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THIRD ANNUAL REPORT

OF THE

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

ESTABLISHED IN 1916 AT THE REQUEST OF THE
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE
CHARTER OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

ACTING AS THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND RESEARCH

OF THE COUNCIL OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

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The sudden collapse of the central powers, and the consequent wift transition from war to peace conditions, fortunately did not lake the National Research Council wholly unawares. From the ime of its initiation in 1916, the Council has always recognized that ts chief service could be best performed in times of peace, and the lefinition of its functions contained in the Executive Order issued by President Wilson on May 11, 1918, relates particularly to this possibility. Moreover, throughout the period of the war, when all of the divisions of the Council were organizing and promoting reearch to meet military and naval needs and to solve industrial probems of an emergency nature, the question of future activities and he provision of an organization adequate to deal with them were onstantly in view. Since the signing of the armistice the chief work f the Council has been to utilize the various preliminary studies nade during the war period for the formulation of a definitive cheme of organization and a plan of work in keeping with the heavy lemands which existing conditions entail.

Apart from its numerous war activities, outlined in the present eport, and to be treated subsequently in greater detail, the leading hatters of interest in the progress of the Council during the past year Ire the Executive Order of President Wilson, the development of the Fork of the Research Information Service, the organization of the International Research Council, the report of the Patent Committee, he work of the Industrial Research Section, and the preparation of plan of permanent organization. Before dealing with the reports of divisions on war problems, these phases of the Council's activities will be described.

THE PRESIDENT'S EXECUTIVE ORDER.

The congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences provides 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.” Under this provision the Academy has acted since the time of its establishment as an official adviser of the Government on a wide variety of questions. During the Civil War, as the earlier records of the Academy indicate, its com

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