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National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a United States nonprofit, non-governmental organization. NAS is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election to the National Academy is one of the highest honors in the scientific field. Members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation" on science, engineering, and medicine. The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code.

Founded in 1863 as a result of an Act of Congress that was approved by Abraham Lincoln, the NAS is charged with "providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. … to provide scientific advice to the government 'whenever called upon' by any government department. The Academy receives no compensation from the government for its services."


The Academy gives a number of different awards:

John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science
William O. Baker Award for Initiatives in Research, formerly NAS Award for Initiatives in Research
NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing
NAS Award for Scientific Discovery
Public Welfare Medal
Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Convergence Research

Henry Draper Medal
J. Lawrence Smith Medal
James Craig Watson Medal

Behavioral/Social Sciences
Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
William and Katherine Estes Award, formerly the NAS Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War
Troland Research Awards

Biology and Medicine
Alexander Hollaender Award in Biophysics
Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal
Richard Lounsbery Award
Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal
NAS Award in Molecular Biology
NAS Award in the Neurosciences
Pradel Research Award
Selman A. Waksman Award in Microbiology

NAS Award in Chemical Sciences
NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society

Earth and Environmental Sciences
Alexander Agassiz Medal
Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship
Daniel Giraud Elliot Medal
Mary Clark Thompson Medal
NAS Award in Early Earth and Life Sciences
Charles Doolittle Walcott Medal, part of the NAS Award in Early Earth and Life Sciences since 2008
Stanley Miller Medal, part of the NAS Award in Early Earth and Life Sciences since 2008
G. K. Warren Prize

Engineering and Applied Sciences
J.C. Hunsaker Award - aeronautical engineering
Gibbs Brothers Medal - naval architecture, marine engineering
NAS Award for the Industrial Application of Science
NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Science

Mathematics and Computer Science
NAS Award in Mathematics

Arctowski Medal
Comstock Prize in Physics
Alexander Hollaender Award in Biophysics


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