A Message From the Presidents

In 2015, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine continued to provide independent and evidence-based leadership in emerging and often controversial areas of science. For example, the rise of new gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas 9 has brought about a critical juncture in genetic research. To provide researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and societies around the world with a better understanding of this rapidly advancing field and to help inform decision making about its applications, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine launched an initiative on human gene editing. One component was an international summit to discuss the scientific, ethical, and governance issues associated with this research. Also in progress is a comprehensive consensus study on the clinical, ethical, legal, and social implications of human gene-editing research.

This initiative -- like so much of our work -- is made possible because of the Academies’ unique ability to convene leading scientists, engineers, health care professionals, policymakers, and other experts to engage on important and often cutting-edge issues.

Also in 2015, the Institute of Medicine became the National Academy of Medicine, an organizational change that makes us even better aligned to take an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to our work, reflecting how science, engineering, and medicine are best done today.

In this Report to Congress, you’ll learn about some of more than 200 reports the Academies produced in 2015, ranging from a landmark National Academy of Engineering study on strengthening U.S. industry’s capacity for innovation to reports on the integration of immigrants into American society and strategies to improve survival from cardiac arrest.

Ralph Cicerone, whose service as NAS president concludes in June 2016, and his wife Carol have created a legacy endowment to help support our important work in the future. The Ralph J. and Carol M. Cicerone Endowment for NAS Missions will help develop and support programs and policy studies on newly emerging topics not yet recognized by the government and others as major challenges to the nation.

Ralph J. Cicerone
C.D. Mote Jr.
Victor J. Dzau
Ralph J. Cicerone
President, National Academy of Sciences
Chair, National Research Council
C.D. Mote Jr.
President, National Academy of Engineering
Vice Chair, National Research Council
Victor J. Dzau
President, National Academy of Medicine
Vice Chair, National Research Council