As Pauling was signing his Oath of Allegiance and reviewing his personal copy of the Espionage Act, dozens of other scientists
around the country were heeding Bush's summons, preparing themselves and their labs for the study of war-making. Before long
the NDRC had access to leading researchers across the country, not to mention the facilities those researchers commanded.
The problem was assigning projects to the proper workers.
First, the highest echelon of the NDRC convened to discuss the needs of the U.S. military, relying heavily on the advice of
NDRC administrators General Strong and Rear Admiral Bowen. Then, on October 2, 1940, the top NDRC researchers were called
together in Washington, D.C. where the military research priorities were presented. Unfortunately, issues of high specialization
and confidentiality prevented a great deal of discussion during the conference. As a result, division chiefs found themselves
operating through the country's informal academic networks, bringing on friends and co-workers, calling in favors, and sending
out position requests through word of mouth. The scientific social network, developed through years of inter-institutional
collaboration and staff exchange was set abuzz with the call to war.
Pauling was initially assigned to Section L3, Division B's "special inorganic problems" unit, but the newness of the NDRC
made unexpected assignment changes a necessity. In late October Pauling was appointed to Section L4 where an in-depth study
of nitrocellulose - an important component in propellants and small explosives - was underway. This new position did not
supersede Pauling's L3 association but instead worked in conjunction with it, burdening him with the added responsibility
of participating in research in two separate programs. Pauling accepted the extra workload graciously, intent on doing his
part for the war effort.