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Game-changing Technologies Brought to You by NSF

By Dr. France Córdova

The National Science Foundation is closer than you think.

Spend time texting, tweeting, talking or browsing on a mobile device? Smartphones are jam–packed with technologies generated from NSF–funded basic research. Thanks to NSF, you can surf, even if you can’t swim. NSF helped create the superhighway that became the Internet, and, it also gave us the Google search algorithm.

We’re safer in our cars, on planes, in the cyberworld and outside because of NSF–funded fundamental research that’s translated into improved child safety seats, plane deicing, hacker alerts, weather radar and storm–resistant structures, to name a few. Devices that transformed medicine like the MRI scanner also have roots in NSF funding. We’re even behind that quirky and brilliant red–headed science teacher who drives a magical school bus on TV.

In short, basic research, funded by NSF, has created many of the critical industries, tools and products that drive life in the 21st century.

In 2020, NSF celebrates its 70th anniversary. To mark this milestone, I invite you to journey with us into our anniversary year as we share the extraordinary impact of NSF–funded basic research.

NSF champions the paths few follow, encouraging scientists and engineers to act boldly and pursue their hunches and curiosities. Such opportunities often produce spectacular results. The recently revealed image of a black hole’s event horizon is a prime example. Investments over two decades led to the data capture, storage and transmission technologies that generated a glimpse of a what we once thought was unseeable — a black hole! The technical advances required to create the image are likely to inform next-generation consumer digital technologies.

By giving curious scientists and engineers the chance to walk the long path of discovery, we all benefit. We also inspire the next generation of scientific explorers. We invite you to follow along here on this website and on our social media channels, as we share the impact of science and innovation brought to you by NSF.