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Since 1886, the National Academy of Sciences has honored outstanding achievement in the physical, biological, and social sciences through its awards program.


  • New Award Announced: Michael and Sheila Held Prize 
    The Prize honors research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory. This $100,000 Prize was established by the bequest of Michael and Sheila Held, and will be presented annually beginning in 2018. Read More»

  • 2017 NAS Awards Ceremony Recording Available
    The 2017 NAS awards were presented during a ceremony at the NAS 154th Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 30. Watch the Ceremony»

Featured Award

John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science

The John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science is awarded every two years, to recognize noteworthy and distinguished accomplishments in any field of science within the National Academy of Science’s charter. The award is presented with a medal and a $25,000 prize. The American Telephone and Telegraph Company established the award to honor the memory of their Chief Engineer, Vice President, and general telecommunications innovator, John J. Carty. The Carty Award will be presented in 2018 in the field of economics.

Michael Goddard, at the University of Melbourne, and Theodorus Meuwissen, at Norwegian University of Life Sciences received the 2016 Carty Award, presented in agricultural science. The principles of genomic selection come from a landmark paper published in Genetics in 2001 by Goddard and Meuwissen, along with Ben Hayes of La Trobe University in Australia. The trio showed that it should be possible to identify high genetic value by using thousands of molecular genetic markers covering the entire genome. At the time, genomic technology was inadequate because there was no way to assay animals for thousands of markers at reasonable cost, but, with the development of “SNP chips”, it soon caught up. Genomic selection first became widely adopted in the dairy cattle industry where it was found to save much time and money over traditional breeding techniques. Genomic selection has now been applied to other animal species, such as pigs and poultry, as well as plants, such as cotton, rice, and wheat. And the concepts behind genomic selection have even proved useful in the field of human genetics and the search for predictors of disease Read more about their work.

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