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Consensus Study Report


Chemistry plays a pivotal role in the strength of the U.S. economy and the advancement of humankind. Chemists' achievements include life-saving pharmaceuticals, advanced energy solutions, improved agricultural productivity, and novel materials used in products from clothing to electronic devices. The many sectors reliant on the U.S. chemical economy account for about 25% of the U.S. GDP and support 4.1 million U.S. jobs. However, a new and evolving chemistry landscape requires changes with regard to funding, training, and a focus on integrating sustainability into manufacturing, product usage, and product disposal.

This report identifies strategies and options for research investments that will support U.S. leadership while considering environmental sustainability and developing a diverse chemical economy workforce with equitable opportunities for all chemistry talent. The report recommends that funding agencies and philanthropic organizations who support the chemical sciences fund as large a breadth of fundamental research projects as possible. Chemical industry and their partners at universities, scientific research institutions, and national laboratories should align the objectives of fundamental research to directly assist with new practices toward environmental stewardship, sustainability, and clean energy. Additionally, the report recommends that funding agencies make substantial investment toward education research to enable innovative ways of teaching about emerging concepts, tools and technologies.


Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. The Importance of Chemical Research to the U.S. Economy. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

232 pages |  7 x 10 | 

  • Paperback:  978-0-309-68863-5
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-68866-6

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