Evolution: Expert Reports

The division produces 60-70 reports per year. These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review. The experts who volunteer their time participating on study committees are vetted to make sure that the committee has the range of expertise needed to address the task, that they have a balance of perspectives, and to identify and eliminate members with conflicts of interest. All reports undergo a rigorous, independent peer review to assure that the statement of task has been addressed, that conclusions are adequately supported, and that all important issues raised by the reviewers are addressed. Thus, while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy.

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Understanding Climate's Influence on Human Evolution (2010)

Improved understanding of how past climate may have influenced human evolution could be dramatically enhanced with an international cross-disciplinary research program to improve the sparse human fossil and incomplete climate records, and the link between the two. Climate and fossil records suggest that some events in human evolution -- such as the evolution of new species or migration out of Africa -- coincided with substantial changes i... More >>

Report in Brief

Origin and Evolution of Earth: Research Questions for a Changing Planet (2008)

Questions about the origin and nature of Earth and the life on it have long preoccupied human thought and the scientific endeavor. Deciphering the planet's history and processes could improve the ability to predict catastrophes like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, to manage Earth's resources, and to anticipate changes in climate and geologic processes. At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Spac... More >>

Report in Brief