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(Prepared by Vernon Kellogg, permanent secretary, with the assistance of the chairmen of divisions.)


For the benefit of those who may see for the first time in this annual report any statement concerning the organization and activities of the National Research Council, I reproduce here, with few changes, certain paragraphs first printed in the annual report of the council for the year 1920. These paragraphs relate to the general organization and methods of the council.

The National Research Council is a cooperative organization of the scientific men of America, including also a representation of men of affairs and business men interested in industry and engineering and in the fundamental or "pure" science on which the "applied" science used in these activities depends. The council enjoys the formal recognition and active cooperation of most of the major scientific and technical societies of the country, its membership being composed in large part of appointed representatives of these societies. Its essential purpose is the promotion of research in the physical and biological sciences and the encouragement of the application and dissemination of scientific knowledge for the benefit of the Nation.

The council is composed of a series of major divisions, one group seven divisions of science and technology representing, respectively, physics, mathematics and astronomy; chemistry and chemical technology; anthropology and psychology; geology and geography; biology and agriculture; the medical sciences; and engineering; and another group of six divisions of general relations, representing foreign relations, Federal relations, States relations, educational relations, research extension, and research information. As subordinate or affiliated lesser groups, each of these divisions comprises a larger or smaller series of committees, each with its special problem or subject of attention. There are certain other committees, administrative and technical, which affiliate directly with the executive board of the council. Its general administrative officers are a chairman, three vice chairmen, permanent secretary, treasurer, and a chairman of each of the various divisions. All of these, except the permanent secretary and treasurer, are elected annually by the executive board or by the members of the divisions.


The council is neither a large operating scientific laboratory nor a repository of large funds to be given away to scattered scientific workers or institutions. It is rather an organization which while clearly recognizing the unique value of individual work, hopes especially to help bring together scattered work and workers and to assist in coordinating in some measure scientific attack in America on large problems in any and all lines of scientific activity, especially, perhaps, on those problems which depend for successful solution on the cooperation of several or many workers and laboratories, either within the realms of a single science or representing different realms in which various parts of a single problem may lie. It particularly intends not to duplicate or in the slightest degree to interfere with work already under way; to such work it only hopes to offer encouragement and support where needed and possible to be given. It hopes to help maintain the morale of devoted isolated investigators and to stimulate renewed effort among groups willing but halted by obstacles. It will try to encourage the interest of universities and colleges in research work and the training of research workers, so that the inspiration and fitting of American youth for scientific work may never fall so low as to threaten to interrupt the constantly needed output of well-trained and devoted scientific talent in the land. With any serious interruption in the output of American science and scientific workers, the strength of the Nation will be immediately threatened. The methods of contributing practical assistance to American science in harmony with the general point of view and policy outlined above which the council has so far adopted are various. One is the establishment of special committees of carefully chosen experts for specific scientific subjects or problems urgently needing consideration, which plan modes of attack and undertake to find men and means (with the assistance of the general administrative offices of the council) for carrying out the plan. Another is the bringing together of industrial concerns interested in the development of the scientific basis of their processes and inducing them to support the establishment of special scientific investigations under the advice of experts representing the council. Another is the stimulation of larger industrial organizations, which may be in the situation to maintain their own independent laboratories, to see the advantage of contributing to the support of pure science in the universities and research institutes for the sake of increasing scientific knowledge and scientific personnel on which future progress in applied science absolutely depends. Other methods are the direct maintenance of university research fellowship; the publication of valuable scientific papers for which there is at present no other suitable prompt means of issuance; the preparation of bibliographies and abstracts of current scientific literature; the setting up of well-considered mechanisms

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for the collection and distribution of information on current research, university and industrial research laboratories and facilities, research personnel, etc.; and the dissemination through the press and magazines of popular but authentic scientific news and information for the sake of increasing the public interest in and support of productive scientific work. Still other forms of activities might be listed, but those given adequately illustrate the council's methods.


The National Research Council was established in 1916 at the request of the President of the United States under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. The existence of the council and its work was specially recognized by the President by an Executive order dated May 11, 1918, in which its institution by the Academy under its congressional charter was referred to, and the academy was requested by this order to perpetuate the council for the doing of certain duties specified in the order. In an opinion rendered by the Attorney General of the United States on January 29, 1920, the National Research Council was recognized as a special agency of the National Academy of Sciences for the accomplishment of certain particular purposes.

The funds derived by gift or otherwise for the use of the council are® held by the academy and are paid out only on general or specific authorization of the academy. The treasurer of the academy is ex officio treasurer of the council and all checks made out by the bursar of the council are signed by an official of the academy and one of the council. The council participates on equal terms with the academy in the support and use of the Proceedings of the academy. But the council has its own officers and membership and determines, under the general provisions of its founding by the academy, its own policies and activities.


The Engineering Foundation, established in 1914 by United Engineering Society, acting for the National Societies of Civil, Mining and Metallurgical, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineers, continues its intimate relations with the division of engineering, and is represented on the executive board. The Foundation contributes funds for the division of engineering and provides it with an office in Engineering Societies Building, 29 West Thirty-ninth Street, New York. In September, 1921, Engineering Foundation completed payment of its $30,000 grant for research in fatigue phenomena of metals. Since that time it has continued to act as treasurer for the equal fund being contributed by the General Electric Co. and to cooperate in other ways in the continuance of this research. Engi

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