Scroll down to view notes.
Slide 6 of 28
This in fact has been a recurring subplot over the course of NSF’s first 50 years. It often appears in the guise of debates over basic vs. applied research.
This quote comes from a history of engineering at NSF published by Purdue University Press in 1998.
If you are interested in how engineering came into its own at NSF -- this book is well worth reading. It’s entitled, Enabling American Innovation: Engineering and the National Science Foundation. The author is Dian O. Balenger.
This quote summarizes the story: “In spite of, and because of these forces, the NSF evolved and came to promote an interdisciplinary focus and systems orientation, thus becoming an active agent in supporting the acquisition of knowledge and putting it to use.”
We’ve learned many lessons over the Foundation’s first 50 years. The most important lesson of all relates directly to these dynamic tensions: rather than shrink from them, we should cultivate them. They keep us focused on the frontier.