The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 to address the government's urgent need for an independent advisor on scientific matters. As science began to play an ever-increasing role in national priorities and public life, the National Academy of Sciences expanded to include the National Research Council in 1916, the National Academy of Engineering in 1964, and the Institute of Medicine in 1970.

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and Institute of Medicine (IOM) are private, nonprofit membership organizations that elect the nation's leading scientists, engineers, and medical professionals and engage in a wide variety of activities to advance research and knowledge in science, engineering, and medicine. Most policy studies done at the request of the government are conducted by the National Research Council (NRC), operated jointly by the NAS and the NAE. The IOM also conducts studies following the procedures established for the NRC.

National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
Established: 1863
Membership: Approximately 2,200 members 400 foreign associates
President: Ralph J. Cicerone
Executive Officer: Bruce B. Darling
Executive Director: Kenneth R. Fulton


National Academy of Engineering (NAE)
Established: 1964
Membership: Approximately 2,200 members and 200 foreign associates
President: C. D. (Dan) Mote Jr.
Executive Officer: Lance A. Davis


Institute of Medicine (IOM)
Established: 1970
Membership: Approximately 1,700 members and 100 foreign associates
President: Victor J. Dzau
Interim Executive Officer: Clyde J. Behney


National Research Council (NRC)
Established: 1916
Chair: Ralph J. Cicerone
Vice Chair: C. D. (Dan) Mote Jr.
Executive Officer: Bruce B. Darling
Deputy Executive Officer: James F. Hinchman

NRC Divisions

Division on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE)
Chair: Kenneth Prewitt
Executive Director: Robert M. Hauser

Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS)
Chair: Barbara A. Schaal
Executive Director: Gregory H. Symmes

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences (DEPS)
Chair: Steven E. Koonin
Executive Director: Peter D. Blair

Division on Policy and Global Affairs (PGA)
Chair: James J. Duderstadt
Executive Director: Richard E. Bissell

Transportation Research Board (TRB)
Division Chair: Susan Hanson
Executive Director: Neil J. Pedersen

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