Chemistry to play major role in solving 21st century challenges

Chemical & Engineering News Explores Five Fundamental - and Controversial - Areas Critical to Humanity's Survival

Life as we know it today wouldn't be possible without chemistry, and chemistry and chemical scientists will be indispensable to progress in the new millennium.

This is the message of a "Millennium Special Report: Chemistry In The Service Of Humanity," published in the Dec. 6 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the world's largest scientific society, the American Chemical Society, with nearly 159,000 chemists and chemical engineers among its members.

"Chemistry's vitality and capabilities have never been more apparent, nor in more demand, than now as we prepare to enter the 21st century, says Madeleine Jacobs, editor-in-chief of Chemical & Engineering News. "Although it is impossible to capture in one issue the full breadth of chemistry's potential contributions to society, we settled on these five fundamental areas of critical importance to humanity's survival, now and in the future."

As the year 2000 approaches, Chemical & Engineering News editors examine five areas in which chemists and the chemical industry can be expected to play key roles in improving everyday life in the future: building a sustainable environment and chemical industry, feeding the world, unlocking the secrets of neuroscience, ensuring security from biological and chemical threats, and providing clean water. In each of these cases, the promise of science in solving intractable problems has sparked controversy, which is far from resolved.

The Millennium Special Report also features the prognostications of more than six dozen luminaries of the chemical enterprise. Taken together, their "Millennial Musings" create a forecast of chemistry's impact in the next century.

Following are the highlights of the issue:

Consumers Fear Genetically Modified

Contact: Beverly Hassell
American Chemical Society

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