The Chemical Sciences Roundtable (CSR) was established in 1996 by the National Research Council and its Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology. The CSR held its first meeting in February 1997, and it now meets three times annually. As a neutral and credible forum for communication among all segments of the chemical enterprise, the CSR provides great potential for enhancing the future well-being of the chemical sciences. The realm of the chemical sciences and technology not only spans the science and engineering disciplines but also encompasses a major segment of U.S. industry.
The CSR is a unique science-oriented, apolitical forum of leaders of the chemical enterprise. Its objectives are to facilitate enhanced understanding of issues in the chemical sciences and technologies that affect government, industry, academic, national laboratory, and nonprofit sectors, and the interactions among them; and to furnish a vehicle for education, exchange of information and discussion of issues and trends that affect the chemical sciences. The Roundtable accomplishes these objectives in two ways:
- First, through exchange of information among its members at three meetings annually of the CSR. The members in turn share the exchanges with others in their own institutions and professional organizations to which they belong.
- Second, by organizing workshops on highly relevant and important topics, for which published proceedings are made broadly available throughout the chemical sciences community. These workshops and the proceedings are designed to enable follow-up discussion or action by others in the chemical sciences community.
The CSR’s charter enables government representatives to serve as full members, but consequently precludes it from providing advice and recommendations. Its primary role therefore is to facilitate communication among leaders in the chemical sciences, who can in turn bring important information to the broader chemical sciences community. Typically, CSR members represent the senior chemist or chemical engineer in an organization, providing the basis for strong collaboration and cooperation among federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, professional and industry associations, universities, the chemical industry, private foundations, federal laboratories, the legislative arena, and the Executive Branch. Through a combination of educational and leadership roles, the CSR will continue its major role in maintaining the health and strength of the chemical sciences in the United States.