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Executive Order 10521—Administration of Scientific Research by Agencies of the Federal Government

March 17, 1954

WHEREAS the security and welfare of the United States depend increasingly upon the advancement of knowledge in the sciences; and

WHEREAS useful applications of science to defense, humanitarian, and other purposes in the Nation require a strong foundation in basic scientific knowledge and trained scientific manpower; and

WHEREAS the administration of Federal scientific research programs affecting institutions of learning must be consistent with the preservation of the strength, vitality, and independence of higher education in the United States; and

WHEREAS, in order to conserve fiscal and manpower resources, it is necessary that Federal scientific research programs be administered with all practicable efficiency and economy; and

WHEREAS the National Science Foundation has been established by law for the purpose, among others, of developing and encouraging the pursuit of an appropriate and effective national policy for the promotion of basic research and education in the sciences:

NOW, THEREFORE, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

SECTION 1. The National Science Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the Foundation) shall from time to time recommend to the President policies for the Federal Government which will strengthen the national scientific effort and furnish guidance toward defining the responsibilities of the Federal Government in the conduct and support of 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 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, 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;

(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.



March 17, 1954.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Executive Order 10521—Administration of Scientific Research by Agencies of the Federal Government Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235470

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