What is a Roundtable?

Roundtables and Forums at the National Academies

Please note: this website is no longer regularly updated. Please visit National Academies Press website for the most recent NASEM reports and workshop summaries on public engagement and science communication.

The forums and roundtables at the National Academies bring together leaders in government and industry, scientists and other experts from academia, practitioners, representatives of public interest groups, and consumers. The National Academies offer an independent venue, in which individuals of goodwill from diverse perspectives can gain shared understanding and fresh insights during open dialogue on complex and diverse topics. If a topic matters in an important way to science, engineering, or health, sooner or later it will find a place on the agenda of the National Academies.

The power of roundtables and forums at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine stem from the ability of the members to choose topics of common interest and then facilitate discussions of these issues among members and experts in a neutral setting that builds trust and promotes problem-solving. Over many years, National Academies’ roundtables and forums on many significant issues have attracted the finest minds in academia and the public and private sectors.  The roundtable structure generates immediate benefits as members and audience apply the insights and lessons learned from convened workshops within their home institutions or research activities, and share new approaches with colleagues in other institutions.

Meetings held by forums and roundtables may result in workshop summaries.

To learn more about Roundtables and other activities of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine please visit the NAS webpage What We Do. 

The Roundtable on Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was a multidisciplinary forum that ran from 2013 to 2015. Many of the discussions initiated during its workshops have continued through other venues within and outside of the NASEM.