Issue Brief: Science


  • Article
  • June 21, 2018

Dear NAS Member,

It is our pleasure to showcase a new NAS publication, Science: Issue Brief. These briefs are attempts to formulate "official" positions for the NAS in several broad areas. We plan to issue many more such briefs on other topics over the next several years.

I put the word "official" in quotes because the positions we have put forward in these briefs are not settled once and for all. We expect NAS members will critique them. Please read and consider them. Are there essential points we got wrong? Others that we left out? Are there good points that could be made better?

We are not aiming to compile an NAS catechism. Rather, we are asked frequently by members, academics who are weighing whether to join, reporters, and others what NAS "thinks" about various matters. Our 2,600 members (and growing) no doubt think a lot of different things. We prize that intellectual diversity and always welcome voices of dissent on our website, in our conferences, and in our print publications. But it helps if we can present a statement that offers a first-order approximation of how NAS's general principles apply to particular disciplines or areas of inquiry.

We also hope that these issue briefs will make NAS more visible and that they will assist scholars who are finding their way in the maze of contemporary academic life.

Please send in your comments to [email protected]

I look forward to hearing from you.


Peter Wood

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