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1960 Kennedy elected President Image of integrated circuit NSB Chair Bronk - NSF Director Waterman
The National Science Board - A History in Highlights, 1950-2000
Table of Contents | Preface | Acknowledgements | Former Members | Exec Secretaries/Officers | Timeline

THE 1960'S


Image of two satellite dishes In his January 20, 1961 inaugural address, John F. Kennedy declared that "the torch has been passed to a new generation, born in this century, tempered by war and disciplined by a hard and bitter peace." He launched a rapid U.S. missile build-up and established the Apollo program to best the Soviet Union in the new frontier of space. The Cold War turned icy with showdowns over Berlin in 1961 and Soviet missiles in Cuba in 1962. Scientific research was part of the Nation's Cold War arsenal, though Kennedy praised its intellectual value as well. Federal support for research and development stood at $8 billion in 1960 and would double in five years. Within that total, support of basic research at all federal agencies more than tripled. By 1965, NSF's budget reached $416 million, with almost $276 million supporting research and the rest funding education, including graduate education.

In today 's world,the tide of political power flows with the tide of scientific and technical power. Senator Henry Jackson (D-WA), Report, Subcommittee on Government Organization, 1961 There followed enormous growth in large-scale scientific projects and advances across all disciplines, thanks to generous support from an array of federal agencies. As the decade advanced, the Nation's environmental awareness grew, as did hope that the social sciences would address poverty and crime. During Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency, higher education gained federal support, though university-government relations became strained over the Vietnam War.

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