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In this podcast, Ann Merchant, the Deputy Executive Director of the Office of Communications at the National Academy of Sciences, talks about the many ways the Academy is impacting lives and providing valuable scientific input on a myriad of issues.

Merchant provides an overview of the National Academy of Sciences that was founded in 1863, under the authority of perhaps America’s greatest president, President Abraham Lincoln. The sixteenth president’s goal was to involve America’s greatest scientists and engineers in the making of policy initiatives that dealt with critical scientific issues and projects. If you like the national park system, you can thank Lincoln’s Academy. And if you enjoy being able to ride an airplane without cigarette smoke, also thank the National Academy of Sciences.

Merchant outlines many major issues the National Academy of Sciences is facing today. One such issue is complex and multifaceted—health/medicine. Merchant explains how long term health as well as the overall culture of health are some of the areas in which they’re working in, improving, and educating the public about. The promotion of good health is important and the National Academy of Sciences has its hand in many important issues, shaping policy and educating Americans on a wide variety of issues.

As Deputy Executive Director, Merchant is heavily involved with a large scope of issues. She explains how many of their reports and videos are released, and then new information based on their original work is then translated into many languages, which serves the interests of a diverse and growing population. By enriching everyone’s knowledge with useful information that is important to their lives, and health, the National Academy of Sciences is truly working to make this world a better place.

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