collaborations, exchange visits, and meetings and conferences. These interactions promote excellent science, improve international understanding, and support the economic, educational, and national security needs of the United States.

Finally, the committee offers the following six recommendations, which as a whole form a strategy to fully realize the potential at the frontiers of AMO science.


Recommendation. In view of the critical importance of the physical sciences to national economic strength, health care, defense, and domestic security, the federal government should embark on a substantially increased investment program to improve education in the physical sciences and mathematics at all levels and to strengthen significantly the research effort.


Recommendation. AMO science will continue to make exceptional contributions to many areas of science and technology. The federal government should therefore support programs in AMO science across disciplinary boundaries and through a multiplicity of agencies.


Recommendation. Basic research is a vital component of the nation’s defense strategy. The Department of Defense, therefore, should reverse recent declines in support for 6.1 research at its agencies.


Recommendation. The extremely rapid increase in the technical capability of scientific instrumentation and its cost has significantly increased pressures (over and above the usual Consumer Price Index inflationary pressures) on research budgets. The federal government should recognize this fact and plan budgets accordingly.


Recommendation. Given the critical role of theoretical research in AMO science, the funding agencies should reexamine their portfolios in this area to ensure that the effort is at proper strength in workforce and funding levels.


Recommendation. The federal government should implement incentives to encourage more U.S. students, especially women and minorities, to study the physical sciences and take up careers in the field. It should continue to attract foreign students to study physical sciences and strongly encourage them to pursue their scientific careers in the United States.



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