By: Frederick Seitz
This work relates selected events in the history of the National Academy focusing on the terms of the various presidents from the first, Alexander D. Bache, the great grandson of Benjamin Franklin, to the most recent, Ralph Cicerone. In its early days, the Academy was fostered by the Smithsonian Institution to support the cultivation of science in the United States. In its current state, the Academy can be regarded as an almost independent organization representative of the basic and applied science, including engineering and medicine. Special attention is given to roles played by the Academy and Academy members in three great wars, as well as side developments made possible through wartime ventures and advances in technology.
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