The National Research Council
(NRC) of the USA
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
is the working arm of the United States National Academies
The United States National Academies comprises four organizations:* National Academy of Sciences * National Academy of Engineering * Institute of Medicine * National Research Council...
, carrying out most of the studies done in their names.
The National Academies include:
- National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a corporation in the United States whose members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation on science, engineering, and medicine." As a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and...
- National Academy of Engineering
The National Academy of Engineering is a government-created non-profit institution in the United States, that was founded in 1964 under the same congressional act that led to the founding of the National Academy of Sciences...
- Institute of Medicine
The Institute of Medicine is a not-for-profit, non-governmental American organization founded in 1970, under the congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences...
Unlike the other three organizations of the National Academies, the National Research Council is not a membership organization.
The National Research Council was organized in 1916 in response to the increased need for scientific and technical services caused by World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
. On June 1, 1917, the council convened a meeting of scientific representatives of the UK and France with interested parties from the US on the subject of submarine detection. The results obtained and the problems in the work were discussed. A further meeting with the British and French was held in Paris in October 1918 at which more details of their work was disclosed. As a result of this, the council recommended that US scientists be brought together to work on the problems. A New York Group worked on "supersonics" as did a San Pedro Group. A New London Group worked on binaural receivers, while Chicago and Wisconsin Groups were assigned various problems in support of the other groups.
Due to the success of Council-directed research in producing a sound-based method of detecting submarines, as well as other military innovations, the NRC was retained at the end of the war, though it was gradually decoupled from the military. The Research Council is currently administered jointly by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, and its work is overseen by a Governing Board and an Executive Committee.
The president of the National Academy of Sciences is the chair of both the Governing Board and Executive Committee; the president of the National Academy of Engineering is vice chair.
Its members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of its committees are chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Its reports are reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee (also consisting of members from the NAS, NAE, and IOM).
Report on climate change
In 2001, the Committee on the Science of Climate Change of the National Research Council published Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions
. This report explicitly endorsed the IPCC's (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a scientific intergovernmental body which provides comprehensive assessments of current scientific, technical and socio-economic information worldwide about the risk of climate change caused by human activity, its potential environmental and...
) findings as representing the view of the scientific community:
- The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability. Human-induced warming and associated sea level rise are expected to continue through the 21st century... The IPCC's conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas
A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone...
concentrations accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue.
- United States National Research Council Rankings
The United States National Research Council conducts a survey and compiles a report on United States Research-Doctorate Programs approximately every 10 years, although the time elapsed between each new ranking has exceeded 10 years. Data collection for the most recent report began in June of 2006;...
- Scientific opinion on climate change
The predominant scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth is in an ongoing phase of global warming primarily caused by an enhanced greenhouse effect due to the anthropogenic release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases...