2002—Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 107–305 added par. (8).
1998—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 105–207 struck out the subsec. (g) enacted by Pub. L. 102–588. See 1992 Amendment note below.
1992—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 102–476 and Pub. L. 102–588 amended section identically, adding subsec. (g).
1986—Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 99–383 amended par. (6) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (6) read as follows: “to maintain a current register of scientific and engineering personnel, and in other ways to provide a central clearinghouse for the collection, interpretation, and analysis of data on the availability of, and the current and projected need for, scientific and engineering resources in the United States, and to provide a source of information for policy formulation by other agencies of the Federal Government; and”.
1985—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(1), struck out “engineering,” after “biological,” and inserted provisions relating to research fundamental to the engineering process, engineering programs, and engineering activities.
Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(2), substituted “for study and research in the sciences or in engineering” for “in the mathematical, physical, medical, biological, engineering, social, and other sciences”.
Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(3), inserted applicability to engineering and engineers.
Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(4), inserted applicability to engineering.
Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(5), inserted applicability to fields of engineering.
Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(6), substituted “engineering” for “technical” in two places.
Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(7), inserted applicability to engineering.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–159, §§ 109(e)(2), 110(a)(8), inserted reference to engineering in two places and substituted “1873(f)” for “1873(g)”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(9), inserted applicability to engineering research.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(10), substituted “research and education in science and engineering” for “basic research and education in the sciences”.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(11), inserted applicability to engineering.
1977—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 95–99 substituted “an objective” for “one of the objectives”.
1976—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 94–273 substituted “April” for “January”.
1972—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 92–372 inserted support of science education programs at all levels to the functions of the Foundation and substituted “scientific and educational activities” for “scientific activities”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 92–484 inserted provisions authorizing the Foundation to initiate and support specific scientific activities in connection with matters relating to the effects of scientific applications upon society, and substituted provisions relating to the initiation or support pursuant to requests of activities by any other Federal department or agency, including the Office of Technology Assessment, for provisions relating to the initiation or support pursuant to requests of activities by the Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense.
1968—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 90–407 redesignated par. (2) as (1) and added social sciences to the enumerated list of sciences. Former par. (1) redesignated subsec. (d).
Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 90–407 redesignated par. (4) as (2) and added social sciences to the enumerated list of sciences. Former par. (2) redesignated (1).
Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 90–407 redesignated par. (5) as (3). Former par. (3) redesignated subsec. (b).
Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 90–407 added par. (4). Former par. (4) redesignated subsec. (a)(2).
Subsec. (a)(5). Pub. L. 90–407 redesignated par. (6) as (5) and provided for the employment of consulting services, by grant or contract, to assist in the evaluation of the status and needs of the various sciences as evidenced by the programs and studies undertaken by agencies of the government, by individuals, and by public and private research groups, and provided for the consideration of the results of such evaluations in the correlation of the Foundation’s programs with those undertaken by agencies of the government, as well as those undertaken by individuals and by public and private research groups. Former par. (5) redesignated (3).
Subsec. (a)(6). Pub. L. 90–407 redesignated par. (8) as (6) and provided that the register of scientific and technical personnel shall be current, and authorized the Foundation to analyze and interpret the collected data on the availability of, and the current and projected need for, scientific and technical resources in the United States and to make such information available to other agencies of the government for policy formulation. Former par. (6) redesignated (5).
Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 90–407 added par. (7). Former par. (7), which provided for the establishment of such special commissions as the Board may from to time deem necessary for the purposes of this chapter, was struck out.
Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 90–407 redesignated par. (8) as (6).
Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 90–407 struck out par. (9) which authorized the Foundation to initiate and support a program of study, research, and evaluation in the field of weather modification, with particular attention to areas experiencing floods, drought, etc., and to report annually to the President and the Congress thereon.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 90–407 redesignated former subsec. (a)(3) as (b) and substituted provisions authorizing the Foundation to initiate and support specific scientific activities in matters related to international cooperation or national security for provisions authorizing the Foundation to initiate and support only scientific research activities, only in matters related to national defense and only when requested to do so by the Secretary of Defense, and inserted provisions specifying the manner of financing such scientific activities. Former subsec. (b) redesignated (e).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 90–407 added subsec. (c). Former subsec. (c) redesignated (f).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 90–407 redesignated former subsec. (a)(1) as (d) and substituted provisions authorizing the Board and the Director to recommend and encourage national policies promoting basic research and education in the sciences for provisions authorizing and directing the Foundation to develop and encourage such policies.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 90–407 redesignated former subsec. (b) as (e), substituted “the foregoing subsections” for “subsection (a) of this section”, “strengthen research” for “strengthen basic research”, and struck out reference to the territories and possessions of the United States.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 90–407 redesignated former subsec. (c) as (f) and struck out provision requiring the report to include the minority views and recommendations if any, of members of the Board.
1959—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 86–232 clarified the Foundation’s authority to support programs to strengthen scientific research potential.
1958—Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 85–510 added par. (9).
Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Transfer of National Science Foundation Programs
For transfer of all programs relating to science education of the National Science Foundation or the Director thereof under this chapter, with certain exceptions, to the Secretary of Education, see section 3444 of Title 20, Education.
Management of the U.S. Antarctic Program
Pub. L. 114–329, title I, § 112, Jan. 6, 2017, 130 Stat. 2992, provided that:
“(1) In general.—
of the Foundation shall continue to review the efforts by the Foundation to sustain and strengthen scientific efforts in the face of logistical challenges for the United States
“(2) Issues to be examined.—In conducting the review, the Director shall examine, at a minimum, the following:
“(A) Implementation by the Foundation of issues and recommendations identified by—
the Inspector General of the National Science Foundation
in audit reports and memoranda on the United States
in the last 4 years;
the U.S. Antarctic Program
Blue Ribbon Panel report, More and Better Science in Antarctica through Increased Logistical Effectiveness, issued July 23, 2012
the National Research Council report, Future Science Opportunities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, issued September 2011.
Efforts by the Foundation to track its progress in addressing the issues and recommendations under subparagraph (A).
Efforts by the Foundation to address other opportunities and challenges, including efforts on scientific research, coordination with other Federal agencies and international partners, logistics and transportation, health and safety of participants, oversight and financial management of awardees and contractors, and resources and policy challenges.
Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Jan. 6, 2017
], the Director
shall brief the appropriate committees of Congress
on the ongoing review, including findings and any recommendations.”
[For definitions of terms used in section 112 of Pub. L. 114–329, set out above, see section 2 of Pub. L. 114–329, set out as a note under section 1862s of this title.]
NSF Study and Report on the “Digital Divide”
Pub. L. 106–313, title I, § 109, Oct. 17, 2000, 114 Stat. 1255, provided that:
The National Science Foundation
shall conduct a study of the divergence in access to high technology (commonly referred to as the ‘digital divide’) in the United States.
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 17, 2000
], the Director
of the National Science Foundation
shall submit a report to Congress
setting forth the findings of the study conducted under subsection (a).”
Improving United States Understanding of Science, Engineering, and Technology in East Asia
Pub. L. 105–244, title VIII, § 831, Oct. 7, 1998, 112 Stat. 1820, which provided for an interdisciplinary program of education and research on East Asian science, engineering, and technology, was repealed by Pub. L. 110–315, title IX, § 931(3), Aug. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 3456.
Status of Scientific Instrumentation; Current and Projected Needs for Scientific and Technological Instrumentation; Development of Indices, Correlates, or Other Suitable Measures or Indicators
Pub. L. 96–44, § 7, Aug. 2, 1979, 93 Stat. 334, provided that:
“In partial fulfillment of the established statutory requirement that the National Science Foundation
evaluate the status of and current and projected need for scientific resources (section 3(a)(5) and (6) of Public Law 81–507
, as amended [subsec. (a)(5) and (6) of this section]), the National Science Foundation
shall develop indices, correlates, or other suitable measures or indicators of the status of scientific instrumentation in the United States
and of the current and projected need for scientific and technological instrumentation.”
Flood Hazard Mitigation Study
Pub. L. 96–44, § 8, Aug. 2, 1979, 93 Stat. 334, directed National Science Foundation to conduct a Flood Hazard Mitigation Study and report to Congress with specific program recommendations by end of fiscal year 1980.
Authorized Use of Funds Under Science and Society Program
Pub. L. 95–99, § 5, Aug. 15, 1977, 91 Stat. 832, provided that:
“(a) From the funds authorized under the program ‘Science and Society’, the National Science Foundation is authorized to provide support which is designed to—
improve public understanding of public policy issues involving science and technology;
facilitate the participation of qualified scientists and engineers and of undergraduate and graduate students in public activities aimed at the resolution of public policy issues having significant scientific and technical aspects; and
assist nonprofit, citizens, and bona fide public interest groups to acquire necessary scientific and technical expertise in order to improve their comprehension of scientific and technical aspects of public policy issues.
“(b) Awards made pursuant to this section shall, to the extent feasible, include support for—
qualified scientists and engineers to work on public policy issues with significant scientific and technical components in conjunction with units of State and local government, nonprofit organizations, or bona fide public interest groups;
for science and engineering undergraduate or graduate students to work on public policy issues with significant scientific and technical components in conjunction with units of State and local government, nonprofit organizations, or bona fide public interest groups as part of their academic training;
forums, conferences, and workshops on public policy issues with significant scientific and technical components;
training in the presentation of scientific and technical studies in a manner which (A) improves public understanding of the ways in which science and technology influence contemporary life, (B) improves public access to the results of scientific and technical research, (C) encourages and facilitates interaction between laypersons and scientists on public issues with important scientific and technological components, and (D) increases public knowledge and understanding of the ethical and value implications of scientific and technological developments;
new and existing programs
using radio or television to increase public understanding of public policy issues with significant scientific and technical components; and
bona fide public interest groups to acquire necessary scientific and technical expertise relating to the scientific and technical aspects of public policy issues and to enable such groups to bring together in appropriate forums experts whose research has been directed to the resolution of such issues.”
Establishment of “Science for Citizens Program” Conducted in Conjunction With “Public Understanding of Science Program”
Pub. L. 94–471, § 5, Oct. 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 2054, provided that:
“(a) The National Science Foundation is authorized and directed to conduct an experimental ‘Science for Citizens Program’ and an augmented Public Understanding of Science Program under which funds will be available for pilot projects to:
improve public understanding of science, engineering and technology and their impact on public policy issues;
facilitate the participation of experienced scientists and engineers as well as graduate and undergraduate students in helping the public understand science, engineering and technology and their impact on public policies; and
“(3) assist nationally recognized professional societies and groups serving important public purposes in conducting a limited number of forums, conferences, and workshops to increase public understanding of science and technology, and of their impact on public policy issues, after consideration of the following eligibility factors:
the extent to which the proposal of the society or group will contribute to the development of facts, issues, and arguments relevant to public policy issues having significant scientific and technical aspects, and
the ability of the society or group, using its own resources, to conduct such forums, conferences, and workshops.
One or more review panels shall be established for the purpose of evaluating applications for awards under this section. The membership of each review panel shall have balanced representation from the scientific and nonscientific communities and the public and private sectors.
No contract, grant or other arrangement shall be made under this Section without the prior approval of the National Science Board.
To assist the Congress
in evaluating activities initiated pursuant to this Section, the Director
of the National Science Foundation
, in consultation with a review panel having a balanced representation from the scientific and nonscientific community and the public and private sectors, is directed to prepare a comprehensive analysis and assessment of such activities to be submitted to the House Committee on Science and Technology [now Committee on Science, Space, and Technology] and the Senate
Committee on Labor and Public Welfare [now Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions], not later than October 31, 1977
. An interim report is required no later than March 1, 1977
Development of Program Plan for Continuing Education in Science and Engineering
Pub. L. 94–471, § 6, Oct. 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 2055, required the National Science Foundation to develop a program plan for continuing education in science and engineering and, not later than Oct. 31, 1977, provide specific committees of the House of Representatives and Senate a report on the plan developed with recommendations for implementation in fiscal year 1978.
Denial of Financial Assistance to Campus Disrupters
Pub. L. 93–96, § 7, Aug. 16, 1973, 87 Stat. 316, provided that:
If an institution of higher education determines, after affording notice and opportunity for hearing to an individual attending, or employed by, such institution, that such individual has been convicted by any court of record of any crime which was committed after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 16, 1973
] and which involved the use of (or assistance to others in the use of) force, disruption, or the seizure of property under control of any institution of higher education to prevent officials or students in such institution from engaging in their duties or pursuing their studies, and that such crime was of a serious nature and contributed to a substantial disruption of the administration of the institution with respect to which such crime was committed, then the institution which such individual attends, or is employed by, shall deny for a period of two years any further payment to, or for the direct benefit of, such individual under any of the programs
specified in subsection (c). If an institution denies an individual assistance under the authority of the preceding sentence of this subsection, then any institution which such individual subsequently attends shall deny for the remainder of the two-year period any further payment to, or for the direct benefit of, such individual under any of the programs
specified in subsection (c).
If an institution of higher education determines, after affording notice and opportunity for hearing to an individual attending, or employed by, such institution, that such individual has willfully refused to obey a lawful regulation or order of such institution after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 16, 1973
], and that such refusal was of a serious nature and contributed to a substantial disruption of the administration of such institution, then such institution shall deny, for a period of two years, any further payment to, or for the direct benefit of, such individual under any of the programs
specified in subsection (c).
“(c) The programs referred to in subsections (a) and (b) are as follows:
Nothing in this Act [Pub. L. 93–96
], or any Act amended by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any institution of higher education from refusing to award, continue, or extend any financial assistance under any such Act to any individual because of any misconduct which in its judgment bears adversely on his fitness for such assistance.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting or prejudicing the rights and prerogatives of any institution of higher education to institute and carry out an independent, disciplinary proceeding pursuant to existing authority, practice, and law.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the freedom of any student to verbal expression of individual views or opinions.”
Similar provisions were contained in the following National Science Foundation Authorization Acts:
Pub. L. 92–372, § 7, Aug. 10, 1972, 86 Stat. 527.
Pub. L. 92–86, § 7, Aug. 11, 1971, 85 Stat. 309.
Pub. L. 91–356, § 5, July 24, 1970, 84 Stat. 471.
Continuation of Existing Offices, Procedures, and Organization of the National Science Foundation
Pub. L. 90–407, § 16, July 18, 1968, 82 Stat. 367, provided that:
“Except as otherwise specifically provided therein, the amendments made by this Act [enacting section 1864a of this title
, amending sections 1862 to 1866, 1868 to 1870, 1872 to 1875, and 1877 of this title, sections 5313, 5314, and 5316 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, repealing sections 1867 and 1872a of this title, and enacting provisions set out as a note under section 5313 of Title 5
] are intended to continue in effect under the National Science Foundation Act of 1950
[this chapter] the existing offices, procedures, and organization of the National Science Foundation
as provided by such Act, [this chapter] part II of Reorganization Plan Numbered 2 of 1962, and Reorganization Plan Numbered 5 of 1965 [set out as a note under section 1861 of this title
]. From and after the date of the enactment of this Act [July 18, 1968
], part II of Reorganization Plan Numbered 2 of 1962, and Reorganization Plan Numbered 5 of 1965, shall be of no force or effect; but nothing in this Act shall alter or affect any transfers of functions made by part I of such Reorganization Plan Numbered 2 of 1962.”
Investigation of Need for Geophysical Institute in Territory of Hawaii
Act Aug. 1, 1956, ch. 865, 70 Stat. 922, directed the National Science Foundation to conduct an investigation into the need for and the feasibility and usefulness of a geophysical institute located in the Territory [now State] of Hawaii. The Foundation was required to report the results of its investigations, together with its recommendations based thereon, to the Congress not later than 9 months after Aug. 1, 1956.
Ex. Ord. No. 10521. Administration of Scientific Research
Ex. Ord. No. 10521, Mar. 17, 1954, 19 F.R. 1499, as amended by Ex. Ord. No. 10807, § 6(b), Mar. 13, 1959, 24 F.R. 1899, provided:
Section 1. The National Science Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the Foundation) shall from time to time recommend to the President policies for the promotion and support of basic research and education in the sciences, including policies with respect to furnishing guidance toward defining the responsibilities of the Federal Government in the conduct and support of basic scientific research.
Sec. 2. The Foundation shall continue to make comprehensive studies and recommendations regarding the Nation’s scientific research effort and its resources for scientific activities, including facilities and scientific personnel, and its foreseeable scientific needs, with particular attention to the extent of the Federal Government’s activities and the resulting effects upon trained scientific personnel. In making such studies, the Foundation shall make full use of existing sources of information and research facilities within the Federal Government.
Sec. 3. The Foundation, in concert with each Federal agency concerned, shall review the basic scientific research programs and activities of the Federal Government in order, among other purposes, to formulate methods for strengthening the administration of such programs and activities by the responsible agencies, and to study areas of basic research where gaps or undesirable overlapping of support may exist, and shall recommend to the heads of agencies concerning the support given to basic research.
Sec. 4. As now or hereafter authorized or permitted by law, the Foundation shall be increasingly responsible for providing support by the Federal Government for general-purpose basic research through contracts and grants. The conduct and support by other Federal agencies of basic research in areas which are closely related to their missions is recognized as important and desirable, especially in response to current national needs, and shall continue.
Sec. 5. The Foundation, in consultation with educational institutions, the heads of Federal agencies, and the Commissioner of Education of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare [now Secretary of Education], shall study the effects upon educational institutions of Federal policies and administration of contracts and grants for scientific research and development, and shall recommend policies and procedures which will promote the attainment of general national research objectives and realization of the research needs of Federal agencies while safeguarding the strength and independence of the Nation’s institutions of learning.
Sec. 6. The head of each Federal agency engaged in scientific research shall make certain that effective executive, organizational, and fiscal practices exist to ensure (a) that the Foundation is consulted on policies concerning the support of basic research, (b) that approved scientific research programs conducted by the agency are reviewed continuously in order to preserve priorities in research efforts and to adjust programs to meet changing conditions without imposing unnecessary added burdens on budgetary and other resources, (c) that applied research and development shall be undertaken with sufficient consideration of the underlying basic research and such other factors as relative urgency, project costs, and availability of manpower and facilities, and (d) that, subject to considerations of security and applicable law, adequate dissemination shall be made within the Federal Government of reports on the nature and progress of research projects as an aid to the efficiency and economy of the overall Federal scientific research program.
Sec. 7. Federal agencies supporting or engaging in scientific research shall, with the assistance of the Foundation, cooperate in an effort to improve the methods of classification and reporting of scientific research projects and activities, subject to the requirements of security of information.
Sec. 8. To facilitate the efficient use of scientific research equipment and facilities held by Federal agencies:
(a) the head of each such agency engaged in scientific research shall, to the extent practicable, encourage and facilitate the sharing with other Federal agencies of major equipment and facilities; and
(b) a Federal agency shall procure new major equipment or facilities for scientific research purposes only after taking suitable steps to ascertain that the need cannot be met adequately from existing inventories or facilities of its own or of other agencies; and
(c) the Interdepartmental Committee on Scientific Research and Development shall take necessary steps to ensure that each Federal agency engaged directly in scientific research is kept informed of selected major equipment and facilities which could serve the needs of more than one agency. Each Federal agency possessing such equipment and facilities shall maintain appropriate records to assist other agencies in arranging for their joint use or exchange.
Sec. 9. The heads of the respective Federal agencies shall make such reports concerning activities within the purview of this order as may be required by the President.
Sec. 10. The National Science Foundation shall provide leadership in the effective coordination of the scientific information activities of the Federal Government with a view to improving the availability and dissemination of scientific information. Federal agencies shall cooperate with and assist the National Science Foundation in the performance of this function, to the extent permitted by law.
Executive Order No. 10807
Ex. Ord. No. 10807, Mar. 13, 1959, 24 F.R. 1897, as amended Ex. Ord. No. 11381, Nov. 8, 1967, 32 F.R. 15629, which established the Federal Council for Science and Technology, provided for a chairman and membership, specified the functions of the Council, provided for assistance from other Federal agencies and the establishment of standing committees and panels, revoked Ex. Ord. No. 9912 of Dec. 24, 1947, entitled “Establishing the Interdepartmental Committee on Scientific Research and Development”, and amended Ex. Ord. No. 10521, set out above, was omitted from the Code in view of Pub. L. 94–282, title IV, § 402, May 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 472, set out below, which abolished the Federal Council for Science and Technology.
[Pub. L. 94–282, title IV, § 402, May 11, 1976, 90 Stat. 472, provided that:
“The Federal Council for Science and Technology, established pursuant to Executive Order No. 10807
, Mar. 13, 1959
, 24 F.R. 1897
, as amended by Executive Order No. 11381
, Nov. 8, 1967
, 32 F.R. 15629
, is hereby abolished.”