Life Lab

How can the choices you make every day affect your health? Our interactive Life Lab exhibit challenges you to find out how small changes can make a big difference at every age.  
The exhibit features videos, interactive games, and a driving simulator. Explore the human brain and learn about the science of memory, consider why we age and the changes associated with different stages of life, and try your hand at applying dietary guidelines to plan healthy meals. Visit the exhibit online, or stop by the museum!

Aug. 3: Symposium - The NAS at 150

Historians and scientists will gather on Saturday, August 3, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in a symposium entitled “The NAS at 150: Celebrating Service to the Nation and Excellence in Science.”
The symposium will take place at the Jonsson Center in Woods Hole, Mass. and will be webcast live from 10:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Eastern time. Click here to access the webcast.
The symposium was organized and will be led by historians Daniel Kevles, Ruth Schwartz Cowan, and Peter Westwick. Daniel Kevles will provide an overview of the founding of the Academy and its place in American democracy, Peter Westwick will speak about how the Academy has served national interests while striving to maintain its independence, and Ruth Schwartz Cowan will discuss the expanded meaning of the sciences in the Academy’s history. The talks by Drs. Westwick and Cowan will each be followed by roundtable discussions with panelists who are familiar with the work of the Academy and with the issues raised in the talks.
More information about this symposium.
More information about NAS history.

New Video: Energy Technologies & Manmade Earthquakes

Some energy production activities can produce small manmade earthquakes. A new video from the National Academies explains the conditions that have produced such earthquakes during activities related to conventional oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing, geothermal energy, and the injection of wastewater for underground disposal. The video also explores the potential for earthquakes to develop from use of new energy technologies such as carbon capture and storage.
The video is based on the National Research Council report Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies.

World Hepatitis Day

July 28 is World Hepatitis Day, a day to recognize and confront the global burden of hepatitis. 500 million people around the world are currently infected with chronic hepatitis B or C and one in three people have been exposed to one or both viruses. Together, these viruses kill approximately one million people a year.
World Hepatitis Day is one of only four official disease-specific days recognized by the World Health Organization. Hepatitis is a disease marked by inflammation of the liver and can have a wide range of causes; one of the most common causes of chronic (long-term) hepatitis is viral infection. One such virus, hepatitis B, can be prevented through vaccination. In this creative video, three unwise monkeys tell us why we should know and confront hepatitis.
Explore the science of infectious disease and trace the emergence and spread of global public health challenges in the Koshland Science Museum’s online exhibit Infectious Disease: Evolving Challenges to Human Health.
Learn about prevention and control of this disease in the Institute of Medicine book Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: A National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis B and C.

July 25: At the Crossroads of Science and Foreign Policy

Join members of the scientific and foreign policy communities for a reception to launch the new program series At the Crossroads of Science and Foreign Policy on Thursday, July 25 at 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Anthony “Bud” Rock, CEO of the Association of Science and Technology Centers, will introduce “science diplomacy” and program organizers will offer a taste of the exciting programs to come.
Throughout the fall, the Crossroads series will examine themes such as forecasting, empowerment, revolution, and emerging markets. Each program will feature a moderated conversation between invited experts as well as provide a forum for active discussion about the commonalities and differences between the perspectives and approaches of the science and foreign policy communities.  
This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited so please RSVP here. Light refreshments will be served. The program will be held at the Koshland Science Museum, 525 E St., NW, Washington, DC.
This program is a collaboration between the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships, AAAS Center for Science Diplomacy, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, and the Koshland Science Museum.

Call for Volunteers: Test a New Online Toxicology Tutorial

Want to know whether the chemicals you come in contact with are harmful to your health? So do toxicologists. The science of toxicology helps uncover the causes of chemical and biological hazards and seeks solutions to improve health and safety.
ToxLearn, a project of the National Library of Medicine and the Society of Toxicology, introduces the basic principles of toxicology to the public. Module II of this free, online tutorial will soon be available, and the ToxLearn developers are looking for beta testers before rolling out a full release.
To volunteer to test the tutorial now through August 2, email Phil Wexler at Volunteers will be sent a copy of the module and a brief questionnaire. For additional background, view ToxLearn Module I.

Obesity Series Earns IOM Nomination for Primetime Emmy Award

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy® Award for Outstanding Children’s Program for its contribution to the film “The Weight of the Nation for Kids: Quiz Ed!” The program is part of a multi-pronged “Weight of the Nation” project featuring four documentary films and a three-part series of half-hour specials for young people spotlighting decisions that children and their families can make to improve their health now and in the future. 
The “Weight of the Nation” series is presented by HBO and IOM in association with the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and in partnership with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente. 
The series’ blueprint for action was based in part on the 2012 IOM report Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation, which identifies key obesity-prevention strategies. IOM’s online collection of videos, reports, and other resources focusing on America’s obesity crisis is available here.
Test your knowledge and explore interactive exhibits about healthy eating in the Koshland Science Museum’s online exhibit Food for Thought.

Surgeon General Highlights National Prevention Strategy

In a commentary published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin points to accomplishments of the National Prevention Council, a gathering of multiple federal departments and agencies whose policies and practices bear on health. The Council highlights health as everyone’s business and illustrates how all sectors of society can contribute to improving the social, environmental, and economic conditions that influence health outcomes.
The Council’s 2013 Annual Status Report shows positive trends in some leading health indicators. Among the highlights are decreases in:

  • youth ages 3 to 11 exposed to secondhand smoke;
  • the number of adolescents who are current smokers;
  • the rate of coronary heart disease deaths;
  • stroke deaths; and
  • overall cancer deaths.


New Report: Nutrition Education in the K-12 Curriculum

With approximately one-third of America’s young people overweight or obese, the childhood obesity epidemic and related health consequences are urgent public health problems. A new Workshop Summary from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) highlights the merits and potential uses of a set of K-12 nutrition curriculum benchmarks, guides, or standards to help advance obesity prevention in U.S. schools.
Health problems once seen mostly in adults – such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension – are increasingly appearing in youth. The 2012 IOM report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation, recommended making schools a focal point for obesity prevention. In a workshop hosted by the IOM on March 11-12, 2013, participants identified current promising practices for nutrition education, considered the most important attributes of such standards, and suggested approaches to build acceptance and use among educators. Nutrition Education in the K-12 Curriculum: The Role of National Standards summarizes the discussions at that workshop.
Learn about nutritional recommendations and try your hand at weighing food choices in our online exhibit, Food for Thought.

Special Hands-on Activities Offered Each Weekend

Every Saturday and Sunday throughout summer, visitors can enjoy special hands-on science activities at the Koshland Science Museum from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. These activities challenge visitors to ask questions, explore scientific phenomena in-depth, and learn in new ways that complement and enhance the museum experience.
Hands-on science activities are typically offered only on weekends, and are included with regular museum admission. Call 202-334-1201 to check on availability and timing of each activity.


Subscribe to News & Announcements