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Environment

Supporting Chemical Reseach

January 8, 2007 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 85, ISSUE 2

Is it a coincidence? In C&EN's interview with the new director of the National Science Foundation's Chemistry Division, Luis Echegoyan, bemoans "the downward budgetary trend in NSF's support for chemistry (C&EN, Nov. 27, 2006, page 21). A few pages later, a report on an NSF-funded analysis of research publications reveals that only 7.5% of U.S. science and engineering papers deal with chemistry compared to 20% from East Asia (mainly China) and 27% from India. The relative contribution of U.S. chemists to the scientific literature is also declining.

Connect the dots, anyone? Developing countries seem to understand something that the U.S. does not; namely, the best way to prepare for the future is by supporting chemical research. Good luck, Dr. Echegoyen!

Alan Shusterman
Portland, Ore.

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