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Since 1886, the National Academy of Sciences has honored outstanding achievement in the physical, biological, and social sciences through its awards program.


  • New Award Announced: Michael and Sheila Held Prize 
    The Prize honors research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory. This $100,000 Prize was established by the bequest of Michael and Sheila Held, and will be presented annually beginning in 2018. Read More»

  • 2017 NAS Awards Ceremony Recording Available
    The 2017 NAS awards were presented during a ceremony at the NAS 154th Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 30. Watch the Ceremony»

Featured Award

NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing

The NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing has been presented annually since 1979 to recognize authors whose reviews have synthesized extensive and difficult material, rendering a significant service to science and influencing the course of scientific thought. The field rotates among biological, physical, and social sciences and carries with it a $20,000 prize. The award is sponsored by Annual Reviews in honor of J. Murray Luck. The 2018 NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing will be presented in economics.

Daniel S. Nagin received the 2017 NAS Award for Scientific Reviewing, presented in criminology. A leader in criminology and related fields, Nagin has spent more than 30 years upending long-held beliefs about criminal justice. His reviews of the scientific literature, focusing on the crime-prevention effects of criminal and social sanctions, have shown that the crime-prevention benefits of lengthy prison sentences are not sufficient to justify their social and economic costs, incarceration appears to increase — not decrease — the likelihood of re-offending, and research on the deterrent effect of the death penalty is so flawed that it provides no useful information on its impact on homicide rates. He has also concluded that research evidence shows that increases in police numbers and also their strategic deployment can materially affect crime rates. Read more about Nagin's work.

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