The National Research Council serves as an independent advisor to the federal government on scientific and technical questions of national importance. Established in 1916 under the congressional charter of the private, nonprofit National Academy of Sciences, the Research Council brings the resources of the entire scientific and technical community to bear on national problems through its volunteer advisory committees. Today the Research Council stands as the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering and is administered jointly by the two academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Research Council has numerous operating units. One of these is the Naval Studies Board, which is charged with conducting and reporting upon surveys and studies in the field of scientific research and development applicable to the operation and function of the Navy.

A portion of the work done to prepare this document was performed under Department of Navy Contract N00014-87-C-0018 issued by the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under contract authority NR 201-124. However, the content does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Department of the Navy or the government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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