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The National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C..
|Formation||March 3, 1863|
|Founders||Alexander Dallas Bache
|Founded at||2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C., U.S. 20418|
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 Academies 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."
As of 2016[update], the National Academy of Sciences includes about 2,350 members and 450 foreign associates. It employed about 1,100 staff in 2005. The current members annually elect new members for life. Approximately 200 members have won a Nobel Prize.
The National Academy of Sciences is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). The ICSU Advisory Committee, which is in the Research Council's Office of International Affairs, facilitates participation of members in international scientific unions and serves as a liaison for U.S. national committees for individual scientific unions. Although there is no formal relationship with state and local academies of science, there often is informal dialogue. The National Academies is governed by a 17-member Council, made up of five officers (president, vice president, home secretary, foreign secretary, and treasurer) and 12 Councilors, all of whom are elected from among the Academy membership. About 85 percent of funding comes from the federal government through contracts and grants from agencies and 15 percent from state governments, private foundations, industrial organizations, and funds provided by the Academies member organizations.
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