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The Civil War caused a need for a national academy and the Act of Incorporation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1863, created the National Academy of Sciences and named 50 charter members. The Act states that "the Academy shall, whenever called upon by any department of the Government, investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art, the actual expense of such investigations, examinations, experiments, and reports to be paid from appropriations which may be made for the purpose, but the Academy shall receive no compensation whatever for any services to the Government of the United States."
The National Academy of Sciences as of spring 2003 includes about 1,922 members, 93 members emeritus, 341 foreign associates, and employs about 1,100 staff. The current members annually elect new members for life. Election to membership is one of the highest honors that can be accorded to a scientist and recognizes scientists who have made distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. There are more than 170 members who have won a Nobel Prize. The National Academy of Sciences is an institutional member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). The ICSU Advisory Committee, which is in the Research Council's Office of International Affairs, facilitates participation of members in international scientific unions and is a liaison for U.S. national committees for the individual scientific unions. Although there is no formal relationship with state and local academies of science, there often is informal dialogue.
The National Academy of Sciences has an annual meeting in Washington, D.C.. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is the scholarly journal of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academies Press is the publisher for the National Academies, and makes 3600+ publications available for free reading on its website.
The National Academy of Sciences is part of the United States National Academies, which also includes:
Joint declaration on global warming
In 2005 the national science academies of the G8 nations (including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences) - and Brazil, China and India, three of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the developing world, signed a statement on the global response to climate change. The statement stresses that the scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action , and explicitly endorsed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change consensus.
The Academy gives a number of different awards:
- List of members of the National Academy of Sciences
- Category:Members and associates of the US National Academy of Sciences
- Presidents of the National Academy of Sciences
- National Science Foundation
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
- National Academies Press
- National Academy of Sciences
- Native American Rights Fund grievances
- "Boxer And Feinstein Concerned About Impartiality Of National Academy Of Sciences Perchlorate Committee", 14 May 2004de:National Academy of Sciences
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