decisions. Taking this into account in personal planning and in policymaking offers improved results.

Affordable Access to Space

Jonathan Coopersmith

Rockets are 20th-century technology. A government effort to develop new launch technologies could open the door to a vast array of new opportunities for space exploration and development.

Escape from the Great Distress: The Role of Rules

Paul Romer

Technological innovation alone will not revive the U.S. economy. We must also update some of the underlying rules that govern the ways that we make economic decisions.

Back to Basics on Energy Policy

Bruce Everett

For the past 40 years, political leaders have promised that government can plan and engineer a fundamental transformation of our energy industry They were wrong.

Global Bioethics: Hopes, Fears, and New Voices

Jennifer Liu, Deborah Gardner

As science increasingly crosses borders, so do the implications of deeply personal health sciences. Can new voices help in bioethical dialogue?

Book Review: The climate struggle heats up

Martin W. Lewis

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
, by 
Michael E. Mann.

Book Review: Controlling the arms bazaar

Jo. L. Husbands

The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade
, by 
Andrew Feinstein.