Who We Are
Founded by Congressional Charter
To meet the government's urgent need for an independent adviser on scientific matters, President Lincoln signed a congressional charter forming the National Academy of Sciences in 1863 to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science." As science began to play an ever-increasing role in national priorities and public life, the National Academy of Sciences eventually expanded to include the National Research Council in 1916, the National Academy of Engineering in 1964, and the Institute of Medicine in 1970.
Ralph J. Cicerone
President of the National Academy of Sciences, and Chair, National Research Council
Charles M. Vest
President of the National Academy of Engineering, and Vice Chair, National Research Council
Harvey V. Fineberg
President of the Institute of Medicine
More Than 300 Nobel Laureates
NAS, NAE, and IOM members are among the world's most distinguished scientists, engineers, physicians, and researchers; more than 300 members are Nobel laureates. Members are elected in recognition of outstanding achievements, and membership is considered a high honor.
The NAS, NAE, IOM, and Research Council do not receive direct appropriations from the federal government, although many of our activities are mandated and funded by Congress and federal agencies. Our work extends well beyond fulfilling federal government requests, however. Foundations, state governments, the private sector, and philanthropy from individuals enable us to address critical issues on behalf of the nation.
What We Do