United States National Research Council - History

History

The National Research Council was organized in 1916 in response to the increased need for scientific and technical services caused by World War I. On June 1, 1917, the council convened a meeting of scientific representatives of the UK and France with interested parties from the US on the subject of submarine detection. The results obtained and the problems in the work were discussed. A further meeting with the British and French was held in Paris in October 1918 at which more details of their work was disclosed. As a result of this, the council recommended that US scientists be brought together to work on the problems. A New York Group worked on "supersonics" as did a San Pedro Group. A New London Group worked on binaural receivers, while Chicago and Wisconsin Groups were assigned various problems in support of the other groups.

Due to the success of Council-directed research in producing a sound-based method of detecting submarines, as well as other military innovations, the NRC was retained at the end of the war, though it was gradually decoupled from the military. The Research Council is currently administered jointly by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, and its work is overseen by a Governing Board and an Executive Committee.

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