The National Academies Press publishes more than 200 books a year on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and health. I am cursed with endless curiosity, so working there is a love-hate relationship. Love because I love what the NAS does, hate because everyday I find I report “I have” to read. Halfway in my fellowship, I decided to highlight some of the ones I find most interesting. For now, this is the one:
##Earth Observations from Space## ###The First 50 Years of Scientific Achievements### The report [free pdf] is just one of the many in the amazing field of Earth Observation and remote sensing, and its benefits. In the last years the geo revolution is unleashing astonishing possibilities, so this report provides a broad overview of what actually happened. I have training in Space Physics, rockets, satellites and data analysis. Yet, I had no idea one could indeed do so many things.
This report has even a webpage to help with the dissemination with animations, videos and online resources. I can only add one more things before leaving you to download the pdf: Claudia Mengelt (Study Director), Thank you.
Over the past 50 years, thousands of satellites have been sent into space on missions to collect data about the Earth. Today, the ability to forecast weather, climate, and natural hazards depends critically on these satellite-based observations. At the request of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Academies published the report Earth Observations from Space: The First 50 Years of Scientific Achievements (2008) to describe how the ability to view the entire globe at once, uniquely available from satellite observations, has revolutionized Earth studies and ushered in a new era of multidisciplinary Earth sciences. In particular, the ability to gather satellite images frequently enough to create "movies" of the changing planet is improving the understanding of Earth's dynamic processes and helping society to manage limited resources and environmental challenges. The report concludes that continued Earth observations from space will be required to address scientific and societal challenges of the future. [source]
- The report about the weaknesses of Forensic Science was a close runner up. Let me just quote a phrase on page 7. “With the exception of nuclear DNA analysis, however, no forensic method has been rigorously shown to have the capacity to consistently, and with a high degree of certainty, demonstrate a connection between evidence and a specific individual or source.”