Wednesday, October 01, 2008


WASHINGTON (30 September 2008) -- As part of its public-awareness program to promote engineering and technological literacy, IEEE-USA has helped to underwrite almost 600 local television news reports on engineering and science since 2005. The "Discoveries & Breakthroughs Inside Science" TV news reports are distributed to local U.S. television stations in more than 100 cities, transit systems in seven U.S. cities, as well as through the Voice of America and the Roo Online Video Network in more than 60 countries. Stations airing the IEEE-related spots include a mix of ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision, cable and independent affiliates. IEEE-related technology stories have their own Web site at

Recent TV news reports on IEEE technologies that benefit society have included segments on:
--Engineers who have created a model to forecast the progression of a future pandemic allowing researches to design the best way to distribute food and vaccines to those in need
--Engineers who have invented a device to bring air samples into contact with genetically engineered biosensors to detect dangerous biological agents
--Environmental scientists and engineers who have developed mathematical models to calculate the impact of pollution from Europe and Asia on areas in the United States
--Chemists and engineers who have designed a technology that protects soil and helps promote plant growth to keep topsoil in place over the long term Additional TV news reports on IEEE technologies include:
--Biomedical and safety engineers who, in order to improve safety for children using seat belts, have added a more lifelike abdomen to models representing youngsters between the ages of 4-8
--Engineers who have developed a computer program to track and schedule immunizations for infants
--Pyschoacoustics researchers and industrial technologists who use a pen computer to help visually impaired students learn science and math --Engineers and scientists who have developed a new technology that allows cardiologists to capture detailed pictures of the heart in less than one second, revealing subtle changes in blood flow and blockages in tiny blood
--Biomedical engineers who have used advanced cone beam imaging technology to take a series of two-dimensional x-rays, allowing dentists to create a detailed three-dimensional picture of a patient's mouth

The "Discoveries & Breakthroughs" TV news service was developed by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) with a coalition of 23 technical professional organizations including IEEE/IEEE-USA. The service delivers 12 vetted 90 second TV reports monthly -- in English and Spanish -- with a potential reach of up to 75 million TV viewers, and an estimated 41 million online views per month. Academic research has documented that the public obtains most of its information about engineering and science from local TV news and that viewers of the "Discoveries & Breakthroughs" service are more likely to support engineering and science than those who are not viewers.

Former IEEE-USA Mass Media Engineering Fellow Sourish Basu and former IEEE
Washington Internships for Students of Engineering Participant Elizabeth Johnston participate with other society representatives in weekly telephone conferences to develop and vet story ideas. "Discoveries & Breakthroughs" is seeking new story ideas to include in its TV reports incorporated in local TV news broadcasts. Pitches should be directed to Emilie Lorditch, the series' manager and senior science editor, at


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