Government Organization in War Time and After: A Survey of the Federal Civil Agencies Created for the Prosecution of the War

By William Franklin Willoughby | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE MOBILIZATION OF SCIENCE

Science as a factor in the prosecution of the war -- The National Academy of Sciences -- Its offer of service in the interests of national preparedness -- Creation of the National Research Council -- Its functions as defined by executive order of the President -- Its organization and activities -- The Research Information Committee and its foreign contacts -- Stimulation of industrial and scientific research -- Its permanent organization -- The Naval Consulting Board -- Its function the examination and development of inventions -- Its organization -- Scope of its activities.

Another characteristic feature of the Great War was the extent to which recourse had to be had to almost every branch of science in order to meet the technical problems to which its prosecution gave rise. In the National Academy of Sciences the Government had a body to which it could appeal for assistance in this field. This body has a quasi-governmental status, since it was specially chartered by Congress in 1863 and in its charter it is provided that "the Academy shall, whenever called upon by any department of the Government, investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art." It is a matter of no little interest that this body was created during the progress of our great Civil War, largely in response to the need that was felt by the Government at that time for some agency to which it could look for advice and assistance in respect to matters involving scientific research. In point of fact, during that war and later at various times important use has been made of this body by the Government.

It was only natural, therefore, that upon the out

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