The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is an independent, non-profit organization that consists of U.S.’s leading researchers. It was founded by the U.S. government in 1863 and was charged to provide independent, objective, and scientific advice to the government whenever called upon.
NAS members are elected annually based on their original and distinguished achievements in research. There are nearly 2500 NAS members, and they serve as pro bono advisors to the nation. The U.S. government funds 85% of the academy’s activities and NAS members serve on hundreds of study committees that examine some of nation’s most pressing issues. Reports that result from these committees often form the basis of public policy for decades to come. The National Research Council (NRC) is the organization within NAS that generates these reports.
We are reading several NAS/NRC reports as part of one of my classes (Regulatory Toxicology) at Iowa State University. I find the reports visionary, original, and (often) engaging. They contain a wealth of information and recommend effective solutions for pressing matters. (The Tox21 section I write on was also based on a NAS report.)
While there are many topics related to toxicology covered by the NRC, I will be able to focus on only a few. Also, the reports are typically over 200 pages long, and I have had to exclude several parts, or summarize them very briefly. I have linked the original report in each post, so feel free to check them out if interested!