On November 12, 1950 the Washington Post carried a laudatory editorial on the recently established National Science Foundation in which the writer viewed with high anticipation its possibilities for the advancement of fundamental scientific research in the United States and implied that this was an area which necessarily had been largely neglected by the military services. The editorial stated, “the accent in military programs is always on applied science whereas so‐called pure or basic research is the fuel of all later applications.” A week or two later Rear Admiral T. A. Solberg, then Chief of Naval Research, answered this editorial in a letter in which he expressed complete agreement with the words of commendation on the establishment of the Foundation, but took strong exception to the implication that no one in the Department of Defense had been concerned with basic research. He pointed out, “The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been designated by Congress and the Navy to conduct pure and basic research in broad fields in physical and medical science of Navy interest,” and added that as of that moment ONR was administering more than 1,200 contract‐research programs in over 200 university and industrial laboratories, about 90 percent of which were in basic research “with no ‘applied’ strings attached.”

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