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Established by the U.S. Congress in 1863, the National Academies were designed to provide guidance to the United States government in the numerous fields of scientific endeavor. Over the past one hundred and forty years, the Academies expanded to include the National Research Council, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. To say that the Academies perform an essential service to the country would be a gross understatement. At the Web site, visitors can read about the diverse research projects being conducted in the areas of chemistry, the social sciences, transportation, and engineering, to name a few. While one could browse the site for hours, first-time visitors will want to browse the news section on the homepage, which brings together important findings from the Academies, along with an area titled Science in the Headlines. Of course, visitors will not want to visit the National Academies Press area, where over 2900 books can be viewed (in their entirety) for free.
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