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Environment

Report Touts Polymer Science

June 9, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 23

Research on polymer materials must be accelerated to help address critical challenges such as energy and sustainability, according to a report on the future of polymer science. Based on a workshop sponsored by several federal agencies including NSF, NIH, NASA, NIST, and the Department of Energy, the report, “Interdisciplinary, Globally Leading Polymer Sciences and Engineering,” assesses the current state of the field and provides research and education recommendations to strengthen it. “This report sets the road map for future research directions and will guide research funding opportunities at NSF and the other funding agencies that cosponsored the workshop,” says Christopher K. Ober, chairman of the workshop’s organizing committee. Citing the key role polymers play in driving the U.S. economy, the report finds that more research is needed to improve characterization techniques, to tailor-make polymers, and to control processing of polymers. The report also recommends the creation of K–12 programs on polymer science. The report is available at people.ccmr.cornell.edu/~cober/NSFPolymerWorkshop/index.html.

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