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Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2003. Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10633.
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B
Statement of Task

The overview report will identify recent advances and current challenges in fundamental understanding of the basic science, and it will explore the impact beyond the chemical sciences that these advances have had in the past. It will also explore the possibilities for such impact in the future, recognizing that such developments are frequently serendipitous. Issues to be addressed include:

  • Discovery: Identify major discoveries or advances in the chemical sciences during the last several decades, and evaluate their impact—including the length of time for impact beyond basic chemical sciences to be realized.

  • Interfaces: Identify the major discoveries and challenges at the interfaces between chemistry/chemical engineering and such areas as biology, environmental science, materials science, medicine, and physics.

  • Challenges: Identify the grand challenges that exist in the chemical sciences today. Explore how advances at the interfaces create new challenges in the core disciplines.

  • Infrastructure: Identify infrastructure that will be required to allow the potential of future advances in the chemical sciences to be realized. Identify opportunities that exist to integrate research and teaching, broaden the participation of underrepresented groups, improve the infrastructure for research and education, and demonstrate the value of these activities to society.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2003. Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/10633.
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Page 202
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Chemistry and chemical engineering have changed significantly in the last decade. They have broadened their scope—into biology, nanotechnology, materials science, computation, and advanced methods of process systems engineering and control—so much that the programs in most chemistry and chemical engineering departments now barely resemble the classical notion of chemistry. Beyond the Molecular Frontier brings together research, discovery, and invention across the entire spectrum of the chemical sciences—from fundamental, molecular-level chemistry to large-scale chemical processing technology. This reflects the way the field has evolved, the synergy at universities between research and education in chemistry and chemical engineering, and the way chemists and chemical engineers work together in industry.

The astonishing developments in science and engineering during the 20th century have made it possible to dream of new goals that might previously have been considered unthinkable. This book identifies the key opportunities and challenges for the chemical sciences, from basic research to societal needs and from terrorism defense to environmental protection, and it looks at the ways in which chemists and chemical engineers can work together to contribute to an improved future.

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