SPIE Commends the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on Materials Science Report

The Frontiers of Materials Research report, published earlier this month, explores the research required for future advances and applications in consumer goods, national security, and health care

20 February 2019

BELLINGHAM, Washington, and Cardiff, UK - A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, explores, assesses and outlines the next steps the United States must take in order to ensure robust and future advances in multiple areas including consumer goods, national security, and healthcare.

The Frontiers of Materials Research: A Decadal Survey, published 8 February and sponsored by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, identifies the most promising and critical directions for research in the materials science field, from basic research to disruptive manufacturing, for federal agencies that support materials research, science policymakers, and materials researchers.

Modern materials science draws from a diverse and converging set of sciences, including physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, computer and data science, and engineering. While stemming from inquiry-based fundamental science, materials research is focused on discovering and producing essential, reliable, and economically viable materials used in a wide range of products critical to life in contemporary society.

"During the course of creating this decadal survey," notes National Materials and Manufacturing Board Senior Program Officer Erik Svedberg, "the committee, representing the full spectrum of materials research, agreed that the field in the United States is at a precipice - there have been extraordinary advances in materials growth, measurement, and computation, both separately and in coordinated collaborations at universities, in national laboratories, and in industry, across nearly all fields of materials research. Many breakthroughs are reported here, many are directly predicted, and many are as yet unforeseen, which will have tremendous effect on our understanding, and significant impact on our daily lives, globally. We now hope that the materials community will read the report with its findings and recommendations to figure out how they can be part of the next decade of materials research and make it even more successful than this past decade."

"As one of the presenters to the report committee, it's wonderful and timely to see the publication of The National Academies' Decadal Survey on the Frontiers of Materials Research," says Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost and Samsung Distinguished Professor of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Paul Alivisatos. "Not only does it validate the importance of materials research as a whole while recognizing the wide impact that the field has on everything from cell phones to medicine, but, ideally, it will also help researchers in the field understand where opportunities exist outside of our particular expertise."

Learn more about the report by joining the committee co-chairs for a webinar on 28 February, 2019, from 4-5pm EST. The co-chairs will be discussing the key findings and recommendations of the report, as well as taking questions from the audience.

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