Date:  Sept. 8, 2008

Contacts:  William Skane, Executive Director

Luwam Yeibio, Media Relations Assistant

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; e-mail <>




Raymond and Beverly Sackler Establish USA-UK Scientific Forum


WASHINGTON -- The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is pleased to announce a substantial gift from the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Foundation to endow a bilateral scientific forum to be operated jointly by NAS and the Royal Society in London.  The forum will hold scientific conferences and meetings in both the United States and United Kingdom, and the topics, participants, activities, and goals of these conferences will be determined by a joint panel of NAS and the Royal Society.


"We understand the importance of supporting scientific endeavors and heritage around the world," said Dr. Raymond R. Sackler.  "Our hope is that the new Raymond and Beverly Sackler USA-UK Scientific Forum will help the scientific leadership of the United Kingdom and the United States forge an enduring and productive partnership on pressing topics of worldwide scientific concern with benefit to all people."


Raymond Sackler, M.D., is a founder and board member of Purdue Pharma L.P., Stamford, Conn., and a founder and board member of NAPP Pharmaceutical Group Limited in the U.K.  Individually and through their foundations, Dr. Sackler and his wife Beverly have sponsored medical research at a number of major U.S. academic centers, including: Cornell University; Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; Rockefeller University; Columbia University; Yale University; Duke University; Tufts University; New York University; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Toledo College of Medicine; University of California, Berkeley; the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; University of Connecticut; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Internationally, the Sacklers have supported science and the arts at Cambridge University's School of Clinical Medicine, its Institute of Astronomy, and the British Museum (U.K.); Leiden University's School of Medicine and Observatory, as well as the establishment of an endowed Chair in the History and Culture of the United States of America and the Americas (Netherlands); the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques and the Louvre Museum (France); University of Toronto (Canada); and Tel Aviv University Faculty of Medicine and  Faculty of Exact Sciences and the Israel Museum (Israel).


"Science is more and more an international undertaking," said NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone.  "Engaging the best scientific minds and research from around the world is key to addressing worldwide challenges such as agriculture, our energy needs, and climate change.  We thank Raymond and Beverly Sackler for their foresight in opening new pathways to speed our work."


"Increasing international scientific links is an important goal of the Royal Society's 350th anniversary campaign," noted Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society.  "The Raymond and Beverly Sackler USA-UK Scientific Forum will provide a marvellous ongoing connection between the scientific leadership in America and Britain.  The Royal Society greatly appreciates the generosity and vision of Raymond and Beverly Sackler in endowing this program, and we look forward to working closely with the National Academy of Sciences into the future."


The Royal Society is the national academy of science for the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.  Founded in 1660, the Society has three roles: as the U.K. academy of science, as a learned society, and as a funding agency.  Preparing for its 350th anniversary in 2010, the Society is working to achieve five strategic priorities: investing in future scientific leaders and innovation, influencing policymaking with the best scientific advice, invigorating science and mathematics education, increasing access to the best science internationally, and inspiring an interest in the joy, wonder and excitement of scientific discovery.


The National Academy of Sciences was chartered by an act of Congress signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 to "investigate, examine, experiment, and report on any subject of science or art" when called on by the federal government.  Later, to keep pace with the growing importance of science, technology, and medicine in the U.S., the National Research Council (1916), National Academy of Engineering (1964), and Institute of Medicine (1970) were created.  NAS members and foreign associates -- numbering more than 2,100 -- are elected by their peers.  More than 200 have been awarded the Nobel Prize.


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