|Member of the National Academy of Sciences|
|Awarded for||distinguished and continuing achievements in original research|
|Sponsored by||National Academy of Sciences|
|Date||Annually since 1863|
|Total no. of members||2,382 members|
484 international members
Membership of the National Academy of Sciences is an award granted to scientists that the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the United States judges to have made “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research”. Membership is a mark of excellence in science and one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.
Three types of NAS membership exist:
As of May 2018[update] there were 2,382 active members and 484 international members, of whom approximately 190 have received Nobel Prizes. A full list of members can be found in the online members directory. See the list of members of the National Academy of Sciences and Category:Members of the United States National Academy of Sciences for examples.
Some notable member firsts and records include:
Critics have pointed to a lack of member diversity because of a selection bias for “old white men” who dominate membership of the Academy. Elite institutions such as the from Ivy League, MIT, Stanford, and Caltech also dominate membership, thereby perpetuating the Matthew effect. Diversity of age, disability, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation is lower in NAS than in the general population. For example, women in science are an underrepresented group in the Academy but the proportion of female members is slowly growing.
Persons of color, African Americans and Hispanics are also underrepresented. In 2019, the academy was considering expelling members for sexual harassment.
New members and international members have been elected annually since 1863. Membership can not be applied for as only voting academicians can submit formal nominations for newly elected members, for preferential voting in an annual ballot of members every March. Candidates for membership are considered by peer review and voted for again through several rounds of balloting and a final annual ballot in April at the annual general meeting (AGM) of the academy with results announced shortly after, usually early May. Each nomination includes a curriculum vitae (CV) with a 250 word summary of the nominee's scientific achievements, the basis for election and a list of no more than 12 of their most important papers published in scientific journals. The publication limit of 12 aims to focus assessment on the quality of a nominee's work, rather than the quantity of publications.
As of 2019[update], a maximum of 100 members may be elected annually. Non-citizens of the USA are elected as international members, with a maximum of 25 elected annually. Both members and international members are affiliated with one of six scientific disciplines:
On election, members are invited to an annual awards ceremony.
Since 1966, newly elected members of the National Academy of Sciences have been invited to contribute an inaugural year article (IYA) to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) which is accompanied by a brief biography of the author. Biographies of deceased members are published in the Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences (BMNAS), for example see David Arnett's biography of Alastair G. W. Cameron.