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OCR for page 58
e origin of and information on the chemical sciences roundtable In April 1994 the American Chemical Society (ACS) held The mission of the Chemical Sciences Roundtable is an Interactive Presidential Colloquium entitled “Shaping the to provide a science-oriented, apolitical forum to enhance Future: The Chemical Research Environment in the Next understanding of the critical issues in chemical science and Century.”1 The report from this colloquium identified several technology that affect the government, industrial, and aca- objectives, including the need to ensure communication on demic sectors. To support this mission the Chemical Sciences key issues among government, industry, and university rep- Roundtable will do the following: resentatives. The rapidly changing environment in the United • Identify topics of importance to the chemical science States for science and technology has created a number of stresses on the chemical enterprise. The stresses are par- and technology community by holding periodic discussions ticularly important with regard to the chemical industry—a and presentations, and gathering input from the broadest major segment of U.S. industry that makes a strong, posi- possible set of constituencies involved in chemical science tive contribution to the U.S. balance of trade and provides and technology. • Organize workshops and symposia and publish major employment opportunities for a technical workforce. A neutral and credible forum for communication among all reports on topics important to the continuing health and segments of the enterprise could enhance the future well- advancement of chemical science and technology. • Disseminate information and knowledge gained in being of chemical science and technology. After the report was issued, a formal request for such a the workshops and reports to the chemical science and tech- roundtable activity was transmitted to Dr. Bruce M. Alberts, nology community through discussions with, presentations chairman of the National Research Council (NRC), by the to, and engagement of other forums and organizations. • Bring topics deserving further in-depth study to the Federal Interagency Chemistry Representatives, an informal organization of representatives from the various federal agen- attention of the NRC’s Board on Chemical Sciences and cies that support chemical research. As part of the NRC, the Technology. The roundtable itself will not attempt to resolve Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (BCST) can the issues and problems that it identifies—it will make no provide an intellectual focus on issues and fundamentals of recommendations, nor provide any specific guidance. Rather, science and technology across the broad fields of chemistry the goal of the roundtable is to ensure a full and meaningful and chemical engineering. In the winter of 1996, Dr. Alberts discussion of the identified topics so that participants in the asked BCST to establish the Chemical Sciences Roundtable workshops and the community as a whole can determine the to provide a mechanism for initiating and maintaining the best courses of action. dialogue envisioned in the ACS report. 1American Chemical Society. 1994. Shaping the Future: The Chemical Research Enironment in the Next Century. American Chemical Society Report from the Interactive Presidential Colloquium, April 7-9, Washington, DC. 8