Looking ahead a decade, experts predict strong growth, expanding markets and increased capacity for the Chemistry Enterprise.
This vision for the future is contained in The Chemistry Enterprise 2015, a report recently issued by the American Chemical Society, the worlds largest scientific society. Throughout 2005, then ACS President William F. Carroll, Jr., Ph.D., led a Society-wide effort to anticipate how chemistry will change by 2015. The focus was on education, industry and government.
The objective was to gather information about what the 2015 landscape will look like, so chemical scientists might better prepare for those changes and take appropriate action. The full report, which is based on a year-long series of discussions and symposia, is available at: http://chemistry.org/chemistryenterprise2015.html
Following are highlights of the report:
Multidisciplinary Activity. Multidisciplinary research will be increasingly common in the next 10 years. Ultimately, it often will be difficult to identify a projects disciplinary origin. Strength in basic chemistry, however, still will be essential to advances in all of molecular science, and chemists will need to be carefully trained in the science and able to communicate with other related disciplines.
Globalization. A greater fraction of chemical manufacturing will take place in Asia, but investment returns from the global enterprise will flow back to the United States. As the standard of living increases in Asia, labor costs will rise and salaries will rise most rapidly for the best and the brightest scientists. This will decrease, but not eliminate, the pressure for U.S. companies to shift activities offshore.