Mental Models for Scientists Communicating With the Public

Scientists regularly fret about misinformation and disinformation and bemoan public innumeracy and scientific illiteracy. Some scientists try to set the record straight through traditional communication efforts, often with disappointing results. In frustration, scientists may become eager consumers of the “deficit model,” which emphasizes the public’s lack of knowledge and biased judgments. But blaming the public for such a disconnect absolves scientists of their responsibility to provide people with the information they need. Instead, 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

Real Numbers

Bringing Researchers and Policymakers Together

Expecting policymakers to go out and find policy-relevant relevant science is unrealistic, and engagement remains difficult for scientists facing institutional constraints. So a team from Penn State University developed a model to facilitate engagement: the Research-to-Policy Collaboration model.Read More

In Focus

the next 75 years of science policy

The Fall Issue

Cover of Fall 2022 ISSUES

The Fall 2022 Issues features perspectives on the CHIPS and Science Act, a federal push for open science, a vision of democratizing government data, and much more. 

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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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