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Our Program Units

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Works to advance the frontiers of the behavioral and social sciences and their applications to public policy. Read more

Division on Earth and Life Studies

Division on Earth and Life Studies

Conducts a range of activities where policy meets the life sciences, including the environment, geography, laboratory animal use, and natural resource issues. Read more

Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Focuses on government missions in defense, space, and aerospace; national infrastructure challenges; science and engineering disciplines; and continuing assessments of federal labs and research programs. Read more

Institute of Medicine
Health and Medicine Division

Identifies concerns in medical research, care, and education and examines policy matters relating to health care and public health. Read more

Policy and Global Affairs Division
Policy and Global Affairs Division

Works to improve S&T public policy, understanding, and education, particularly with regard to national strategies and resources, global affairs, work force, and the economy. Read more

Transportation Research Board
Transportation Research Board

Provides leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange. Read more

Gulf Research Program. Photo: NOAA
Gulf Research Program

Thirty-year research program that focuses on human health, environmental protection, and oil system safety in the Gulf of Mexico region. Read more

Recent Studies

While U.S. adults support science in general, individual attitudes toward some specific issues, such as climate change, may be shaped by values and beliefs rather than science knowledge alone, says a new Academies report.

©Michael Watkins/iStock

A new Academies report recommends a set of best practices for monitoring and evaluating ecological restoration activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

NASA photo; the James Webb Space Telescope's mirror segments are tested to gauge how their temperature and shape change over a range of operational temperatures in space.

A new Academies report finds many goals outlined in astronomy and astrophysics decadal survey are met, others are delayed by unforeseen constraints.

NASA image; artist's depiction of GOES satellite

A new Academies report assesses currently available options for addressing threats to space systems and recommend strategies for increasing resiliency.

Featured Reports from the National Academies Press

In Focus Magazine

2015 Report to Congress

In Focus MagazineVol. 15/No. 2

Fall/Winter 2015

In Focus, a magazine featuring the activities and work of the Academies.

Report to Congress 2015  coverView the latest
Report to Congress, which highlights the Academies' work from 2015.

About Us

National Research CouncilOur mission is to improve government decision making and public policy, increase public understanding, and promote the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in matters involving science, engineering, technology, and health. Our independent, expert reports and other scientific activities inform policies and actions that have the power to improve the lives of people in the U.S. and around the world.

Seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine conduct studies, facilitate workshops, and undertake other activities: Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; Earth and Life Studies; Engineering and Physical Sciences; Health and Medicine; Policy and Global Affairs; Transportation Research Board; and the Gulf Research Program.

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Recent Coverage

 NASA urged to rejoin the hunt for gravitational waves - New Scientist, Aug. 16, 2016

 Astronomy’s next big space telescope could threaten the field, panel warns - Science, Aug. 15, 2016

 Challenge to presidential candidates: Debate about science - Washington Post, Aug. 10, 2016

 What Do Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Think About Science? Researchers Want to Know - Time, Aug. 10, 2016

 Americans may know more than you think about science Science, Aug. 9, 2016

 A path forward for gene drive technologies - San Diego Union-Tribune, Aug. 6, 2016

 National Academy of Sciences to study mountaintop removal health effects - Charleston Gazette-Mail, Aug. 3, 2016

 Obama Signs Controversial GMO Food Label Law - NBC News, Aug. 1, 2016

 Obama to Leave the White House a Nerdier Place Than He Found It - New York Times, July 31, 2016

 Americans Continue to Fear GMOs Despite Not Knowing Much About Them - New York Magazine, July 22, 2016

 People want GMO food labeled — which is pretty much all they know about GMOs - Washington Post, July 21, 2016

 Police abuse of trafficking victims weakens fragile help system - San Francisco Chronicle, July 17, 2016

 Lack of data on gun violence is an embarrassment, researchers say - Dallas Morning News, July 16, 2016

 Considering Gene Editing - The Scientist, July 12, 2016