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The National Academy of Sciences was established by Congress in 1863 to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art ..." when called upon by the government. NAS and its sister institutions -- the National Research Council, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine -- are known collectively as the National Academies.

The National Academies provide a public service by working outside the framework of government to ensure independent advice on matters of science, technology, and medicine. They enlist committees of the nation's top scientists, engineers, and other experts -- all of whom volunteer their time to study specific concerns. The results of their deliberations have inspired some of America's most significant and lasting efforts to improve the health, education, and welfare of the population.

For more information, please visit the National Academies' website.

Copyright 2014 National Academy of Sciences