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PART III–NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
National Science Foundation Act of 1950
AN ACT To promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, [42 U.S.C. 1861 note] That this Act may be cited as the “National Science Foundation Act of 1950."
ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
SEC. 2. [42 U.S.C. 1861) There is hereby established in the executive branch of the Government an independent agency to be known as the National Science Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the "Foundation"). The Foundation shall consist of a National Science Board (hereinafter referred to as the "Board”) and a Director.
FUNCTIONS OF THE FOUNDATION
SEC. 3. (42 U.S.C. 1862] (a) The Foundation is authorized and directed—
(1) to initiate and support basic scientific research and programs to strengthen scientific research potential and science education programs at all levels in the mathematical, physical, medical, biological, social, and other sciences, and to initiate and support research fundamental to the engineering process and programs to strengthen engineering research potential and engineering education programs at all levels in the various fields of engineering, by making contracts or other arrangements (including grants, loans, and other forms of assistance) to support such scientific, engineering, and educational activities and to appraise the impact of research upon industrial development and upon the general welfare;
(2) to award, as provided in section 10, scholarships and graduate fellowships for study and research in the sciences or in engineering;
(3) to foster the interchange of scientific and engineering information among scientists and engineers in the United States and foreign countries;
(4) to foster and support the development and use of computer and other scientific and engineering methods and technologies, primarily for research and education in the sciences and engineering;
to evaluate the status and needs of the various sciences and fields of engineering as evidenced by programs, projects, and studies undertaken by agencies of the Federal Government, by individuals, and by public and private research groups, employing by grant or contract such consulting services as it may deem necessary for the purpose of such evaluations; and to take into consideration the results of such evaluations in correlating the research and educational programs undertaken or supported by the Foundation with programs, projects, and studies undertaken by agencies of the Federal Government, by individuals, and by public and private research groups;
(6) to provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on scientific and engineering and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other agencies of the Federal Government; and
(7) to initiate and maintain a program for the determination of the total amount of money for scientific and engineering research, including money allocated for the construction of the facilities wherein such research is conducted, received by each educational institution and appropriate nonprofit organization in the United States, by grant, contract, or other arrangement from agencies of the Federal Government, and to report annually thereon to the President and the Congress.
(b) The foundation is authorized to initiate and support specific scientific and engineering activities in connection with matters relating to international cooperation, national security, and the effects of scientific and engineering applications upon society by making contracts or other arrangements (including grants, loans, and other forms of assistance) for the conduct of such activities. When initiated or supported pursuant to requests made by any other Federal department or agency, including the Office of Technology Assessment, such activities shall be financed whenever feasible from funds transferred to the Foundation by the requesting official as provided in section 14(f), and any such activities shall be unclassified and shall be identified by the Foundation as being undertaken at the request of the appropriate official.
(c) In addition to the authority contained in subsections (a) and (b), the Foundation is authorized to initiate and support scientific and engineering research, including applied research, at academic and other nonprofit institutions. When so directed by the President, the Foundation is further authorized to support, through other appropriate organizations, applied scientific research and engineering research relevant to national problems involving the public interest. In exercising the authority contained in this subsection, the Foundation may employ by grant or contract such consulting services as it deems necessary, and shall coordinate and correlate its activities with respect to any such problem with other agencies of the Federal Government undertaking similar programs in that field.
(d) The Board and the Director shall recommend and encourage the pursuit of national policies for the promotion of research and education in science and engineering.
(e) In exercising the authority and discharging the functions referred to in the foregoing subsections, it shall be an objective of the Foundation to strengthen research and education in the sciences and engineering, including independent research by individuals, throughout the United States, and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education.
(f) The Foundation shall render an annual report to the President for submission on or before the 15th day of April of each year to the Congress, summarizing the activities of the Foundation and making such recommendations as it may deem appropriate. Such report shall include information as to the acquisition and disposition by the Foundation of any patents and patent rights.
(g) In carrying out subsection (a)(4), the Foundation is authorized to foster and support access by the research and education communities to computer networks which may be used substantially for purposes in addition to research and education in the sciences and engineering, if the additional uses will tend to increase the overall capabilities of the networks to support such research and education activities.
NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD SEC. 4. (42 U.S.C. 1863] (a) The Board shall consist of twentyfour members to be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and of the Director ex officio. In making nominations under this section, the President shall give due regard to equitable representation of scientists who are women or who represent minority groups. In addition to any powers and functions otherwise granted to it by this Act, the Board shall establish the policies of the Foundation.
(b) The Board shall have an Executive Committee as provided in section 7, and may delegate to it or to the Director or both such of the powers and functions granted to the Board by this Act as it deems appropriate.
(c) The persons nominated for appointment as members of the Board (1) shall be eminent in the fields of the basic, medical, or social sciences, engineering, agriculture, education, research management or public affairs; (2) shall be selected solely on the basis of established records of distinguished service and (3) shall be so selected as to provide representation of the views of scientific and engineering leaders in all areas of the Nation. In making nominations under this section, the President shall give due regard to equitable representation of scientists and engineering who are women or who represent minority groups. The President is requested, in the making of nominations of persons for appointment as members, to give due consideration to any recommendations for nomination which may be submitted to him by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, the Association of American Universities, the Association of American Colleges, the Association of State Colleges and Universities, or by other scientific, engineering, or educational organizations.
(d) The term of office of each member of the Board shall be six years; except that any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term. Any person, other than the Director, who has been a member of the Board for twelve consecutive years shall thereafter be ineligible for appointment during the two-year period following the expiration of such twelfth year.
(e) The Board shall meet annually on the third Monday in May unless, prior to May 10 in any year, the Chairman has set the annual meeting for a day in May other than the third Monday and at such other times as the Chairman may determine, but he shall also call a meeting whenever one-third of the members so request in writing. A majority of the members of the Board shall constitute a quorum. Each member shall be given notice, not less than fifteen days prior to any meeting, of the call of such meeting.
(The election of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board shall take place at each annual meeting occurring in an even-numbered year. The Vice Chairman shall perform the duties of the Chairman in his absence. In case a vacancy occurs in the chairmanship or vice chairmanship, the Board shall elect a member to fill such vacancy.
(g) The Board may, with the concurrence of a majority of its members, permit the appointment of a staff consisting of not more than five professional staff members and such clerical staff members as may be necessary. Such staff shall be appointed by the Director and assigned at the direction of the Board. The professional members of such staff may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service, and the provisions of chapter 51 of such title relating to classification, and compensated at a rate not exceeding the maximum rate payable under section 5376 of such title, as may be necessary to provide for the performance of such duties as may be prescribed by the Board in connection with the exercise of its powers and functions under this Act. Each appointment under this subsection shall be subject to the same security requirements as those required for personnel of the Foundation appointed under section 14(a).
(h) The Board is authorized to establish such special commissions as it may from time to time deem necessary for the purposes of this Act.
(i) The Board is also authorized to appoint from among its members such committees as it deems necessary, and to assign to committees so appointed such survey and advisory functions as the Board deems appropriate to assist it in exercising its powers and functions under this Act.
6)(1) The Board shall render to the President, for submission to the Congress no later than January 15 of each even numbered year, a report on indicators of the state of science and engineering in the United States.
(2) The Board shall render to the President for submission to the Congress reports on specific, individual policy matters related to science and engineering and education in science and engineering, as the Board, the President, or the Congress determines the need for such reports.
(k) Portions of Board meetings in which the Board considers proposed Foundation budgets for a particular fiscal year may be closed to the public until the President's budget for that fiscal year has been submitted to the Congress.