Defense Science Board

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The Defense Science Board is "a Federal Advisory Committee established to provide independent advice to the Secretary of Defense."[1]


The Defense Science Board first met on September 20, 1956. The "initial assignment concerned the program and administration of basic research, component research, and the advancement of technology in areas of interest to the Department of Defense."

In December 1956, a charter specified the Board as an advisory body to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Research and Development). Consolidation of offices in 1957 resulted in a revised board charter, the addition of ex officio members, and the addition of Applications Engineering. The charter was revised again with reorganization of the Department of Defense in 1958.

Assistant Directors were apointed for various types of warfare systems and, in late 1959, "the Board made a study of the structure of scientific and engineering advisory bodies." Revisions ensued in 1961 and 1971. In 1986, the title Director of Defense Research and Engineering was changed to Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USDRE). In January 1990, the Defense Manufacturing Board, which had previously reported to the USD(A), was merged into the Defense Science Board, "adding manufacturing issues to the list of items of interest."

"The current Board is authorized to consist of thirty-two members plus seven ex officio members": the chairmen of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Policy, Ballistic Missile Defense Advisory Committee, and Defense Intelligence Agency Science and Technology Advisory Committee. "Members, whose appointed terms range from one to four years, "are selected on the basis of their preeminence in the fields of science, technology and its application to military operations, research, engineering, manufacturing and acquisition process."

"The Board operates by forming Task Forces consisting of Board members and other consultants/experts to address those tasks referred to it by formal direction. The products of each Task Force typically consist of a set of formal briefings to the Board and appropriate DoD officials, and a written report containing findings, recommendations and a suggested implementation plan."

Source: Defense Science Board History.

New Charter: 2002

A new charter was filed on February 28, 2002. The Defense Science Board (DSB) is to be composed of civilian members designated by the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to advise the Secretary of Defense, Deputy Secretary of Defense, the Under Secretary for AT&L, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff "on scientific, technical, manufacturing, acquisition process, and other matters of special interest to the Department of Defense." Board members now total 35, with five being Senior Fellow members. [2]


A list of current members is not available on the DSB website.

Former Members

Possible Current Members, Consultants, and Experts

Contact details

Defense Science Board
The Pentagon
OUSD(AT&L) Room 3D865
Washington, DC 20310

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