National Academy of Sciences

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

National Academy of Sciences

National Academy of Sciences, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., a private organization of leading American scientists and engineers devoted to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. The Academy was founded in 1863; there are presently about 2,000 members. Members are elected in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. The Academy acts as an official adviser to the federal government on matters of science and technology. Separate sections of the Academy represent all of the physical and biological sciences and many of the social sciences. In 2004 the Academy added a science museum featuring exhibitions focused on topics of contemporary interest, e.g., global warming, gene sequencing.

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