|How strange is the lot of us mortals? Each of us is here for a brief sojourn: for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people -- first of all for those upon whose smiles an dwell-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to use to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving ...|
From the Essay "The World As I See It"
Life at the Academies
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution created in 1863 by Congress. The institution has evolved into four distinguished organizations: National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. They bring together leaders from academe, industry, government and other sectors to provide cogent, unbiased advice to the government and citizens of the United States.
At The National Academies, we provide independent, objective advice to the Nation on issues involving science, technology and medicine. We don’t wear lab coats and there are no laboratories in our workplace. But we are scientists, engineers, doctors and lay people all working together for the good of our Nation.
Over 1,100 employees support the work of the National Academies with more than 4,800 distinguished leaders and 5,700 experts volunteering their time to serve on committees, plan and participate in seminars, review documents and assist the work of the National Academies. Members, volunteers and employees help to address a variety of the Nation's issues. National Academies Press: Recent Reports
Most National Academies' activities are undertaken at the request of federal agencies or mandated by Congress. Private industry, foundations, and state and local governments also sponsor activities.
Every project is given scrupulous attention in an environment independent of government, special interest and sponsoring groups. The National Academies play an important role in public-policy decision-making on scientific and technologic issues.