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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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American Community Survey in the Spotlight
13 June 2012 4:14 pm
Statisticians and demographers don't usually find themselves in the middle of a national policy debate. But a vote last month by the U.S. House of Representatives to kill the federal American Community Survey (ACS) has raised the profile of a workshop starting tomorrow by the National Academies' Committee on National Statistics.
The 2-day workshop will explore "the benefits and burdens" of the ACS, which debuted in 2005 as a replacement for the long form of the decennial census. Its 48 questions on housing, education, employment, transportation, and other topics help businesses decide where to locate plants and what to stock in their stores, guide government agencies in allocating nearly half-a-trillion dollars a year in federal assistance, and provide data for a host of other purposes, from civil rights enforcement to public health initiatives.
The workshop was planned well before last month's House vote, which would defund the $250 million-a-year survey conducted by the Census Bureau. And it's not connected to a campaign by business and academic leaders aimed at preventing a similar amendment from being attached to a parallel spending bill in the Senate (see details in Friday's issue of Science). "But it provides a heck of a context," admits Ken Hodges, co-chair of the workshop and chief demographer for Nielsen, the worldwide marketing and demographics research firm.
Presentations will describe how ACS data help public officials address health care and transportation needs, prepare for and respond to natural disasters and emergencies, and address issues of social equity. Participants will also discuss privacy protection and communicating survey results to the public. The workshop is aimed at helping the Census Bureau improve the quality of the survey without increasing its cost.