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The Defense Science Board (or DSB) is a committee of civilian experts appointed to advise the U.S. Department of Defense on scientific and technical matters. It was established in 1956 on the recommendation of the second Hoover Commission.


The Board's charter states its mission as:

"The mission of the Board is to advise, in response to taskings, the Secretary of Defense, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on matters relating to science, technology, research, engineering, manufacturing, acquisition process, and other matters that are of special interest to the Department of Defense. The Board shall be concerned with the pressing and complex technology problems facing the Department of Defense in such areas as research, engineering, and manufacturing, and will ensure the identification of new technologies and new applications of technology in those areas to strengthen national security."[1]

The DSB conducts multiple simultaneous studies each year. Study topics are selected from requests made by Department of Defense or Congressional leaders. In addition to studies that can start and stop at any time during the calendar year, the DSB usually conducts one or more "summer studies" each year; the term "summer study" refers to the fact that the panels meet as a large group in August each year (usually in Irvine, California) to work on these particular studies. Given the fact that these meeting dates are well-established, it is a normal practice for senior DoD personnel interested in the particular study topics for that year to come to the last day of the meeting and be briefed in person on the study findings to-date. All DSB studies result in a written report, many of which are released to the public[2].

Current study topics are also mostly listed on the DSB web page[3].

Name Tenure
Howard P. Robertson 1956 – 1961
Clifford C. Furnas 1961 – 1965
Robert L. Sproull 1965 - 1972
Solomon J. Buchsbaum 1972 – 1977
Norman R. Augustine 1982 – 1986
Robert R. Everett 1988 – 1989
John S. Foster, Jr. January, 1990 – June, 1993
Paul G. Kaminski 1993 – 1994
2009 –
Craig I. Fields 1994 – 2001
William J. Schneider, Jr. 2001 – 2009

External links




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