The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), chartered by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1863, is both an honorific scientific society and an adviser to the government. The NAS publishes a scholarly journal, organizes symposia and meetings, bestows prizes and scientific awards, and maintains contact with scientific academies in other countries. With its associated organizations, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine, the NAS operates through the National Research Council in conducting policy and technical studies. As a standing advisory committee of the NRC, the Board on International Scientific Organizations (BISO) examines issues related to the conduct of science and evaluates opportunities for and barriers to international collaboration in scientific research. BISO serves as the U.S. national committee (USNC) for ICSU. It also oversees a network of some 25 additional USNCs for ICSU member Unions and Interdisciplinary Committees.