Message to the Congress Transmitting the Annual Report of the National Science Foundation

July 9, 1981

To the Congress of the United States:

I am pleased to transmit the annual report of the National Science Foundation for Fiscal Year 1980. I have long maintained an interest in the vitality of our scientific and technological capabilities. I consider these capabilities as crucial to the economic well-being of our Nation, a mainstay of our national security, and a beneficial influence on the quality of life of our citizens.

As this report is issued, we find ourselves at a turning point in our history, a time when we must make difficult choices. This Administration is committed to revitalizing the economy. Our success in this endeavor will depend greatly upon how well we can improve the productivity and competitiveness of our industrial sector. As we look for ways to enhance technological innovation -- a key to increase productivity and competitiveness -- we remember that the ultimate source of innovation is new knowledge. The National Science Foundation is unique among Federal agencies in that its primary responsibility is to promote advances in knowledge through encouragement and support of basic research. Such research, properly executed, is an essential investment in our future and one we must wisely and responsibly nurture.

When the National Science Foundation was created in 1950, the United States led all other nations in economic productivity, military power, the sciences, and technology. Today we face challenges in all these areas. But as the Foundation Director, John Slaughter, notes in his opening statement in this report, challenges also bring with them opportunities.

I know we have the talent and dedication to pursue and apply scientific knowledge to meet our present and future needs. We will continue to maintain our support of scientific research in a wise and responsible manner as a critical investment in our Nation's future.

Ronald Reagan

The White House,

July 9, 1981.

Note: The report is entitled "National Science Foundation -- Thirtieth Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1980" (Government Printing Office, 146 pages).