Finding myself unable to explain, in response to a colleague's query, just exactly how the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Research Council (NRC) are related, I recently conducted a small or garden variety survey among some of my scientific friends. Somewhat to my surprise—even though nourishing to my ego—I discovered their understanding on this point to be of about the same degree of preciseness as my own. They knew considerable, of course, about the work of the NAS and the NRC but, for the most part, were rather vague and uncertain regarding their interrelationships. The composite impression which the poll produced might be expressed mathematically, as
NASCivil War = NRCWorld War I = OSRDWorld War II
Obviously, however, this greatly over‐simplified description of the situation leaves much to be desired as a sound, well‐rounded description of the relations of NAS and NRC to each other and of the lines of demarcation between their respective responsibilities. Hence, this particular Washington Report.
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