NSB Logo
January 19, 2000

National Science Foundation
Arlington, Virginia
November 18, 1999

Members Present:

Eamon M. Kelly, Chairman
Diana S. Natalicio, Vice Chair
John A. Armstrong
Pamela A. Ferguson
Mary K. Gaillard
M.R.C. Greenwood
Stanley V. Jaskolski
Anita K. Jones
George M. Langford
Jane Lubchenco
Eve L. Menger
Joseph A. Miller, Jr.
Robert C. Richardson
Vera C. Rubin
Luis Sequeira
Bob H. Suzuki
Richard Tapia
Chang-Lin Tien
Warren M. Washington
John A. White, Jr.

Rita R. Colwell, Director

Members Absent

Sanford D. Greenberg
Claudia I. Mitchell-Kernan
Maxine Savitz
Robert M. Solow

The Minutes of the 355th Meeting were approved by the NSB at the 356th meeting, February 2, 2000

The National Science Board (NSB) convened in Open Session at 2:05 p.m. on Thursday, November 18, 1999, with Dr. Eamon M. Kelly, Chairman of the NSB, presiding (Agenda NSB-99-170). In accordance with the Government in the Sunshine Act, this portion of the meeting was open to the public.

The Chairman announced that Drs. Greenberg, Menger, Mitchell-Kernan and Solow were not able to attend this meeting.

AGENDA ITEM 6: Minutes, July 1999 Meeting

The Board approved the Open Session minutes of the July 1999 NSB meeting (NSB-99-153, Board Book Tab C).

AGENDA ITEM 7: Closed Session Agenda Items for February 2000

The Board approved the Closed Session items for February 2000 (NSB-99-157, Board Book Tab D), attached as Appendix A.

AGENDA ITEM 8: Chairman's Report

The Chairman reported that the White House announced on November 2 the intent to nominate two members of the NSB class of 2006: Dr. Michael G. Rossman, of the Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University; and Dr. Daniel Simberloff, Nancy Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

He reported that Director Rita Colwell was named one of 100 women achievers and the "first lady of science" by the editors of the Ladies Home Journal. He thanked Eve Menger for leading a celebration of NSF's 50th anniversary at the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology in Portland. He pointed out to members that information on year 2000 preparedness at NSF was included in their pre-meeting mailing, in response to questions raised at the July meeting.

The Chairman announced the establishment of an Ad Hoc Committee on the 2000 Vannevar Bush Award. It will be chaired by Eve Menger, and members include Anita Jones, George Langford, Robert Richardson and Chang-Lin Tien. Susan Fannoney will serve as Executive Secretary, and the committee will make recommendations to the Board at the March 2000 meeting.

AGENDA ITEM 9: Director's Report

a. National Science Foundation Staff

The Director announced that Dr. Wanda Ward, previously of the Office of the Director, has been named Deputy Assistant Director of the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. The Director also announced with regret the retirement of Dr. Roosevelt Calbert from his position as Director of the Division of Human Resource Development in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

b. NSF 50th Anniversary

The Director reported that a series of events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of NSF began with a ceremony on October 2 to present a Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Samuel Massie, long-time professor of Chemistry at the U.S. Naval Academy. In addition, short video vignettes have begun playing on the NSF announcement channel, including interviews with a sampling of employees. She described plans for a joint activity with Dow Chemical Corporation and Dartmouth College to link award-winning scientists with middle-school students; and she concluded the report by thanking the Public Advisory Committee on the NSF 50th Anniversary for their contributions.

c. NSF Budget

Dr. Colwell reported that the Foundation received a seven percent increase in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2000 budget, recently signed by the President. She attributed the positive outcome to strong support from the external research and education communities.

AGENDA ITEM 10: Reports from Committees

a. Audit & Oversight (A&O)

Dr. Stanley Jaskolski, Chairman, A&O Committee, reported that the committee was briefed on a number of items, including presentations on a recent national assessment of customer satisfaction sponsored by the President's Management Council; the status of the Foundation's Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) FY 1999 Performance Report, to be made available on a secure web site for Board member review; NSF's FY 1999 financial statement and audit, which is reported to be on schedule, and final revisions to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)'s Circular A-110 on sharing research data and research misconduct policy. OMB implementation of the last item was reported to be sensitive to concerns expressed by NSB, and to have minimal impact on NSF. The committee discussed the Semiannual OIG report and made no exceptions to the NSF management report that accompanies it.

b. Committee on Programs & Plans (CPP)

Dr. John Armstrong, Chairman, CPP, reported that the committee discussed comments received on the Interim Draft Report of the Task Force on the Environment. Final Board approval of the revised report is scheduled for consideration at the February 2000 meeting. The committee reviewed and recommended for approval a proposed award for U.S. Science Support to the Ocean Drilling Program, and heard a presentation on information technology initiatives from Dr. Ruzena Bajcsy, Assistant Director for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE).

CPP Task Force on Polar Issues (PI)

Dr. Warren Washington, Chairman, reported that the task force heard a report on the President's recent visit to the Antarctic Support Center in New Zealand with the NSF Director.

c. Education & Human Resources (EHR)

Dr. Bob Suzuki, Chairman of the EHR Committee, reported that the committee heard a briefing on the proposed reorganization of the EHR Directorate from the interim AD, Dr. Judith Sunley. It also received updates on new programs, including an interagency educational research initiative; graduate teaching fellowships; science, math and technology education digital libraries; and computer science, engineering and mathematics scholarships funded by H1B visa fees. The committee recommended that NSF act to reinstate Science and Engineering Indicators (S&EI) as a congressionally-mandated report, and discussed partnerships between the Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution and trends in support for informal science education.

The committee discussed implementation of the revised workplan, and decided to focus first on K-12 education. Members met in executive session to discuss S&EI, and decided to continue the discussion with the Subcommittee on S&EI in March 2000.

d. Task Force on the NSB 50th Anniversary (NSB50)

Dr. Vera Rubin, Chair of the task force, reported on the status of the 50th anniversary commemorative brochure, which the Board is scheduled to review at the May 2000 meeting. The chair also reported strong public response to the NSB/PARADE/react magazine competition, announced September 19. The associated Web site has received almost 1,000,000 visits, and the task force discussed whether they could increase the number of winners.

Dr. Rubin distributed a preliminary agenda for the events for the winner in May 2000, which was unanimously approved by the Board. She also announced that three finalists were selected from among the names submitted by NSF staff to name the NSB50 asteroid, and the Board approved sending these three names to Dr. Carolyn Shoemaker for a final decision.

e. Committee on Strategic Science and Engineering Policy Issues (SPI)

Committee Chairman Dr. Eamon Kelly reported that the committee was briefed by consultants from RAND and SRI on literature reviews and a review of the U.S. Federal system. Dr. Kelly reported on a recent meeting held at OMB to discuss the committee's work, and summarized the proposed timeline to complete their work.

In response to a suggestion that the chairs of the various committees improve information exchange and coordination, the Chairman said this would be an appropriate topic for discussion at the February retreat.

AGENDA ITEM 11: NSB Delegation of Authority

The Board approved new language for delegation of award approval authority, NSB 99-158
(Tab E in the Board book), attached as Appendix B.

AGENDA ITEM 12: NSF Strategic Plan

The Director said the final draft of the revised NSF Strategic Plan will soon be on the NSF Web site for public comment. The Board will be asked to approve the document at the February 2000 meeting. Dr. Colwell summarized changes in the current draft (NSB 99-174), especially efforts to tie the Strategic Plan more closely to the overall Foundation budget strategy.

Some discussion followed, including questions on the schedule for future revisions; the importance of emphasizing information technology, including both basic research and applications in all fields of science and engineering; the concerns of the NSB/EHR Committee on K-12 education and diversity; and suggestions for more focus on international aspects of science and engineering; the Internet; Biocomplexity, and the Interim Report on the environment. The Chairman asked that all additional comments be returned through the NSB Office as soon as possible.


The Chairman of the NSB/EHR Committee, Bob Suzuki, summarized the main points of the workplan (NSB 99-5, as revised November 5). The plan was approved by the full Board, and will be issued as a Board report.

AGENDA ITEM 14: NSB Interim Report on the Environment

This item was not taken up.

AGENDA ITEM 15: International Task Force Status Report

The Task Force Chair, Dr. Diana Natalicio, reported on task force activities, including the hearing held November 16 and the joint Symposium with the SPI Committee taking place November 19 and 20. She said that the task force has begun to develop a report, and it is preparing questions to elicit the views of the Director's Office. The task force is aiming to present a report to the Board at the May 2000 meeting. The task force theme has been the challenge facing the U.S. due to the globalization of science and engineering. The task force has sought to understand the Federal context for international science and engineering, and to place NSF within that context.

Dr. Natalicio reported that the task force has been impressed by the vitality and growth in international science and engineering due to globalization of the economy and a recognition that many research problems (such as the environment) need international approaches. The task force has noted that policy and infrastructure do not appear to be keeping up with growth in international science and engineering. Finally, the task force has learned about several needs: more awareness of and involvement by the research and education communities with international science and engineering, more systematic policy and infrastructure support, and better coordination between science and technology and foreign policy.

AGENDA ITEM 16: Science & Engineering Indicators

The subcommittee chair, Claudia Mitchell-Kernan, participated in this report by telephone. The subcommittee meeting was chaired by John White in her absence. Dr. White reported that the subcommitee discussed the final draft ("orange book"). Any additional comments are due by December 1st. The subcommitee recommended to the EHR Committee that the Board authorize the Executive Committee to give final approval to the publication, the cover, and the Board companion piece (highlighting changes in science and technology in the last 50 years). The Board approved these recommendations.

The Board approved two additional subcommittee recommendations: that NSF take steps to reinstate the congressional mandate for the S&EI reports, and that the S&EI 2000 provide a special acknowledgement of Congressman George Brown. Dr. Mitchell-Kernan thanked Dr. White and members of the subcommittee and NSF staff. The Board acknowledged the contributions made by Dr. Bennett Bertenthal, who will be leaving his position as AD for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences in December to accept a faculty position at the University of Chicago.

AGENDA ITEM 17: Committee on Communication & Outreach Status Report

Dr. M.R.C. Greenwood reported that the committee has developed plans for the February 2000 policy meeting that focus on speakers with insight into communication and opportunities for Board members to ask questions. The committee expects to have an interim report outline ready for discussion at the February 2000 meeting, and a final report to present to the Board at the May 2000 meeting. In repose to questions about the policy meeting agenda, Dr. Greenwood said the goals include outreach to opinion leaders, and developing a constituency for advocacy and communication.

AGENDA ITEM 18: NSB February 2000 Policy Meeting & Retreat

Dr. Kelly briefly described plans to hold the February 2000 policy meeting at the National Academy of Science's Beckman Center in Irvine, California, and the Board retreat at the Hyatt-Newporter Hotel in Newport Beach, California. Marta Cehelsky, Executive Officer, outlined a draft schedule for the meetings on February 2, 3 and 4. She said that some regular Board business will be on the agenda for the morning of February 2. In regard to plans for the Board retreat, several members recommended that plans be flexible enough to allow time for discussions and introducing new topics, perhaps using breakout sessions.

AGENDA ITEM 19: NSB 2000 Calendar

The Chairman reported that a recent survey of Board members indicated that the dates for meetings in 2000 approved at the July, 1999 meeting is the best possible schedule for maximizing attendance. Dr. Cehelsky reported on legal, technical and procedural issues related to electronic meetings. The General Counsel confirmed that there are no legal impediments to electronic meetings per se, if requirements for open meetings as defined in the Government in the Sunshine Act are followed. Some current Board procedures related to recording votes or the presence of a quorum would require change.

Ms. Patricia Bryant, Chief of the Systems Automation Branch, Division of Administrative Services, NSF, summarized technology issues. She described the current video meeting capabilities at NSF headquarters, and recommended that members consider assembling at 2 to 3 regional sites to conduct videoconferences. Her Branch is making an inventory of regional facilities located near members' offices, and she will prepare recommendations on regional sites to use for videoconferences. She said that with current technology, broadcast quality deteriorates if more than 4 sites are connected.

Members expressed an interest in observing the current NSF video facility at a future meeting, as well as support for developing electronic conferencing capabilities, especially for committee meetings.

AGENDA ITEM 20: Presentation on Nanoscience & Engineering

Dr. Eugene Wong, AD for Engineering, made a presentation on Nanoscience and Engineering. Dr. Wong outlined the possibilities for a major national research initiative in the future. He summarized the history of NSF support in these areas, which now totals approximately $97 million per year. He described future areas of research focus and issues related to education for nanoscience and engineering.

Dr. Wong described extremely rapid progress in this field in the last 12 months, which he said is accelerating. The National Science and Technology Council established an interagency working group in 1998, co-chaired by Mihail Roco from NSF and Thomas Kalil of the White House National Economic Council. Congress held hearings on the subject in June 1999, a draft plan for a research initiative was submitted to OMB in August 1999, and PCAST formed a subpanel to make a report at its December, 1999 meeting. PCAST hopes to see the an initiative on nanoscience and engineering in the President's budget for FY2001, including money for fundamental research, centers of excellence, education and training, and research infrastructure.

Dr. Wong said that NSF would emphasize fundamental research in such areas as integrated nanosystems, nanoscale biotechnology, quantum computing, and curriculum development. The initiative is described in several publications, including a report on the world wide status of the field prepared by the interagency working group, a report from an interdisciplinary NSF workshop, and a 20 page popular publication, Moving Atoms to Remake the World. Both reports will be released in December.

Members discussed their experiences with opportunities in this area of research, and noted current industry activities. It was pointed out that industry activity is limited by a shortage of trained scientists and engineers, and that the total budget needed for the proposed educational activities alone might be a half billion dollars.

Members thanked Dr. Wong for the presentation, and a request was made for more presentations on leading-edge research during Board meetings.

Wishing the members a happy New Year, the Chairman adjourned the meeting at 5:45 p.m.

Catherine J. Hines
NSB Operations Officer

Attachments to NSB 99-198:

Appendix A: NSB 99-157, Resolution Closing Portions of the February 2000 Meeting
Appendix B: NSB 99-158, Revised Delegation of Award Approval Authority

Appendix A to NSB-99-198


RESOLVED: That the following portions of the meeting of the National Science Board (NSB) scheduled for February 2-4, 2000 shall be closed to the public.

1. That portion in which the minutes of the closed sessions of earlier meetings will be discussed. An open meeting on that portion would be likely to compromise information and discussions properly held confidential under the Board's resolutions authorizing the closed sessions.

2. Those portions having to do with discussions regarding nominees for appointments as National Science Board members and National Science Foundation (NSF) staff appointments, or with specific staffing or personnel actions. An open meeting on these subjects would be likely to constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

3. Those portions having to do with future budgets not yet submitted by the President to the Congress.

4. Those portions having to do with pending proposals and proposed awards for specific grants, contracts, or other arrangements. An open meeting on those portions would be likely to disclose personal information and constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy. It would also be likely to disclose research plans and other related information that are trade secrets, and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that are privileged or confidential. An open meeting would also prematurely disclose the position of the NSF on the proposals in question before final negotiations and any determination by the Director to make the awards and so would be likely to frustrate significantly the implementation of the proposed Foundation action.

Appendix B to NSB-99-198


(1) The Director of the National Science Foundation may make no award involving an anticipated average annual amount of one percent or more of the awarding Directorate's or Office's prior year current plan without the prior approval of the National Science Board, except for any continuing project, facility, or logistics-support arrange-ment for which the Board has waived review.

(2) The Director may make no award under any program of the Foundation that has not been approved by the Board when that program - (A) is expected to involve annual expenditure of more than three percent of the awarding Directorate's or Office's prior year current plan, (B) involves sensitive political or policy issues, or (C) will be funded as an ongoing Foundation-wide activity.

(3) Except as provided in paragraphs (1) and (2) or by special resolution of the Board, the Board delegates to the Director authority to make any award within the authority of the Foundation.

(4) When the Board approves the award of a specific amount of funds, the Director may subsequently amend the award to commit additional sums, not to exceed twenty percent of the amount specified or ten million dollars, whichever is less, or to change the expiration date of the award.

(5) This delegation supersedes and replaces that adopted by the Board in 1994 (NSB-94-95).



The Executive Committee of the National Science Board may approve awards where Board approval is required or otherwise act for the Board in those rare instances when immediate decision is required between Board meetings and when the necessary action is not within the authority of the Director of the National Science Foundation.


October 5, 1999



Subject: Revised Delegation of Award-Approval Authority to the Director and General Delegation to the Executive Committee

To complete the changes in the Board's delegation of award-approval authority to the Director that you approved at your July meeting, an amended delegation (Attachment A) must be adopted and, under section 5(e)(2) of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 [42 U.S.C. 1864(e)(2)] as amended by section 202(a)(2) of the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 1998 (112 Stat. 869, 873; approved 29 July 1998), must "be promptly published in the Federal Register and reported to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources, and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, of the Senate and the Committee on Science of the House of Representatives".

The Board's delegation of authority to the Executive Committee to act on behalf of the Board, when necessary, requires no change but has traditionally been reaffirmed whenever a new award-authority delegation was made.


You may amend and reaffirm these delegations and authorize your Executive Officer to satisfy the requirements of NSFA 5(e)(2) by adopting the following resolution:

RESOLVED, that the National Science Board adopts the delegation of award-approval authority contained in Attachment A to NSB-99-158, reaffirms the delegation of authority to the Executive Committee contained in Attachment B to NSB-99-158, and authorizes its Executive Officer to publish the award-approval authority delegation in the Federal Register and report it to the Foundation's House and Senate authorizing committees.

Lawrence Rudolph
General Counsel




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