I wondered at the creation of this new scientific entity to advise when the National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine already exist to give the latest scientific updates to Congress and the public. Reading the links, I find myself agreeing with Mr. Hernandez on the need for more concise information as the NASEM reports are book-length and so compendious that the gold nuggets are lost in the gravel. For example, the Pax Good Behavior Game for schools is noted in several Institute of Medicine reports (now NASEM) as a universal prevention strategy that could reduce substance abuse by 50-70 percent along with a litany of other benefits (crime, delinquency, ADHD, suicide, special ed.), but the three paragraphs extolling GBG are lost in the 300 pages of each report (ditto the U.S. Surgeon General’s Facing Addiction report in November 2016). However the stated intent to not advocate for specific actions means that politicians will continue to pick and choose from the scientific findings to suit their agenda. If Mr. Hernandez can overcome that, it will be a worthy effort.

Richard Seitz ’75
Manahawkin, N.J.