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Resource Guide > Policy & Government > Government Science Agencies

Government Science Agencies

Last Updated December 7, 2021

On this page, you'll find a list of scientifically focused government agencies in the United States.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

https://www.nsf.gov/

About: “The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” NSF is vital because we support basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future…. With an annual budget of $8.3 billion (FY 2020), we are the funding source for approximately 25 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America’s colleges and universities. In many fields such as mathematics, computer science and the social sciences, NSF is the major source of federal backing.”

U.S. Department of Education: Institution of Education Sciences

https://ies.ed.gov/

Summary: Provides grants to organizations like AAAS to conduct research on science education (among other types of education). ISE is also “the nation’s leading resource for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation, and statistics” and houses a number of sub-departments, including the National Center for Education Research (NCER), which spearheaded the 1996 National Science Education Standards.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

https://www.nih.gov/

About: “NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability... The NIH provides leadership and direction to programs designed to improve the health of the Nation by conducting and supporting research: in the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and cure of human diseases; in the processes of human growth and development; in the biological effects of environmental contaminants; in the understanding of mental, addictive and physical disorders; and in directing programs for the collection, dissemination, and exchange of information in medicine and health, including the development and support of medical libraries and the training of medical librarians and other health information specialists.”

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

https://www.niehs.nih.gov/

About: “Our mission is to discover how the environment affects people in order to promote healthier lives.” “The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is expanding and accelerating its contributions to scientific knowledge of human health and the environment, and to the health and well-being of people everywhere.”

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

https://www.niaid.nih.gov/

About: “NIAID conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. For more than 60 years, NIAID research has led to new therapies, vaccines, diagnostic tests, and other technologies that have improved the health of millions of people in the United States and around the world. NIAID is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

https://www.cdc.gov/

About: “CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.”

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

https://www.noaa.gov/

About: “NOAA is an agency that enriches life through science. Our reach goes from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep the public informed of the changing environment around them. From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA’s products and services support economic vitality and affect more than one-third of America’s gross domestic product. NOAA’s dedicated scientists use cutting-edge research and high-tech instrumentation to provide citizens, planners, emergency managers and other decision makers with reliable information they need when they need it.”

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

https://www.nasa.gov/about/index.html

About: “NASA's Vision: To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity.” The US space agency.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/our-mission-and-what-we-do

About: “The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment. EPA works to ensure that: Americans have clean air, land and water; National efforts to reduce environmental risks are based on the best available scientific information; Federal laws protecting human health and the environment are administered and enforced fairly, effectively and as Congress intended; Environmental stewardship is integral to U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy; All parts of society--communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments--have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks; Contaminated lands and toxic sites are cleaned up by potentially responsible parties and revitalized; and Chemicals in the marketplace are reviewed for safety.”

National Park Service (NPS)

https://www.nps.gov/index.htm

About: “Since 1916, the National Park Service has been entrusted with the care of our national parks. With the help of volunteers and partners, we safeguard these special places and share their stories with more than 318 million visitors every year. But our work doesn't stop there. We are proud that tribes, local governments, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individual citizens ask for our help in revitalizing their communities, preserving local history, celebrating local heritage, and creating close-to-home opportunities for kids and families to get outside, be active, and have fun. Taking care of the national parks and helping Americans take care of their communities is a job we love, and we need—and welcome—your help and support. The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. The Park Service cooperates with partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation throughout this country and the world.”

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