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The National Science Foundation’s Division of Chemistry is placed under the spotlight here, with a focus on their Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS) program that sets out to promote and encourage research in the chemical sciences

The National Science Foundation (NSF) was set up by Congress in 1950, “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defence.” (1) This article will briefly focus on the work of the Division of Chemistry (CHE) within the NSF who set out to support innovative research in the chemical sciences. Integrated with education, they believe this aim can be achieved with strategic investment in developing a globally engaged chemistry workforce that reflects the diversity of the U.S. CHE’s values includes the vital role that fundamental scientific research plays to benefit society. Looking ahead, another value they hold dear is empowering future generations in the fields of science and engineering. (2)

In a recent edition of Open Access Government, Carol Bessel and Melissa Olson from the Division of Chemistry (CHE), revealed their thoughts on the kind of chemistry projects CHE are involved with.

“CHE actively solicits and funds projects that design and develop sustainable chemistry pathways from synthesis to recycling; advance algorithms and novel qubit structures for quantum computing; accelerate and complement chemical discovery with data mining and artificial intelligence (AI); and seek to understand and engineer the biochemistry governing life processes such as in synthetic biology, epigenetics and studies of the microbiome.” (3)

In recent CHE news, we see that the Critical Aspects of Sustainability (CAS) program is well promoted on the CHE’s website. “This program seeks to support basic research through core disciplinary programs aimed at improving the sustainability of resources for future generations while maintaining or improving current products in order to offer technologically-advanced, economically competitive, environmentally-benign and useful materials to a global society.”

Also, CAS seeks to support basic research through core disciplinary programs targeted improving the sustainability of resources for future generations while improving or maintaining or current products to offer economically competitive, technologically-advanced and environmentally-benign and useful materials for a global society.

We take this opportunity to wish the program well in their future endeavours as they welcome research proposals that are supported by the divisions taking part that address a wealth of topics such as Chemical Synthesis (SYN), Chemical Measurement and Imaging (CMI), Solid State and Materials Chemistry (SSMC), Biological and Environmental Interactions of Nanoscale Materials (BioNano) and Environmental Chemical Sciences (ECS). (4)

In conclusion, the work of CHE just tells a small part of the NSF’s work but it clearly illustrates their aim from the outset, “to promote the progress of science.”



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