United States National Academies


United States National Academies

The United States National Academies comprises four organizations: the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the United States National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and the United States National Research Council (NRC). The National Academies are a national academy for the United States (US). The National Academies are "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine"," and perform a public service by enlisting scientists, engineers, health professionals, and other experts to address the scientific and technical aspects of some of society’s problems. Each year, more than 6,000 of these experts are selected to serve on hundreds of study committees that are convened to answer specific sets of questions. All serve without pay.

Federal agencies are the primary financial sponsors of the Academies’ work. Additional studies are funded by state agencies, foundations, other private sponsors, and the National Academies endowment. The Academies provide independent advice; the external sponsors have no control over the conduct of a study once the statement of task and budget are finalized. Study committees gather information from many sources in public meetings but they deliberate in private in order to avoid political, special interest, and sponsor influence.

Through this study process, the National Academies produce 200–300 reports each year. Recent reports cover such topics as the obesity epidemic, the use of forensics in the courtroom, invasive plants, underage drinking, the Hubble Telescope, vaccine safety, the hydrogen economy, transportation safety, climate change, and homeland security. Many reports influence policy decisions; some are instrumental in enabling new research programs; others provide program reviews.

The National Academy of Sciences was created by an Act of Incorporation in 1863, which was signed by the President of the United States Abraham Lincoln. Under this congressional charter, the National Research Council was created in 1916, the National Academy of Engineering in 1964, and the Institute of Medicine in 1970.

The National Academies Press is the publisher for the National Academies, and makes its publications available for free online reading, as it has since 1994, the first self-sustaining book publisher to do so.

External links

* [http://www.nationalacademies.org/ The National Academies: Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine]
* [http://www.iom.edu/ The Institute of Medicine]

ee also

List of members of the National Academy of Sciences


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