Volume 5, #16The ScientistAugust 19, 1991


In the spring of 1990, the advisory committee to the NSF chemistry division decided to conduct its annual meeting a little differently. Instead of devoting one hour to one topic before moving on to another, committee members decided to hold the meeting like a retreat. Says NSF chemistry division director Kenneth Hancock: "We decided to sit back and literally ask where the intellectual frontiers in chemistry are and where we think our science is and ought to be going in the next few years."

Out of that "retreat" came a set of priorities that are used by NSF management when it makes its case for research funding appropriations. "It is a very interactive process that includes [recommendations by] this division, studies by the National Research Council, and the chemical community at large," Hancock says. To...

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