Nsf Funding Essay

2066 WordsApr 22, 20119 Pages
NSF Funding The National Science Foundation (NSF) was founded with its purpose being “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.”[1] The idea started in 1944 with President Franklin D. Roosevelt when he was curious to how the development of science and technology from the Second World War could be applied to the lives of civilians during a time of peace. Although the organization met stiff opposition from President Truman, it eventually became an official organization in 1950 when he signed a public law creating the foundation.[2] During the first few years, the foundation had a very tight budget of just $151,000 for all of its research grants, which in the grand scheme is not that much. With the country in the midst of fighting in the Korean War, the government was more aware that the United States’ military capability depended heavily on the technology from science and engineering, but was not able to allocate more money to the NSF for research and development. After the war ended in 1953, Congress appropriated the NSF 3.5 million dollars for the next year, almost thirty times as much as they did the previous year.[3] In 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched Sputnik into orbit, Congress increased the NSF’s budget to $134 million. As technology developed and science progressed, the agency grew and with a larger budget, more areas and disciplines of science were funded and pursued. The NSF since the late 1980s organizes and groups the research it supports in seven different categories: biological sciences, all disciplines of engineering, geosciences, computer and informational technology sciences, environmental sciences, mathematical and physical sciences and behavioral sciences. With all these different disciplines of sciences and a limited

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