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Our Mission: Science for the Public Good

As the New York Academy of Sciences continues into its third century, Nicholas Dirks is at the helm of an extraordinary organization with a talented staff, a global community of more than 16,000 Members, and a network of top-echelon leaders in science, industry, academia, government and public policy. Bringing all these people together, the Academy is taking on COVID-19 and other world-wide challenges with the best solutions that science, technology, and bright minds can offer.

The mission of the New York Academy of Sciences is to drive innovative solutions to society's challenges by advancing scientific research, education and policy.

For more than 200 years, the Academy has brought together extraordinary people working at the frontiers of discovery. Among the oldest scientific organizations in the United States, the Academy has become an important and widely-respected contributor to the international scientific community. Throughout its history, the Academy's Membership has featured thinkers and innovators from all walks of life, including U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, and pioneers in science, such as Thomas Edison, Charles Darwin, and Margaret Mead. Today, the Academy has Members in over 100 countries and a distinguished Board of Governors composed of leaders from business, academia, and philanthropy.

Convening and Mobilizing Communities of Experts

To drive scientific progress, the Academy hosts over 150 conferences  & symposia annually, connecting experts across sectors, disciplines, and national boundaries. Research presented at the Academy is disseminated globally via in-person and virtual events, the prestigious Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, and a broad array of digital media.

Catalyzing Collective Action to Address Global Challenges

Moving from knowledge dissemination to action, the Academy brings individuals and organizations together to drive real-world solutions to global challenges. Whether through public-private partnerships, open innovation challenges, or on-the-ground programming, the Academy and its network are tackling some of the world’s most pressing concerns, including: global malnutrition, early childhood development, and the need to improve access to STEM education in underserved communities.

Supporting Scientists and Engineers Through Every Step in their Careers

From primary school to leadership roles in the workplace, Academy programs and initiatives are helping to build a better STEM pipeline.

  • Through the Global STEM Alliance, the Academy and its partners connect young students with one another and with professional role models around the world.
  • Supported by universities and research institutions around the world, our Science Alliance helps Graduate Students and Postdocs transition to rewarding positions in the workplace through a robust curriculum of career readiness and soft skills training.
  • The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists identify and encourage promising young scientists early in their careers, when they benefit the most from recognition.
  • The Innovators in Science Award recognizes promising Early Career Scientists and outstanding Senior Scientists in the therapeutic areas of Neuroscience, Gastroenterology, Regenerative Medicine, and Oncology.

The continued success of Academy programs depends upon the engagement and support of an amazing global network of partner institutions, funders, and Members. Now in its third century, the Academy is proud to celebrate all the innovators, educators and problem-solvers—past, present and future—who make up the World’s Smartest Network®.