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• Special grant programs to compensate for the double jeopardy that goes with the present system when research is judged both as biology and as physics;

• Fellowships developed and expanded for physicists to work in biological laboratories—the NSF-NIH one-year visit program is one example; and

• Contact between university researchers and industrial scientists and between physicists, chemists, and biologists to foster collaborations, particularly with the chemical, medical, and pharmaceutical industries.

The residue from trial and error in industrial research is an abundant source of information for new physics. Biological systems are an inspiring source of solved problems for doing physics in a new place. We can work to create comfortable common ground for collaboration.

Undersupported research areas should be identified in which results will be needed. For example, polyelectrolytes and biological polymers will be increasingly used for products to displace environmentally unfriendly organic materials.

Research Facilities

For structure determination, neutron sources in particular are urgently needed. Synchrotron x-ray, ion beam, transmission electron microscope, and surface probe facilities are high on the list. Data processing is needed for the large amounts of information being generated and the large computations that will be undertaken.


Intellectually, industrially, and medically, soft-material research has a potential that justifies funding increases like those being given to research in biology and medicine.

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