What’s the most important unsolved problem in chemistry? It’s a deceptively simple question. You could ask 100 different chemists and get 100 different answers. Chemistry is the central science, with ties to every other scientific discipline. It’s only natural that someone studying physical chemistry would have a very different selection for the most important unsolved problems in chemistry than a biochemistry researcher.
But just because there isn’t a single correct answer doesn’t mean the question isn’t worth asking. Debates like this about unsolved problems in chemistry help us have larger conversations about the nature of progress, the value of knowledge, and the challenges faced by humanity. Plus, talking about unsolved problems in chemistry can be a lot of fun.
Watch ACS Editors Discuss Their Picks for the Most Important Unsolved Problem in Chemistry
The ACS Publications Editors featured in the video are (in order of appearance): Professor Jillian M. Buriak, Editor-in-Chief of Chemistry of Materials; Professor Paul S. Weiss, Editor-in-Chief of ACS Nano; Professor Cynthia J. Burrows Editor-in-Chief of Accounts of Chemical Research, Professor Prashant V. Kamat, Editor-in-Chief of ACS Energy Letters; Professor Luis Liz-Marzán, Associate of ACS Nano, and Professor Kai Rossen Editor-in-Chief of Organic Process Research & Development.