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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.


  • Nominate Outstanding Scientists for 2018 NAS Awards
    Nominations are now being accepted online for NAS awards to be presented in 2018. Awards will be presented in a variety of fields including neuroscience, food and agriculture sciences, structural biology, psychology, and many more. Read More 

  • 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

Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal

The Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal recognizes excellence in published research on marine or freshwater algae. The award is presented every three years. The Smith Medal was established in March 1968 at the bequest of Helen P. Smith in memory of her husband. Gilbert Morgan Smith was a renowned botanist, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the first President of the Phycological Society of America.

Takao Kondo, Designated Professor and Professor Emeritus, Graduate School of Science at Nagoya University received the 2015 Gilbert Morgan Smith Medal.  Kondo and his colleagues created a way to study the cyanobacterium circadian clock by genetically engineering Synechococcus elongatus to glow through bioluminescence. The glow, they found, oscillated robustly in the circadian period (about 24 hours) even under constant conditions. This body of knowledge has led to a transformation in how scientists think about the biological clock as well as the ecology of these organisms. Read more about Kondo's work.

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