Office of Scientific Research and Development

Office Of Scientific Research And Development

Office of Scientific Research and Development

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The Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) was an agency of the United States federal government created to coordinate scientific research for military purposes during World War II. Arrangements were made for its creation during May 1941, and it was created formally by on June 28, 1941. It superseded the work of the National Defense Research Committee (NDRC), was given almost unlimited access to funding and resources, and was directed by Vannevar Bush, who reported only to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The research was widely varied, and included projects devoted to new and more accurate bombs, reliable detonators, work on the proximity fuze, radar and early-warning systems, lighter and more accurate hand weapons, more effective medical treatments, more versatile vehicles, and, most secret of all, the "S-1 Section", which later became the Manhattan Project and developed the first nuclear weapons.

From October 1943 to October 1946, OSRD used conscientious objectors from Civilian Public Service as subjects for research of malaria, altitude pressure, life raft rations, high altitude, frost bite, psycho-acoustics, poison gas, ingestion of and exposure to sea water, temperature extremes, climate, physiological hygiene, thiamine, bed rest and aero medicine.

To study the effects of diet and nutrition, Dr. Ancel Keys of the University of Minnesota Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene placed 32 conscientious objectors on a controlled diet. For three months...
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