Discover the Top Ten Trends Driving Science
The future of scientific research won’t be determined in laboratories. Conversations in classrooms, boardrooms, legislatures, and on social networks will help shape the science of 2017. Social, political, and economic forces have always shaped the course of science, affecting the questions we ask and the way we go about asking them.
What forces will shape research in 2017? We asked Editors of ACS Publications journals and used their responses to create a unique report on the “Top Ten Trends Driving Science.” It’s an invaluable look at the challenges ahead, and what today’s scientists are doing to rise to meet them.
This informative and thought-provoking report lists issues including perspectives on enduring problems, such as the constant need for sourcing research funding, as well as new ideas on open access and globalization. Each of these changes brings unique challenges for researchers. They also present possible opportunities for those who are prepared to adapt to a changing landscape.
One trend will often feed into another. Developments in one area often influence another. In many ways, the themes mentioned here are different aspects of a single master trend: Scientists are adapting to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Also included in the report is a collection of Editors’ answers to an equally provocative question: “What is the most important unsolved problem in chemistry?” It is unlikely chemists could ever agree on a single “most important unsolved problem.” But that is exactly why the debate is important. The report encourages scientists, and anyone interested in science, to think about why we ask the questions we ask. Debates like this help us have larger conversations about the nature of progress. It’s useful to have these debates about the value of knowledge, and the challenges faced by humanity.