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A Message from the Director of the National Science Foundation


This year marks the 70th anniversary of the National Science Foundation.

Congress established NSF in 1950, creating the only federal agency charged with funding fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. Seven decades later, we continue to support the best and brightest ideas that promote the progress of science; advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and secure the national defense.

Throughout 2020, NSF is celebrating the contributions the agency has made to science and society, as well as highlighting a number of the agency's milestones along the way. We are kicking off this yearlong commemoration with a two-day 70th Anniversary Symposium on Feb. 6 and 7 at NSF headquarters, where former NSF directors, scientists, industry leaders and others will join us in reflecting on the agency's past, present and future.

We are also launching an online campaign, called "I am an NSF Story," to spotlight the myriad and sometimes surprising ways NSF impacts people, from scientists and engineers to teachers and students, as well as entrepreneurs, industry leaders and everyday Americans. Some of these stories will be shared on NSF's website and social media platforms. We also encourage you and your communities to share how NSF has impacted your life and work, and to help us tell the story of why basic research matters.

At the symposium, we will also honor the 75th anniversary of the publication of "Science – the Endless Frontier," the visionary report by Vannevar Bush, which laid the groundwork for NSF's creation.

We invite you to participate in NSF's 70th anniversary and help share the critical role that federal funding of basic science contributes toward innovation, discovery, the STEM workforce and society. To learn more about the symposium, which will be livestreamed and open to the public to attend, watch this video or visit the NSF 70th webpage.


Dr. France A. Córdova
Director, National Science Foundation
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Where discoveries begin...


State of the Union Address Excerpt 1 -- January 4, 1950
May 10, 1950 – Congress passed, and President Harry S. Truman signed, Public Law 81-507, creating NSF.

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What’s Next

Feb. 6 & 7 – Dr. France Córdova is hosting a 70th Anniversary Symposium focused on the past, present and future of the NSF. This event will be livestreamed.

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Alexandria, VA 22314

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