The Manhattan Project: Making the Atomic Bomb

Part II: Early Government Support

The Office of Scientific Research and Development

By the time Bush received the second National Academy of Sciences report, he had assumed the position of director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development. Established by an executive order on June 28, 1941--six days after German troops invaded the Soviet Union--the Office of Scientific Research and Development strengthened the scientific presence in the federal government. Bush, who had lobbied hard for the new setup, now reported directly to the President and could invoke the prestige of the White House in his dealings with other federal agencies. The National Defense Research Committee, now headed by James B. Conant, president of Harvard University, became an advisory body responsible for making research and development recommendations to the Office of Scientific Research and Development. The Uranium Committee became the Office of Scientific Research and Development Section on Uranium and was codenamed S-1 (Section One of the Office of Scientific Research and Development).

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