Since 1886, the National Academy of Sciences has honored outstanding achievement in the physical, biological, and social sciences through its awards program.
John E. Porter to Receive Public Welfare Medal – Academy's Most Prestigious Award
In recognition of decades of advocacy on behalf of scientific and medical research, the National Academy of Sciences is presenting its 2014 Public Welfare Medal to John E. Porter, former member of Congress, partner in the law firm Hogan Lovells, and chair of Research!America. Established in 1914, the medal is the Academy's most prestigious award and is presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. Read More »
Academy Honors 15 for Major Contributions to Science
The National Academy of Sciences will honor 15 individuals with awards in recognition of their extraordinary scientific achievements in a wide range of fields spanning the physical, biological, and medical sciences. Read More »
McClelland and Spelke Awarded First NAS Prizes in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
James L. McClelland and Elizabeth Shilin Spelke are the inaugural recipients of the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences. Each will receive the $200,000 prize at the 2014 NAS annual meeting in April. Read More »
NAS Day Prize Lecture Series
R. Lawrence Edwards, the 2011 recipient of the NAS Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship, presented a series of lectures on “Deciphering Climate Change from Underground” at Oberlin College & Conservatory on November 14th, 15th, and 21st, 2013. Read More »
NAS Award Recipients Received 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
1997 was a very good year! James Rothman and Thomas Südhof – two of the Academy's 1997 award recipients – were awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine with fellow NAS member Randy Schekman. Rothman received the Richard Lounsbery Award in 1997 for his dissection of the biochemical mechanisms by which proteins are transferred from one cellular compartment to another and to the outside world. These mechanisms are important in neurotransmission, tissue biogenesis, and hormonal secretion. Südhoff shard the 1997 NAS Award in Molecular Biology for the performance of elegant experiments to resolve the molecular components responsible for controlling neurotransmitter vesicle release and chemical communication within the nervous system. Both the Richard Lounsbery Award and the NAS Award in Molecular Biology identify outstanding young investigators.
NAS Prize is Psychological and Cognitive Sciences
James L. McClelland and Elizabeth Shilin Spelke
James L. McClelland and Elizabeth Shilin Spelke are the inaugural recipients of the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences. Each will receive the $200,000 prize at the 2014 NAS annual meeting in April. This new prize was made possible through a generous gift last year by NAS member Richard C. Atkinson, and two prizes will be given for this inaugural presentation.
McClelland, the Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences and director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation at Stanford University, is being honored for his role in formulating computational models to demonstrate the spread of activation through brain networks. His work has contributed to solving many puzzles in psychology and enhancing mechanical methods for perceiving patterns in language and visual sciences.
Spelke, the Marshall L. Berkman Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, is being recognized for her outstanding work on the representation of numbers and of the physical and social world in the minds of infants, children, and adults. Spelke's characterizations of the nature of representational systems form the basis for formal models of the initial state of infants' minds and of the learning mechanisms that underlie the transition to adulthood.
“James McClelland and Elizabeth Shilin Spelke have both made significant contributions to our understanding of how the brain works,” said NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone. “We are pleased to present our first awards in psychological and cognitive sciences to them.”