In preparation for the release of its quadrennial strategic plan in February 2014, the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA asked the National Research Council to review a draft plan and comment on the following areas:
* responsiveness to the Research Council's guidance on key science issues and opportunities in recent reports;
* attention to interdisciplinary aspects and overall scientific balance;
* identification and exposition of important opportunities for partnerships as well as education and public outreach;
* integration of technology development with the science program;
* clarity on how the plan aligns with SMD's strategic planning process;
* general readability and clarity of presentation; and
* other relevant issues as determined by the committee.
In a new report, the Research Council provides specific recommendations in each of these key areas that would improve the clarity and consistency of the plan. The report notes that it is "more important than ever" for NASA to describe in plain language how it will prioritize and apportion its resources within the science program.
Review of the Draft 2014 Science Mission Directorate Science Plan is available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18609. Media inquiries should be directed to the National Academies' Office of News and Public Information; tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.