Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Research-Technology Management, July-August 2003 | Go to article overview

Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering


Committee on Challenges for the Chemical Sciences in the 21st Century, National Research Council; 240 pp., $27.96 (paper) from National Academies Press, 500 Fifth St., NW Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055, or www.nap.edu

Research in the chemical sciences must remain ambitious if the United States is to maintain its scientific and technological leadership during this century, says this report from the U.S. National Academies' National Research Council. The field must attract the very best minds, which means recruiting more women and minorities and revising undergraduate and high school curriculums to make chemistry more appealing to students with a variety of interests. Also, undergraduate chemistry majors need more hands-on research experience, the report says. And the method by which graduate chemistry and chemical-engineering students are trained must reflect the fact that they will be working alongside scientists from other disciplines throughout their careers.

Strong financial support from the federal government also will be needed to facilitate discoveries in the chemical sciences and to ensure that a technically proficient work force is available, added the committee that wrote the report. …

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