National Academy of Sciences
- About The NAS
- Activities & Programs
- News & Social Media
Article I. of Members
Article II. of the Officers and Organization
Article III. of the Meetings
Article IV. of Elections and Regulations
Article V. of Reports
Article VI. of Trust Funds and their Administration
Article VII. of Delegations of Authority
Article VIII. of Additions and Amendments
As amended and adopted Apr. 17, 1872, and further amended Apr. 20, 1875; Apr. 21, 1881; Apr. 19, 1882; Apr. 18, 1883; Apr. 19, 1888; Apr. 18, 1895; Apr. 20, 1899; Apr. 17, 1902; Apr. 18, 1906; Nov. 20, 1906; Apr. 17, 1907; Nov. 20, 1907; Apr. 20, 1911; Apr. 16, 1912; Apr. 21, 1915; Nov. 11, 1924; Nov. 9, 1925; Oct. 18, 1927; Nov. 18, 1929; Sept 18, 1930; Apr. 24, 1933; Apr. 27, 1936; Apr. 28, 1937; Apr. 22, 1940; Oct. 26, 1942; Apr. 26, 1949; Nov. 15, 1960; Oct. 12, 1964; Oct. 25, 1971; Oct. 23, 1973; Apr. 27, 1976; Apr. 23, 1985; Apr. 27, 1999; May 1, 2001; Apr. 30, 2002; Apr. 28, 2015.
Empowered by the act of incorporation enacted by Congress and approved by the President of the United States, on the 3d day of March A.D. 1863, and in conformity with amendments to said act approved July 14, 1870, June 20, 1884, and May 27, 1914, the National Academy of Sciences adopts the following amended Constitution and Bylaws:
Section 1. The Academy shall consist of members, members emeriti, and foreign associates. Members must be citizens of the United States.
Section 1. The officers of the Academy shall be a president, a vice president, a foreign secretary, a home secretary, and a treasurer to be chosen from the membership.
The president shall be elected for a term to be established in each individual case by the Council and may be reelected. The election of the president shall be by a ballot conducted as further provided in the Bylaws prior to the annual meeting next preceding the July 1 on which he or she is to take office.
The vice president, the home secretary, the foreign secretary, and the treasurer shall be elected for terms of four years and may be reelected. The election of these officers shall be by a ballot conducted as further provided in the Bylaws prior to the annual meeting next preceding the July 1 on which they are to take office.
The date of expiration of the terms of all offices shall be June 30. Should a vacancy occur in any office, except that of the president, the Council may appoint an officer to serve until June 30 following the annual meeting at which that officer's successor is elected. Should the office of president become vacant, the vice president shall become acting president until the Council can arrange for an election to take place.
Section 2. The officers of the Academy, together with twelve members to be elected by the Academy, shall constitute a Council for the transaction of such business as may be assigned to it by the Constitution, the Bylaws, or the Academy.
Section 3. There shall be an executive committee of the Council of the Academy, composed of seven members, consisting of the president and vice president of the Academy, the home secretary of the Academy, the treasurer of the Academy, and additional members of the Council of the Academy appointed by the president.
Their terms as members of the executive committee shall be coterminous with the term of their other office.
Except those powers dealing with nominations to membership in the Academy, the executive committee between the meetings of the Council shall have all the powers of the Council of the Academy, unless otherwise ordered by the Council.
The president and home secretary of the Academy shall, respectively, be chairman and secretary of the executive committee.
Section 4. The Academy shall be divided by the Council into sections representing the principal branches of scientific research. Each section shall elect its own chairman to serve for three years. The section chairman shall be responsible to the Academy for the work of that section.
Section 5. There shall be a finance committee, of which the treasurer shall be chairman, consisting of the president of the Academy (or the vice president as president pro tempore), the treasurer, and not more than six other members of the Academy appointed by the president, one of whom shall be a member of the Governing Board of the National Research Council.
It shall be the duty of the finance committee to provide for the safe custody of all financial resources of the Academy and to determine all matters relating to the purchase and sale of securities held absolutely or in trust.
Section 6. The president of the Academy, or, in case of absence or inability to act, the vice president shall preside at the meetings of the Academy and of the Academy Council; shall name all committees except such as are otherwise especially provided for; and shall, as authorized by the Council, refer all investigations requested by the Government of the United States to members or other persons especially conversant with the subjects. In the event of the need for expeditious action, the president may act on requests by the Government of the United States and report such actions to the Council at its next meeting.
The president shall serve as chairman of the National Research Council and of its Governing Board, except that in case of the president's prolonged absence or inability to act, the Academy Council shall designate the vice president as the acting chairman.
The president shall be ex officio a member of all committees empowered to consider questions referred to the Academy by the Government of the United States
Section 7. The foreign and home secretaries shall conduct the correspondence proper to their respective departments, advising with the president and Council in cases of doubt, and reporting their action to the Academy at one of the stated meetings in each year.
Section 8. The treasurer shall attend to all receipts and disbursements of the Academy, giving such bond and furnishing such vouchers as the Council may require; shall collect all dues, assessments, and subscriptions, and keep a set of books showing a full account of receipts and disbursements and the condition of all funds of the Academy; and shall be the custodian of the corporate seal of the Academy.
National Academy of Engineering
Section 9. The National Academy of Engineering is established as a separate membership organization of the National Academy of Sciences, under Articles of Organization adopted by the Council of the National Academy of Sciences.
Institute of Medicine
Section 10. The Institute of Medicine is established as a separate membership organization of the National Academy of Sciences under terms of a charter adopted by the Council of the National Academy of Sciences.
National Research Council
Section 11. Pursuant to requests by the President of the United States in 1918, 1956, and 1993 the Academy shall perpetuate the National Research Council.
Section 1. The Academy shall hold one stated meeting, called the annual meeting, in April of each year in the city of Washington and such other meetings as may be scheduled by the Council. The Council shall have the power to determine the location for such other meetings, and to fix the date of each meeting. The members shall be notified of such other scheduled meetings at least sixty (60) days in advance of the fixed date for such meeting.
The Council shall define the objectives and general content of all meetings and shall establish, under direction of the home secretary, committees on arrangements for the meetings as it deems appropriate.
Section 1. All elections of officers and members shall be by ballot, and each election shall be held separately.
Section 2. The Council shall have general supervision over the election of the officers of the Academy. It shall set the dates for holding the elections and shall appoint any necessary nominating committees.
Section 3. Election of members shall be held at the annual meeting in Washington in the following manner: There shall be two ballots as further provided in the Bylaws -- a preference ballot, which shall be taken prior to the meeting, and a final ballot, to be taken at the meeting.
Section 1. An annual report shall be presented to Congress by the president and shall contain the annual reports of the treasurer and the auditing committee, a suitable summary of the reports of the committees in charge of trust funds, and a record of the activities of the Academy for the fiscal year immediately preceding, and other appropriate matter. This report shall be presented to Congress by the president after authorization by the Council. It shall also be presented to the Academy at the annual meeting next following.
Section 2. The treasurer shall prepare a full report of the financial affairs of the Academy at the end of the fiscal year. This report shall be submitted to the Council for approval and presented to the Academy at the next stated meeting. The treasurer also shall prepare a supplementary financial statement at the midpoint of the ensuing fiscal year for presentation at the annual meeting.
Section 3. Propositions for investigations or reports by the Academy shall be submitted to the Council for approval, after which they shall be acted on by the president, who will report their results to the sponsoring body.
Section 1. Devises, bequests, donations, or gifts having for their object the promotion of science or the welfare of the Academy may be accepted by the Council for the Academy. Before the acceptance of any such trust the Council shall consider the object of the trust and all conditions or specifications attaching thereto. The Council shall make a report of its action to the Academy.
Section 2. Medals and prizes may be established in accordance with the provisions of trusts or by action of the Academy.
Trust Fund Committees
Section 3. Unless otherwise provided by the deed of gift, the income of each trust fund shall be applied to the objects of that trust by the action of the Academy on the recommendation of a standing committee on that fund.
Section 1. The Council, the president, and other officers may delegate their several authorities to appropriate officials of the National Academy of Sciences or the National Research Council except with respect to those authorities concerning membership affairs.
Section 1. Additions and amendments to the Constitution shall be made only at a stated meeting of the Academy. Notice of a proposition for such a change must be submitted to the Council, which may amend the proposition and shall report thereon to the Academy. Its report shall be considered by the Academy in committee of the whole for amendment.
The proposition as amended, if adopted in committee of the whole, shall be voted on at the next stated meeting, and if it receives two-thirds of the votes cast it shall be declared adopted.
Absent members may send their votes on pending changes in the Constitution to the home secretary in writing, and such votes shall be counted as if the members were present.