National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is an American organization in which members serve as pro bono advisors for science, engineering and medicine. Election to the National Academy of Sciences is one of the highest honors for an American scientist. President Abraham Lincoln created the NAS in 1863, naming fifty charter members to its first roll.
As of 2013, there were some 2200 members of the National Academy of Science. Members are elected for life and some 200 members have won Nobel Prizes. The NAS meets annual in Washington, D.C. and publishes a scholarly journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It also publishes numerous free articles on the Internet.
Florence R. Sabin was the first woman elected to lifetime membership in 1924. She was the first woman to both graduate from and become a full professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Known for her research on the brain, she was also a vocal advocate for public health. David Blackwell was the first African American elected to the NAS, in 1965. Blackwell was a mathematician and the first African American professor at the University of California at Berkeley.
Recently, the NAS has been active in calling for nations to act on climate change, which members maintain has enough scientific evidence to support. NAS members have been especially vocal in criticizing the political assault of climate change deniers.