A 10-year forecast by the American Chemical Society shows continued growth in major sectors of the chemical industry.
According to the Washington, D.C.-based organization's "The Chemistry Enterprise 2015" report, by 2015:
- A large portion of chemical manufacturing will take place in Asia, but investment returns from globalization will flow back to the U.S.
- At least one new nuclear power facility will be built in the U.S., and China will have a significant investment in nuclear energy, creating more jobs for chemists and other scientists.
- Multidisciplinary activity will increase meaning chemists will need to be trained in all of molecular science.
- Barring new emergencies, long-term research will resume, but funding will continue to be a major challenge for research and development.
- University chemistry faculties will be more representative of the U.S. population in terms of gender and ethnicity. Graduate student enrollment will lead to greater use of undergraduate teaching assistants and peer-led teaching.
- The workforce also will become more diverse with women and minorities working on the technical and managerial sides.
- The industry will need to compete with spending on national security and social programs to secure government research funding.
The report was based on a series of yearlong discussions and symposia. The full report is available at http://chemistry.org/chemistryenterprise2015.html.