National Academy of Sciences

To conduct an independent management study of processes, portfolios, and programs at the National Academy of Sciences

  • Amount $301,470
  • City Washington, DC
  • Investigator Marcia McNutt
  • Initiative Economic Analysis of Science and Technology (EAST)
  • Year 2016
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) was chartered by Abraham Lincoln “to give advice to the nation.” And, man, does it ever. Commissioned studies released during the first few days of September 2016 alone, for example, cover everything from clean electric power options to molybdenum-99 production, from eye health to eldercare. Funders and clients alike know the Academy’s work to be prestigious, authoritative, and impartial, but slow, inefficient, and expensive. Internal studies of NAS operations conducted sporadically over the years have resulted in only modest modifications. Now the incoming president, Marcia McNutt, wants to do more than that. A former editor of Science magazine and the first woman ever elected to lead the Academies, she is committed to comprehensive reform of how the NAS functions. Her first step is commissioning an outside management study by a distinguished but independent panel. The National Academy of Public Administration has agreed to carry out the project. Funds from this grant provide partial support for this independent management study.

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