The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Despite the contentious times in which they lived, President Lincoln and Congressional leaders recognized the value of science and the importance of an independent, nonprofit organization that could advise the government on scientific and technical matters.
It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and -- with the National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council -- provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.
President Obama helped the National Academy of Sciences celebrate its 150th year of service, and reiterated his strong support for science and technology, by giving a speech yesterday at the group’s annual meeting.
"That’s our inheritance, and now the task falls to us. We, too, face significant challenges — obviously not of the magnitude that President Lincoln faced, but we’ve got severe economic and security and environmental challenges. And what we know from our past is that the investments we make today are bound to pay off many times over in the years to come. So we will continue to pursue advances in science and engineering, in infrastructure and innovation, in education and environmental protection — especially science-based initiatives to help us minimize and adapt to global threats like climate change."
More here and here.
Did you know...?
The National Academies Press (NAP) publishes the reports of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. NAP publishes more than 200 books each year on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and medicine, providing authoritative information on important matters in science and health policy. NAP offers more than 4,000 titles online as PDFs, which may be downloaded in full or by chapter.