Concluding Remarks

Moving into the 21st century, CMMP faces exciting scientific and technological opportunities, summarized in the six grand challenges identified in this report. These and other challenges will drive the continued vitality and growth of CMMP, as well as its continuing impact on the U.S. economy and society. The fundamental scientific questions, the close interplay between theoretical and experimental research, and the technological applications that will contribute to solving important societal problems all drive enthusiasm for the field. Attracted by such compelling research opportunities, more starting graduate students in U.S. programs choose CMMP than any other single subfield of physics. These young minds are the future of CMMP and of its role in society.

However, the Committee on CMMP 2010 also concluded that there are danger signs on the horizon. U.S. leadership in fundamental CMMP research is seriously threatened by the low success rates in proposals submitted for government funding of research, the precipitous decline of involvement of industrial laboratories in fundamental CMMP research, and the increasing competition from other countries for the best scientists. Due to tremendous momentum in the research establishment, the ill effects of these structural problems are only just starting to manifest themselves in measurable terms, such as publication rates, and in the ability to attract the best young scientists to research positions in the United States. The Committee on CMMP 2010 therefore urges that action be taken now. Prompt attention to these structural problems is needed to ensure U.S. leadership in CMMP research and technological innovation now and for the future.



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Concluding Remarks Moving into the 21st century, CMMP faces exciting scientific and technologi- cal opportunities, summarized in the six grand challenges identified in this report. These and other challenges will drive the continued vitality and growth of CMMP, as well as its continuing impact on the U.S. economy and society. The fundamental scientific questions, the close interplay between theoretical and experimental re- search, and the technological applications that will contribute to solving important societal problems all drive enthusiasm for the field. Attracted by such compelling research opportunities, more starting graduate students in U.S. programs choose CMMP than any other single subfield of physics. These young minds are the future of CMMP and of its role in society. However, the Committee on CMMP 2010 also concluded that there are danger signs on the horizon. U.S. leadership in fundamental CMMP research is seriously threatened by the low success rates in proposals submitted for government fund- ing of research, the precipitous decline of involvement of industrial laboratories in fundamental CMMP research, and the increasing competition from other countries for the best scientists. Due to tremendous momentum in the research establish- ment, the ill effects of these structural problems are only just starting to manifest themselves in measurable terms, such as publication rates, and in the ability to attract the best young scientists to research positions in the United States. The Committee on CMMP 2010 therefore urges that action be taken now. Prompt at- tention to these structural problems is needed to ensure U.S. leadership in CMMP research and technological innovation now and for the future. 

OCR for page 239