The Complicated Legacy of Terry Wallis and His Brain Injury

After an accident in 1984, Terry Wallis was considered by his care team to be in a state of permanent unconsciousness, until 2003—when he said “Mom” and then “Pepsi,” his favorite drink. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Terry’s awakening set off a “golden age” of brain science, profoundly changing the scientific, moral, ethical, and legal understandings of consciousness. Although Terry was exceptional—he became a brain injury rock star—his death last year was all too ordinary and, arguably, avoidable: a consequence of therapeutic nihilism about severe brain injury, widespread discrimination against people with disabilities, and inadequate rehabilitation facilities in the rural area where he lived.Read More

Risk Communication

Mental Models for Scientists Communicating With the Public

Scientists and their institutions should embrace evidence-based models of communication with the public. One well-tested model is risk communication, which is the exchange of information for the purpose of making a good decision about a potential harm.Read More

Book Review

A Kafkaesque Border System

As a recent book describes it, the immigration surveillance system sounds like something out Franz Kafka: impersonal bureaucracies that choose and input datapoints in the often punitive immigration system, process these data without regard to the lives they represent, and stream them out summarily in unappealable judgments.Read More

Defense R&D

What the Ukraine-Russia War Means for South Korea’s Defense R&D

South Korean government officials and defense researchers are taking notes on the new ways science and technology are changing warfare and defense capability—and what it means for rethinking their defense R&D strategy.Read More

Film Review

CRISPR’s Icarus

A new documentary focuses on He Jiankui, a Chinese biophysicist who defied international scientific consensus to orchestrate the germline gene editing of human embryos using CRISPR. His actions sparked an international furor and landed him in prison, but the film raises issues that reach far beyond the injudicious choices of a naïve and overly ambitious young researcher.Read More

In Focus

the next 75 years of science policy

The Winter Issue

Winter 2023 ISSUES Cover

The Winter 2023 Issues explores the ethics of patient care during the golden age of neuroscience; how a metaphor borrowed from consumer electronics helped reinvigorate the electric vehicle industry; fixing academia’s approach to sexual harassment; and much more. 

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Online Exclusives

Biological Weapons Convention

Preparing for Twenty-First-Century Bioweapons

The landscape of international conflict is changing, and the Biological Weapons Convention must prepare for a future of weapons and wars that looks different from those the treaty was designed to prevent.Read More

Transportation Emissions

Pathways to More Rapidly Reduce Transportation’s Climate Change Impact

A strategy focused on battery electric vehicles alone does not recognize some of these vehicles’ limitations nor the advantages of other climate-friendly technologies. There are alternative policy options that could reduce carbon dioxide emissions much more quickly.Read More

Health Security

The United States Needs a Director of National Health Security

Fixing the health security enterprise demands foundational change. To successfully coordinate health security resources and response requires a consolidated leadership structure that can integrate the mission across departments and agencies.Read More

Public Engagement

Creating a Science-Engaged Public

Strengthening the public’s engagement with science is critical because nearly every challenge society faces—from climate change to pandemic preparedness and inclusive economic growth—requires significant taxpayer investment in scientific research and technological development.Read More


Creativity During COVID

cpnas creative responses archive

A Time Capsule of Creative Responses to the Pandemic

Creativity often flourishes in stressful times. A remarkable collection of creative responses from individuals, communities, organizations, and industries is now available to explore in a new archive.Read More

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