National Science Board Law and Legal Definition

The National Science Board (Board) is a board composed of 25 members that guides the policies and activities of the National Science Foundation (NSF). This Board was established pursuant to the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, which created the NSF. The members of the Board are appointed by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate, representing the broad U.S. science and engineering community.

The Board meets about five times a year. The general public are invited to attend all open sessions, subject to provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act.

The two important roles of the Board are:

1. Establishing the policies of NSF within the framework of applicable national policies set forth by the President and the Congress. In this capacity, the Board identifies issues that are important to NSF's future, approves NSF's strategic budget directions and the annual budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget, and approves new major programs and awards.

2. Serving as an independent body of advisors to both the President and the Congress on policy matters related to science and engineering and education in science and engineering. In addition to major reports, the NSB also publishes occasional policy papers or statements on issues of importance to U.S. science and engineering.

The following is an example of a federal statute establishing the National Science Board:

42 USCS § 1861. Establishment; composition

There is hereby established in the executive branch of the Government an independent agency to be known as the National Science Foundation (hereinafter referred to as the "Foundation"). The Foundation shall consist of a National Science Board (hereinafter referred to as the "Board") and a Director.