The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private non-profit organization in the United States. The National Academy of Sciences is part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which also includes the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the National Academy of Medicine and the National Research Council.
As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election to the National Academy is one of the highest honors in U.S. science. Members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation" on science, engineering, and medicine. The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code.
Founded in 1863 as a result of an Act of Congress that was approved by Abraham Lincoln, the NAS is charged with providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. â€¦ to provide scientific advice to the government "whenever called upon" by any government department. The Academy receives no compensation from the government for its services.