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NAE Perspectives
NAE Perspectives offer practitioners, scholars, and policy leaders a platform to comment on developments and issues relating to engineering.
  • image for Technoscientific Research: A Missing Term in R&D Discourse
    Over the past decade there have been consistent alarm signals about US leadership in science and technology.Arguments often boil down to the need for additional funding for R&D. In this perspective, I reflect not on the well-justified need for such additional funding, but for more effective funding, especially in technoscientific research, a key engine of innovation.
  • image for Transformative Opportunities in Transportation
    While transportation is costly in many ways and tiresome for many, it is critical for economic and social wellbeing. Goods and people need to reach their desired destinations in a timely manner. Large amounts of money, energy, land, labor, time, and natural resources are devoted to travel. And it is associated with crashes, sprawl, and harmful air emissions. But travel can also be a romantic pleasure, as celebrated in numerous books and movies. In the next few decades there are opportunities to reshape the landscape of familiar transportation systems. It is a pivotal time not seen for over a century, with transformations emerging in vehicle propulsion, automation, and telecommunications.
  • image for Evolutionary Medicine Needs Engineering Expertise
    Engineering has made vast contributions to health and medicine, from designing water and sewer systems that have saved millions of lives to optimizing healthcare delivery systems and creating ever more sophisticated medical devices. New applications of evolutionary biology to medicine are now giving rise to new opportunities for engineering to enhance understanding of disease. Projects that bring engineering expertise to bear on the questions addressed by evolutionary medicine promise major advances.
  • image for Driverless Motor Vehicles: Not Yet Ready for Prime Time
    According to safety experts, more than 90% of motor vehicle crashes involve driver error,[1] and many believe that replacing drivers with automation could significantly reduce the number of crashes. Well-considered automation could compensate for human susceptibilities such as fatigue, distraction, and impairment that contribute to crashes, and thus greatly reduce the loss of nearly 40,000 lives every year on US streets and highways. Read more in a Perspective by Christopher A. Hart, founder of Hart Solutions LLC and former chair of the National Transportation Safety Board.
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