national makeup of these “virtual world congresses” provided qualitative information on leadership in chemistry. International prizes and congresses were also considered. The panel steered clear of distinguishing between academic, industrial, and governmental laboratory research performers, all of whom were considered in the exercise.
Finally, the panel examined trends in the numbers of degrees, employment, and research funding of U.S. chemistry, relying heavily upon the NSF S&E Indicators 2006 and earlier years. The resulting report details the status of U.S. competitiveness of research in chemistry and its subareas. This benchmarking exercise attempts to determine the current status of the discipline and to extrapolate the future status based on current trends. The report does not make judgments about the relative importance of leadership in each area or make recommendations on actions to be taken to ensure such leadership in the future.
The outline of this report is as follows: Chapter 2 of this report will provide background on the key characteristics of chemistry. Chapter 3 responds to the first question of the panel charge, and details the panel’s assessment of the current standing of the United States in the 11 areas of chemistry. Chapter 4 addresses the second question of the charge and identifies the key determinants of leadership in the field. Chapter 5 addresses the third part of the charge, assimilating past leadership determinants and current benchmarking results to predict U.S. leadership. Will the United States gain, maintain, or lose its competitive position? The panel’s predictions for each of the chemistry areas are also assessed.