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Release No: 926-06
September 19, 2006

Defense Science Board Celebrates 50 Years

     Sept. 20, 2006 marks the 50th anniversary of the first meeting of the Defense Science Board (DSB). The DSB was formed as a recommendation of the Second Hoover Commission task force on research, chaired by then Bell Labs President Mervin Joe Kelly, in order to “…canvas periodically the needs and opportunity for studies leading to radically new weapons systems.”

     The DSB was formally established with the approval of its first charter on Dec. 31, 1956, by then Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Development) Clifford Furnas. Initial membership was 25 experts in science and technology headed by the DSB Chairman, Howard P. Robertson of the California Institute of Technology.

     The DSB has undergone several adjustments to its charter since 1956, but its primary function remains to advise senior Department of Defense leadership on matters relating to science, technology, research, engineering, manufacturing, the acquisition process and other matters that are of special interest to the DoD.

     Membership today totals 42 individuals from industry and academia plus former DoD officials and retired flag officers. The current chairman is William Schneider Jr.; the vice chairman is Vincent Vitto.

     The DSB Web site can be found at http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb which provides access to reports, the latest DSB charter and a detailed history of the DSB.

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