Every month, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN—the longest-running magazine in the U.S. and an authoritative voice in science, technology and innovation—provides insight into scientific topics that affect our daily lives and capture our imagination, establishing the vital bridge between science and public policy.

>> Key information from this month’s issue:

All forms of energy generation carry a risk to human life, as seen by recent accidents involving nuclear reactors, oil rigs and coal mines. But the lion’s share of human costs comes not from such accidents but from pollution caused by fossil fuels. See: Graphic Science: The Human Costs of Energy

Cities are leading the way to finding solutions to deal with and adapt to major changes in global climate. It is important to look at how cities, such as New York City and Austin, Texas, are working to cut greenhouse gas emissions and planning to cope with the effects of changing weather patterns. See: All Climate Is Local

Bigger cities produce more wealth and innovations per person and use up less resources and energy than smaller cities do. These benefits derive from the power of the population to create a superhighway of ideas that spark diverse social and economic activity. See: Bigger Cities Do More with Less

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a new applied science campus for the city in order to attract scientific talent. It is estimated that in 30 years it could spin off some 400 new companies and create more than 7,000 construction jobs and more than 22,000 permanent jobs. See: Forum: The Best and Brightest

An efficient city exploits creative solutions to reduce its energy needs. In Chicago green roofs provide vegetation insulation against heat and cold for buildings, and in Redlands, Calif., solar power panels on rooftops help generate electricity. Minneapolis encourages people to save energy by including ample bike racks and lanes. See: The Efficient City

Troubling statistics show that the failure to vaccinate children endangers both their health and that of the community as a whole. Physicians and health experts need to provide better information and engage parents much earlier on the potential risks and benefits of vaccines. See: The Science of Heath: Straight Talk about Vaccination

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, Congress has approved nearly $1.3 trillion for military spending. Some of the funds have been used to develop futuristic military devices such as exoskeletons, smart grenade launchers and missile-guidance systems, some of which are being used in Afghanistan. See: Advances: After Shock and Awe