The National Academies state that they want to develop websites, podcasts, and printed information featuring the topics in science, engineering, and medicine that concern you the most, and that you’d like to understand better. Great. I am very disappointed in how little great material is available now (from them, and others).
Fill out their survey and hope they hire some people that actually understand the web. I must say the survey seems very lame to me.
The internet provides a fantastic platform for those that have an interest in increasing scientific literacy. But there is still very little great material available. There are a few great resources but there should be a great deal more. The National Academies of Science have a particularly stilted web presence – it is as though the web were just a way to distribute pages for people to print out. Though they are very slowly getting a bit better, adding a small amount of podcasts, for example. While hardly innovative, for them, it is a step into the 21st century, at least.
Some of the good material online: Public Library of Science – Science Blogs – Encyclopedia of Life – The Naked Scientists – Berkeley Course Webcasts – BBC Science News – MIT OpenCourseWare (though it is very lacking in some ways at least they are trying) – TED – Mayo Clinic – Nobel Prize – SciVee
It seems to me universities with huge endowments (MIT, Harvard, Yale, Standford…), government agencies (NSF, National Academies), museums and professional societies should be doing much more to create great online content. I would increase funding in this area by 5 to 10 times what is currently being dedicated right now, and probably much more would be wise. I believe funding this would be most effective way to spend resources of those organizations on what they say they want to support.