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E Origin of and Information on the Chemical Sciences Roundtable In April 1994 the American Chemical Society (ACS) held understanding of the critical issues in chemical science and an Interactive Presidential Colloquium entitled “Shaping technology affecting the government, industrial, and aca- the Future: The Chemical Research Environment in demic sectors. To support this mission the Chemical Sciences the Next Century.”1 The report from this colloquium Roundtable will do the following: identified several objectives, including the need to ensure communication on key issues among government, • Identify topics of importance to the chemical science industry, and university representatives. The rapidly and technology community by holding periodic dis- changing environment in the United States for science cussions and presentations, and gathering input from and technology has created a number of stresses on the the broadest possible set of constituencies involved in chemical enterprise. The stresses are particularly important chemical science and technology. with regard to the chemical industry, which is a major • Organize workshops and symposiums and publish segment of U.S. industry in terms of trade and employment reports on topics important to the continuing health opportunities for a technical workforce. A neutral and and advancement of chemical science and technology. credible forum for communication among all segments • Disseminate information and knowledge gained in of the enterprise could enhance the future well-being of the workshops and reports to the chemical science chemical science and technology. and technology community through discussions with, After the report was issued, a formal request for such a presentations to, and engagement of other forums and roundtable activity was transmitted to Dr. Bruce M. Alberts, organizations. chairman of the National Research Council (NRC), by the • Bring topics deserving further in-depth study to the Federal Interagency Chemistry Representatives, an informal attention of the NRC’s Board on Chemical Sciences organization of representatives from the various federal agen- and Technology. The roundtable itself will not attempt cies that support chemical research. As part of the NRC, the to resolve the issues and problems that it identifies—it Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology (BCST) can will make no recommendations, nor provide any spe- provide an intellectual focus on issues and fundamentals of cific guidance. Rather, the goal of the roundtable is to science and technology across the broad fields of chemistry ensure a full and meaningful discussion of the identi- and chemical engineering. In the winter of 1996 Dr. Alberts fied topics so that the participants in the workshops asked BCST to establish the Chemical Sciences Roundtable and the community as a whole can determine the best to provide a mechanism for initiating and maintaining the courses of action. dialogue envisioned in the ACS report. The mission of the Chemical Sciences Roundtable is to provide a science-oriented, apolitical forum to enhance 1American Chemical Society. Shaping the Future: The Chemical Research Environment in the Next Century. American Chemical Society Report from the Interactive Presidential Colloquium, April 7-9,1994,Washington, D.C. 45
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