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THIRD ANNUAL REPORT
NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
ESTABLISHED IN 1916 AT THE REQUEST OF THE
ACTING AS THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND RESEARCH
THIRD ANNUAL REPORT OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL.
The sudden collapse of the central powers, and the consequent swift transition from war to peace conditions, fortunately did not take the National Research Council wholly unawares. From the time of its initiation in 1916, the Council has always recognized that its chief service could be best performed in times of peace, and the definition of its functions contained in the Executive Order issued by President Wilson on May 11, 1918, relates particularly to this possibility. Moreover, throughout the period of the war, when all of the divisions of the Council were organizing and promoting research to meet military and naval needs and to solve industrial problems of an emergency nature, the question of future activities and the provision of an organization adequate to deal with them were constantly in view. Since the signing of the armistice the chief work of the Council has been to utilize the various preliminary studies made during the war period for the formulation of a definitive scheme of organization and a plan of work in keeping with the heavy demands which existing conditions entail.
Apart from its numerous war activities, outlined in the present report, and to be treated subsequently in greater detail, the leading matters of interest in the progress of the Council during the past year are the Executive Order of President Wilson, the development of the Work of the Research Information Service, the organization of the International Research Council, the report of the Patent Committee, the work of the Industrial Research Section, and the preparation of plan of permanent organization. Before dealing with the reports of divisions on war problems, these phases of the Council's activities will be described.
THE PRESIDENT'S EXECUTIVE ORDER.
The congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences provides that "the Academy shall, whenever called upon by any department of the Government, investigate, examine, experiment, and eport upon any subject of science or art." Under this provision the Academy has acted since the time of its establishment as an official dviser of the Government on a wide variety of questions. During he Civil War, as the earlier records of the Academy indicate, its com