Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Letter to Alan T. Waterman on Receiving Report of the National Science Foundation.

January 06, 1961

Dear Dr. Waterman:

In acknowledging receipt of your report on "Major Activities of the National Science Foundation," I wish to pay tribute to the effective job you and your dedicated staff have done to promote the progress of science.

As you indicate, the work of the National Science Foundation is an excellent barometer of the extent to which the Nation is responding to the urgent need for increasing the scientific effort. It is therefore gratifying that NSF appropriations have risen from $4.7 million in 1953 to $154.7 million in 1960.

Your organization has given outstanding support to works of basic research, the hard core of our national effort in science. In this field NSF grants have gone from $1.8 million to $57.2 million in eight years.

Equally important has been the international research program. Your work during the International Geophysical Year has established beyond question the universality of science.

The NSF has also provided important assistance in providing research facilities and research tools, which, in many cases, have become too expensive to be financed by local institutions.

Through fellowships, training institutes, and other programs, NSF has made dramatic contributions to the training of scientific manpower in the United States.

In making this report public, I should particularly like to call attention to your final sentence: "The realization that today leadership among nations is synonymous with leadership in science presents the United States with the grave responsibility for assuring the continued acceleration and advancement not only of American science but of science throughout the free world."

I thank you for your valuable contributions to the Nation during this Administration.

With warm regard,



Note: The report (13 pp., mimeographed) was released with the President's letter.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Alan T. Waterman on Receiving Report of the National Science Foundation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234737

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