In 1848 the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was founded.  Since that time forty-seven state, regional, and municipal academies of science have been formed.  These forty-seven academies of science are now affiliates of AAAS.

In 1927, the AAAS Council authorized an Academy Conference to serve as a standing committee on relations among the affiliate academies and between them and the AAAS, and it has presented programs at subsequent Annual Meetings.

In 1969, the name of the Academy Conference was changed to Association of Academies of Science and in 1979 to the National Association of Academies of Science (NAAS).

The governing body of the NAAS is composed of two delegate representatives from each member academy.  The Assembly of Delegates meets annually to approve programs and elect its officers and Board of Directors.  Additionally, NAAS names two delegates to the AAAS Council and AAAS appoints a liaison to the NAAS board.

The NAAS keeps the member academies informed of each other‘s activities via newsletters, this directory, and proceedings.  It also provides assistance to new academies to organize.  NAAS receives dues from its member academies in order to finance its activities.

The NAAS has a strong interest in the research activities of junior and collegiate academies of science and seeks to encourage young people interested in science.  The academies of NAAS are eligible to receive funds annually from AAAS for projects that encourage and support research by secondary school students.  Additionally, each year affiliated academies nominate two secondary school and two college students for one- year honorary memberships in AAAS.  The honorary memberships in AAAS include a subscription to Science.

For each AAAS Annual Meeting, NAAS invites its academies to send representatives from their junior academies to present scientific papers as part of the program of the American Junior Academy of Science (AJAS).  Much of the effort of the Board of Directors is dedicated to developing and implementing this high quality program for the students attending as AJAS delegates.  NAAS publishes the abstracts of these student projects in the Proceedings and on our website.