Governing Documents

Executive Orders Defining the Duties and Functions of the National Research Council

EXECUTIVE ORDER

The National Research council was organized in 1916 at the request of the President by the National Academy of Sciences, under its congressional charter, as a measure of national preparedness. The work accomplished by the Council in organizing research and in securing cooperation of military and civilian agencies in the solution of military problems demonstrates its capacity for larger service. The National Academy of Sciences is therefore requested to perpetuate the National Research Council, the duties of which shall be as follows:

  1. In general, to stimulate research in the mathematical, physical and biological sciences, and in the application of these sciences to engineering, agriculture, medicine and other useful arts, with the object of increasing knowledge, of strengthening the national defense, and of contributing in other ways to the public welfare.
  2. To survey the larger possibilities of science, to formulate comprehensive projects of research, and to develop effective means of utilizing the scientific and technical resources of the country for dealing with these projects.
  3. To promote cooperation in research, at home and abroad, in order to secure concentration of effort, minimize duplication, and stimulate progress; but in all cooperative undertakings to give encouragement to individual initiative, as fundamentally important to the advancement of science.
  4. To serve as a means of bringing American and foreign investigators into active cooperation with the scientific and technical services of the War and Navy Departments and with those of the civil branches of the Government.
  5. To direct the attention of scientific and technical investigators to the present importance of military and industrial problems in connection with the war, and to aid in the solution of these problems by organizing specific researches.
  6. To gather and collate scientific and technical information, at home and abroad, in cooperation with governmental and other agencies, and to render such information available to duly accredited persons.

Effective prosecution of the Council’s work requires the cordial collaboration of the scientific and technical branches of the Government, both military and civil. To this end representatives of the Government, upon the nomination of the National Academy of Sciences, will be designated by the President as members of the Council, as heretofore, and the heads of the departments immediately concerned will continue to cooperate in every way that may be required

             (signed) Woodrow Wilson

THE WHITE HOUSE
11 May, 1918

(No. 2859)


EXECUTIVE ORDER

AMENDMENT OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 2859
OF MAY 11, 1918, RELATING TO THE
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

Executive order No. 2859 of May 11, 1918, relating to the National Research Council, is hereby amended to read as follows:

“NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

          “Whereas the National Research Council (hereinafter referred to as the Council) was organized in 1916 at the request of the President by the National Academy of Sciences, under its congressional charter, as a measure of national preparedness; and
          “Whereas in recognition of the work accomplished by the National Academy of Sciences through the Council in organizing research, in furthering science, and in securing cooperation of government and non-government agencies in the solution of their problems, the Council has been perpetuated by the Academy as requested by the President in Executive Order No. 2859 of May 11, 1918; and
          “Whereas the effective prosecution of the Council’s work requires the close cooperation of the scientific and technical branches of the Government, both military and civil, and makes representation of the Government on the Council desirable:
          “Now, Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is ordered as follows:
          “1. The functions of the Council shall be as follows:
          “(a) In general, to stimulate research in the mathematical, physical, and biological sciences, and in the application of these sciences to engineering, agriculture, medicine, and other useful arts, with the object of increasing knowledge, of strengthening the national defense, and of contributing in the other ways to the public welfare.
          “(b) To survey the broad possibilities of science, to formulate comprehensive projects of research, and to develop effective means of utilizing the scientific and technical resources of the country for dealing with such projects.
          “(c) To promote cooperation in research, at home and abroad, in order to secure concentration of effort, minimize duplication, and stimulate progress; but in all cooperative undertakings to give encouragement to individual initiative, as fundamentally important to the advancement of science.
          “(d) To serve s a means of bringing American and Foreign investigators into active cooperation with the scientific and technical serves of the Department of Defense and of the civil branches of the Government.
          “(e) To direct the attention of scientific and technical investigators to the importance of military and industrial problems in connection with national defense, and to aid in the solution of these problems by organizing specific researches.
          “(f) To gather and collate scientific and technical information, at home and abroad, in cooperation with governmental and other agencies, and to render such information available to duly accredited persons.
          “2. The Government shall be represented on the Council by members who are officers or employees of specified departments and agencies of the executive branch of the Government. The National Academy of Sciences shall specify, from time to time, the departments and agencies form which Government members shall be designated, and shall determine, from time to time, the number of Government members who shall be designated form each such department and agency. The head of each such specified department or agency shall designate the officers and employees from his department or agency, in such numbers as the National Academy of Sciences shall determine, who shall be members of the Council, but shall designate only those persons who are acceptable to the Academy.”
          This order shall not be construed as terminating the tenure of any person who has heretofore been designated as a member of the Council.

         /Signed/ DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

THE WHITE HOUSE,
May 10, 1956.

(No. 10668)

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