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A Message from the Director of the National Science Foundation

On the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s prediction of general relativity, two weeks ago, we announced the first-ever observation of gravitational waves made by two black holes merging into one. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) was able to detect these waves coming from 1.3 billion lightyears away! This was a huge collaborative effort that included NSF, Caltech, MIT, the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and many international partners.

NSF began funding LIGO in the 1970’s and I am not over exaggerating when I say it was a big risk. But we are the agency that takes these kind of risks, supporting fundamental science at a point in the road to discovery at which that path is anything but clear. NSF funds trailblazers. It’s why the U.S. continues to be a global leader in advancing knowledge.

It is in this spirit that NSF has announced its FY2017 budget request.  This nearly $8 billion budget reflects the priorities of the scientific and engineering community and the Administration’s commitment to strengthening NSF, while staying mindful of the limits imposed by caps on discretionary spending.
The request will enable NSF to continue to support research and people that helps strengthen our nation’s security, improves our economy and expands knowledge to maintain our global leadership. Complete details are available at the NSF budget site. For a quick snapshot, click the final link on this page under “Did You Know?”
We have much to accomplish this year and I look forward to working with each of you to ensure all Americans benefit from the discoveries and innovations that NSF research makes possible.
Dr. France A. Cόrdova
Director, National Science Foundation

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Where Discoveries Begin...

Science and Engineering Indicators 2016
This biennial report is a rich source of information on how the U.S. is performing in science and technology. It provides crucial information on how the U.S. compares to other nations in research and development, STEM education and workforce development.

Nanotechnology: Super Small Science
This six-part series demonstrates how atoms and molecules, thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair, can be used as building blocks to create future technology.

Let It Snow! The Science of Winter
Whether you love snow or despise it, the crystalline precipitation plays an important role in the Earth’s water supply. This NSF special report is filled with interesting details on snow’s impact on humans and the environment.

What's Next?

2016 Vizzies winners announced in March 2016 issue of Popular Science out now
This national contest highlights some of the most illustrative and impactful visualizations from the worlds of science and engineering.
Small business, big stage: NSF-funded start-ups at CES 2016
NSF provides critical funding for "bleeding edge" technologies, with eye on jobs, boosting U.S. economy. The familiar phrase "wearing your heart on your sleeve" took on a whole new meaning during the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Wearable health tracking devices broke into full stride and some of them got a head start from the National Science Foundation.

Solar Super Storms an explosive new documentary on March 15, 2016 - 253 Russel Senate Office
Narrated by the acclaimed British actor Benedict Cumberbatch, this beautiful documentary features one of the most intensive efforts ever made to visualize the inner workings of the sun.

Did You Know...

As the primary funder of fundamental science and engineering research, NSF has a responsibility to ensure that the institutions and people it supports foster the most encouraging environment possible. NSF’s statement on sexual harassment released in January outlines its commitment to inclusive workplaces and its expectations for entities receiving funding.

NSF FY2017 Budget Request
See an infographic of the highlights.

LIGO image credit: The SXS (Simulating eXtreme Spacetimes) Project

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