National Science Foundation, U.S.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) was created by the U.S. Congress in 1950 as an independent federal agency with a general mandate to promote the progress of science, particularly in the areas of national health, prosperity, welfare, and national defense. Later on, this federal agency concentrated on areas of basic research in science and engineering, leaving other areas such as health and national defense to different agencies. Today, NSF is the only U.S. federal agency with a mandate to support all nonmedical fields of research. NSF is the most important source of basic science funding in the world, with a budget that by the year 2008 surpassed $6 billion. In the United States especially, a good portion of the scientific progress with which science ...

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