Executive Order 10961

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Signed by President  John F. Kennedy  Monday, August 21, 1961 Federal Register  page & date: 26 FR 7823, Wednesday, August 23, 1961
See the Notes section for a listing of Executive Orders affected by or related to the issuance of this Executive Order.

Executive Order 10961 of August 21, 1961

Providing Procedures for the Award of the National Medal of Science


By virtue of the authority vested in me by the act of August 25, 1959, entitled ‘‘An Act To Establish a National Medal of Science To Provide Recognition for Individuals Who Make Outstanding Contributions in the Physical, Biological, Mathematical, and Engineering Sciences’’ (73 Stat. 431), and as President of the United States, it is ordered as follows:

Section 1. The President's Committee.[edit]

There is hereby established the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science, hereinafter referred to as the Committee, which shall assist the President, as provided in this order, in connection with the carrying out of the said act of August 25, 1959. The Committee shall be composed of not less than six and not more than twelve members. Each member of the Committee shall be designated by the President from among appropriately qualified citizens of the United States. As nearly as practicable, the members of the Committee shall comprise a cross section of the major fields of science (including engineering). The President shall from time to time designate one of the members of the Committee as chairman thereof.

Sec. 2. Preliminary Procedure.[edit]

 (a) The Committee shall receive, on behalf of the President, (1) the recommendations made by the National Academy of Sciences respecting the award of the National Medal of Science (hereinafter referred to as the Medal) pursuant to the provisions of section 2(a) of the said act of August 25, 1959, and (2) such similar recommendations as may be made by any other nationally representative scientific or engineering organization. Each such recommendation shall include or be accompanied by such appropriate supporting material as the Committee may from time to time specify.
 (b) On the basis of the criterion stated in section 2(a) of Executive Order No. 10910 of January 17, 1961, and such other criteria, information, and evidence as it may deem appropriate, and subject to the provisions of section 2(b) of that order, the Committee shall select from among the individuals who are the subjects of recommendations referred to it in accordance with section 2(a) of this order those individuals whom it desires to recommend for the award of the Medal and shall transmit the names of those individuals to the President with its recommendations. In so transmitting its recommendations, the Committee (1) shall include expressions of its views concerning, and such other information as may be pertinent to, its recommendations, and (2) may arrange the names of all or some of the recommended individuals in a sequence deemed by it to indicate the priority in which the several individuals are deserving of the award of the Medal.
 (c) Each recommendation respecting the award of the Medal to an individual transmitted to the President by the Committee shall be accompanied by a draft of the citation referred to in section 1 of Executive Order No. 10910.

Sec. 3. Time of Awards and Recommendations.[edit]

 (a) Each award of the Medal by the President shall be made during the last sixty days of the calendar year.
 (b) In respect of awards of the Medal proposed to be made by the President in any calendar year, (1) each recommendation of the National Academy of Sciences, or of any other nationally representative scientific or engineering organization, shall be delivered to the Committee not later than the first day of August of that year, and (2) each recommendation of the Committee shall be delivered to the President not later than the fifteenth day of October of the same year.
 (c) During the calendar year 1961, and in unusual circumstances at any time involving extraordinary developments of great national significance, proposals and recommendations with respect to the award of the Medal may be made, and the Medal may be awarded, without regard to the provisions of the foregoing subsections of this section.

Sec. 4. Services and Expenses.[edit]

 (a) The National Science Foundation may provide staff and administrative services necessary for the performance of the functions of the Committee.
 (b) The members of the Committee shall serve without compensation, but the National Science Foundation may pay them transportation and per-diem allowances as authorized for persons serving without compensation (5 U.S.C. 73b-2.).


Signature of John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy 
The White House,
August 21, 1961.

Notes[edit]

  • Executive Order 10910 − Providing for the Design and Award of the National Medal of Science   (January 17, 1961)
  • Executive Order 10961 − Providing procedures for the award of the National Medal of Science   (August 21, 1961)
  • Executive Order 11287 − Award and presentation of the National Medal of Science   (June 28, 1966)
  • Executive Order 11502 − Enlarging the membership of the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science   (Dec. 22, 1969)
  • Executive Order 11734 − Revising the membership of the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science   (July 30, 1973)


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).