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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.


  • Nominate Outstanding Scientists for 2018 NAS Awards
    Nominations are now being accepted online for NAS awards to be presented in 2018. Awards will be presented in a variety of fields including neuroscience, food and agriculture sciences, structural biology, psychology, and many more. Read More 

  • 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

James Craig Watson Medal

The James Craig Watson Medal is presented every two years for outstanding contributions to the science of astronomy and carries with it a gold-plated bronze medal, a $25,000 prize, and $50,000 to support the recipient’s research. The Watson Medal was established by early NAS member, James Craig Watson.

The Watson Medal was first awarded in 1887 to Benjamin Apthorp Gould for his work promoting the progress of astronomical science. Gould was not only an astronomer, but also active in securing the establishment of the National Academy of Sciences.

Timothy M. Brown, principal scientist at Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope, received the 2016  James Craig Watson Medal. Brown made fundamental contributions to astronomy and astrophysics through instrument development, theory and interpretation, and observations. He formulated a method to make extremely sensitive images of the sun, which became key to the field of helioseismology. Read more about Brown's work.

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