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January 2007

All about some famous members of the National Academy of Science.
Grade Level: 6-8, 9-12


This site from the National Academy of Sciences offers “first person accounts of the lives and work” of some of its members. Members of NAS have distinguished themselves in a number of fields from agriculture to physics and visitors to this site can listen to audio interviews in which members talk about their research, why they became scientists, and other aspects of their research and careers.
The site is simple in design and easily navigated. From the right side navigation menu, visitors can explore the interviews alphabetically by member name or by subject area. Real Player is required.

This site provides valuable information for students, their parents and teachers, who may be looking at a career in the sciences or perhaps just some inspiration. The interviews are about an hour long and provide some insight into the reasons these people chose their careers as well as the kind of work they do on the job. The NAS has over 2000 members who have distinguished achievements in original research. Each interview is accompanied by a brief summary and photograph of the scientist. Listen as Bruce Alberts, former president of NAS, discusses ways to improve science education at the college level; Wendy Freedman, one of the three principal investigators on the Hubble Space Telescope Key Project, talks about turning her hobby into a career; Erin O’Shea tells how a summer job in a laboratory led her to study biochemistry.


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