The American Academy of Microbiology (Academy) is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the world's oldest and largest life science organization. The mission of the Academy is to recognize scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provide microbiological expertise in the service of science and the public.
The Academy was formed in 1955 as a corporation independent of the ASM (then the Society of American Bacteriologists) by a group of distinguished microbiologists interested in their professional organization broadening its mission and activities. In 1969, the Council of the ASM and the Academy's Board of Governors voted to merge. It was determined that the Academy would function as one of the "arms" of ASM and would be responsible for professional affairs, which included promoting training programs to ensure a supply of well-qualified microbiologists, establishing and maintaining a code of ethics, developing certification and registration boards as needed, and ensuring the professional well-being of microbiologists whose opportunities may be subject to actions of legislative or other professional bodies. In 2011, the Professional Practices Committee was formed with the mission to provide professional development opportunities and content to members to increase their skill, enhance their job performance and contribute to the profession. The American College of Microbiology is a core component of this committee, and is no longer a part of the Academy.
Today, the Academy serves as a resource to governmental agencies, industry, ASM and the larger scientific and lay communities by convening colloquia to address critical issues in microbiology. The Academy convenes four to five colloquia a year for in-depth analysis of critical issues in microbiology. The Academy manages ASM's scientific achievement awards program, recognizing outstanding achievement and potential in all areas of microbiology.