Since July 2003, with its inaugural eBriefing on promising new drugs for autism, the Academy's eBriefings at www.nyas.org have proven to be a vital source for thousands of people around the world eager to find out the latest news and research on topics such as diabetes, AIDS, cholesterol and obesity, vitamin E and aging, hunger in Africa, hydrogen-powered vehicles, and other cutting-edge science and social issues. Sponsored by the Academy, one of the U.S.'s oldest and most respected scientific institutions, eBriefings offer a compendium of what today's researchers in the U.S. and abroad are most concerned about.
With the 100th eBriefing, the Academy highlights yet another controversial topic: The Ethics of Mood Enhancement. Could mood-enhancing drugs be beneficial to people who are emotionally and physically healthy? The possibility of improving the general population's mood with medication raises provocative questions that get at the core of what it means to be human and a contributing member to society.
As its name implies, eBriefings are multimedia online versions of Academy meetings, seminars and conferences designed to give users the most vital information in the least amount of time. They provide quick overviews as well as comprehensive, detailed information in drill-down format, providing a diverse array of readers - scientists, educators, and the lay public - with just the right amount of information. Among their user-friendly features are:
- Edited video and audio presentations, organized into chapters for browsing and searching
- Slides and images used during the symposium, synchronized with audio/video
- Bulleted highlights of each talk which serve as executive summaries
- Expert journalist reports summarizing the key concepts and audience questions
- Future research agenda presented as "Open Questions"
- Speaker biographies with links to their publications and laboratory Web sites
- Annotated links to key journal articles, books, and other resources on the Web
Among the most viewed and talked-about eBriefings are: Opening Access to Science: The Coming Revolution in the Publication of Scientific Papers; Vitamin E and Health; Adolescent Brain Development: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities; Targeting Brain Cells: The Search for Novel Therapies; Scientific Approaches to Youth Violence; and Autism: New Frontiers in Research and Drug Discovery; National Security and Biological Research: What Are the Boundaries; and Designing Nanostructures: A Tutorial. Inquiring Minds: How Students Learn Science, is another top-ranked eBriefing heavily perused by science educators and students.
Sarah Greene, Director of Publishing and New Media, notes that "Instead of reaching 100 scientists at a single event, we're now reaching thousands. Conveying the information through science journalists, many of whom have had former lives at the lab bench, rather than needling our speakers for write-ups of their talks, has been a breakthrough both in terms of timeliness and readability. And of course, providing the option of listening to the actual talk while viewing the PowerPoint slides has proven to be useful to our members. We are looking forward producing the next hundred eBriefings!"
Founded in 1817, the New York Academy of Science is an independent nonprofit organization of more than 22,000 members worldwide dedicated to serving science, technology, and society