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mittees and its members dealt actively with military and naval problems of precisely the same as those which have insistently pressed for solution during the present war. It was thus a natural step on the part of the Academy to offer its services to the President at a time, in April, 1916, when our relations with Germany were already tense, and for the President to accept the offer, and to request the Academy to organize the scientific and technical resources of the country in the broadest and most effective manner, to accomplish the objects in view. He recognized clearly, as the Academy also had perceived, that new and important possibilities had been opened through the heavy demands upon science and research which had arisen through the exceptional necessities brought about by the



In accepting the President's request, and in taking the steps that soon led to the establishment of the National Research Council, the Academy, fortified by its charter, waited for no more formal expres sion than that conveyed by the President's oral statement. as the work of the Research Council progressed, it became eviden that a definite formulation of its objects by the President, and ar expression of his desire that it be perpetuated by the Academy and permanently assured of the cooperation of the various departments of the Government, would serve a useful purpose. The President' recognition of this fact led him to issue the following Executive Order on May 11, 1918:



The National Research Council was organized in 1916 at the request of the President by the National Academy of Sciences, under its congressional charter as a measure of national preparedness. The work accomplished by the Counci in organizing research and in securing cooperation of military and civilian agencies in the solution of military problems demonstrates its capacity for larger service. The National Academy of Sciences is therefore requested to perpetuate the National Research Council, the duties of which shall be as follows:

1. In general, to stimulate research in the mathematical, physical, and biological sciences, and in the application of these sciences to engineering, agri culture, medicine, and other useful arts, with the object of increasing knowledge of strengthening the national defense, and of contributing in other ways to the public welfare.

2. To survey the larger possibilities of science, to formulate comprehensive projects of research, and to develop effective means of utilizing the scientific and technical resources of the country for dealing with these projects.

3. To promote cooperation in research, at home and abroad, in order to secure concentration of effort, minimize duplication, and stimulate progress; but in al cooperative undertakings to give encouragement to individual initiative, a fundamentally important to the advancement of science.

4. To serve as a means of bringing American and foreign investigators into active cooperation with the scientific and technical services of the War and Navy Departments and with those of the civil branches of the Government.

5. To direct the attention of scientific and technical investigators to the present importance of military and industrial problems in connection with the war, and to aid in the solution of these problems by organizing specific researches.

6. To gather and collate scientific and technical information at home and abroad, in cooperation with governmental and other agencies, and to render such information available to duly accredited persons.

Effective prosecution of the Council's work requires the cordial collaboration of the scientific and technical branches of the Government, both military and civil. To this end representatives of the Government, upon the nomination of the President of the National Academy of Sciences, will be designated by the President as members of the Council, as heretofore, and the heads of the departments immediately concerned will continue to cooperate in every way that may be required.

THE WHITE HOUSE, May 11, 1918.


Supplementing, as it does, the charter of the Academy, and serving as a permanent request for the exercise of such functions as the National Research Council has been able to render, this Executive Order points the way for the future work of the Council.


One of the functions of the Research Council, as stated in the Executive Order, is "to survey the larger possibilities of science, to formulate comprehensive projects of research, and to develop effective means of utilizing the scientific and technical resources of the country for dealing with these projects." The Research Information Service, inaugurated in cooperation with the Intelligence Services of the Army and Navy, and represented in London, Paris, and Rome by scientific attachés and their associates connected with the American embassies, is the first requisite in preparing such broad surveys. Properly regarded, this Information Service may be considered as the pioneer corps of the Council, surveying the progress of research in various parts of the world, selecting and reporting upon many activities of interest and importance, reducing the information thus collected to such a form as to render it most accessible and useful, and disseminating it to scientific and technical men and to institutions which can use it to advantage.

But the work of the Service must not end here. Its duties necessarily involve the collection of much detailed information; but to accomplish the larger objects of the Council its attention must not be confined solely to matters of detail. Out of this great mass of information, and out of the work of the various divisions of the Council, acting in cooperation with the Research Information Service,

there must come broad surveys of the larger possibilities of research, indicating opportunities likely to be missed by the investigator concerned with limited branches of science, and pointing the way to the occupation of many fields where great return may be expected to result from well-organized effort.

It therefore goes without saying that the position of scientific attaché at our principal embassies, created during the war in connection with the Research Information Service, should undoubtedly be continued during times of peace. The scientific attaché acts in conjunction with the military and naval attachés, who are glad to intrust him with many of their technical problems. Such problems will frequently arise in the future as they did in the period preceding the war. But the duties of the scientific attaché are evidently not confined to questions of war, which, indeed, can not be distinguished in most cases from the problems of peace. Nitrates, no longer needed for explosives, are now no less urgently demanded for fertilizers. Optical glass, if not required for gun sights and periscopes, is wanted in large quantities for field glasses, microscopes, medical instruments, and scores of other purposes. Metallurgical processes, improved for the manufacture of guns and helmets, must give us flawless rails for security in travel, better electrical conductors, and other essentials. In short, almost all of the subjects in which the scientific and technical men of the allies have exchanged research information during the war demand similar cooperation under peace conditions. In view of these facts, the International Research Council, at its first meeting in Paris, adopted the following resolution:

The International Research Council, assembled in Paris and attended by dele gates of the national academies of sciences of Belgium, Brazil, the United States, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, and Serbia, has the honor to request the Governments of these countries to appoint permanent scientific attachés at their principal embassies. The function of the scientific attachés shall be to collect and forward information regarding scientific and technical matters, and to insure the continuity of the relations established during the war by the various scientific and technical missions.

In addition to the services already mentioned, the scientific attaché would serve as the general representative of American scientific and technical interests in the country to which he may be accredited; at tend scientific meetings and keep in touch with the progress of re search, reporting frequently to Washington; maintain his office as center for American scientific and technical men and missions desir ing to make contact with the scientific men or institutions of the country; undertake special tasks and make particular reports on questions submitted by properly accredited individuals or institu

tions; and contribute in other ways toward international cooperation in research.

On December 3, 1917, the military committee of the National Research Council adopted resolutions providing for the creation of the Research Information Committee and outlining its functions. These resolutions were submitted to the National Research Council for approval and for transmission to the Council of National Defense. On December 12, the Council of National Defense approved the project, and Dr. S. W. Stratton was appointed chairman of the committee, which included the Chief of Military Intelligence and the Director of Naval Intelligence. The organization proceeded rapidly from that time. An appropriation of $38,000 was made from the President's fund to cover the first year's expenses of the Washington, London, and Paris offices, and Dr. H. A. Bumstead and Dr. W. F. Durand sailed early in February to assume their duties as scientific attachés at the London and Paris embassies, respectively. Early in May, the Italian Ambassador addressed a request from his Government to the Secretary of War, asking that an office of the Research Information Committee, similar to those in London and Paris, be established in Rome. After some delay this was authorized, and an additional appropriation was made to cover the expense of the new office. Mr. S. L. G. Knox was appointed scientific attaché at Rome by the chairman of the National Research Council, and sailed in July to assume his duties there.

After the successful operation of the committee for several months, it began to appear that expansion of the organization was desirable, and the following order was issued by the Secretary of War on July 2, directing that an officer from each of the military bureaus be appointed to represent his respective bureau on the committee.


Washington, July 2, 1918.

From: The Adjutant General of the Army.

To: The National Research Council, Washington, D. C.
Subject: Information section, Ordnance Department, and Research Information

1. The Secretary of War directs that you be informed as follows:

2. The Research Information Committee was formed to establish machinery by means of which the General Staff of the Army, the various bureaus of the Army and Navy, the scientific organizations in the United States who are working on problems connected with war production and invention, and the various committees of the Council of National Defense charged with work of this nature, may be put in touch with the developments and experimental work being carried on, not only in this country but in Europe, and kept mutually informed of the state of development of work of this nature.

3. In pursuance of the order of the Secretary of War, establishing this committee and in order effectively to do this work, it is vitally necessary that the

utmost of cordial cooperation be shown by each of the bureaus and committees in question with the Research Information Committee. To secure this the following is directed:

(a) All military bureaus requiring scientific and technical information are given official status on the Research Information Committee in Washington, D. C. (b) Representatives of military bureaus or of research committees collecting information abroad will be instructed, by their chiefs, to put themselves into direct relationship with the joint committees of the Research Information Committee sitting in Paris or London, or later in Rome, in order that information be at once dispatched to the Research Information Committee at Washington, D. C. All communications of scientific investigations or research shall be routed through these channels, even though other channels are employed at the same time.

(c) Official means of intercommunication, such as memorandums, bulletins, and the like, between bureaus of the Army and committees for research shall be developed to such a degree of efficiency by the Research Information Committee that the distribution of information shall be practically automatic.

(d) Before sending officers or civilians abroad for investigation work, all Army bureaus or civilian research committees shall get in touch with the Research Information Committee at Washington, D. C., for information and guidance.

(e) The present method of routing information memoranda for file and distribution through the Military Intelligence Branch will not be discontinued.

(f) You will immediately notify this office and the Research Information Committee of the name of the officer who shall represent your bureau before the Research Information Committee.


PAUL GIDDINGS, Adjutant General.

In accordance with the principles of this order of the Secretary of War, the Research Information Committee was reorganized and its name changed to the Research Information Service. In addition to the military representatives appointed in accordance with the order of the Secretary of War, representatives of naval bureaus and of certain civil bureaus of the Government were also appointed. The new organization which thus resulted may be found on page 103.

The work of the Washington office of the Service during the war included the sending of scientific and technical information to our scientific attachés abroad, the distribution of reports from foreign offices, the cataloguing and filing of reports, and such miscellaneous services as the introduction to our scientific attachés abroad of officers and civilians going to Europe to collect information, and the utilization of various means of making the information collected of general use to the Army and Navy and to other agencies engaged in the investigation of war problems. In addition to the numerous reports and the other information sent abroad, various special pieces of apparatus have been secured and forwarded in answer to specific requests, including a complete device for the training of gun pointers, sets of special signalling apparatus, vacuum apparatus required by the British Ministry of Munitions, and numerous small articles, such

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