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OPPORTUNITIES IN unemlslr~ TODAY AND TOMORROW L/ GEORGE C. PIMENTEL University of California Berkeley JANICE A. COONROD Lawrence Hall of Science Berkeley NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1987
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NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS, 2101 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a pnvate, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Eng~neenng in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Copyright @1987 by the National Academy of Sciences No part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use, without written permission from the publisher, except for the purposes of official use by the United States Government. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Pimentel, George C. Opportunities in chemistry. Bibliography: p. Includes index. 1. Chemistry Research United States. I. Coonrod, Janice A. II. Title. III. Title: Chemistry, today and tomorrow. QD47.P56 1987 ISBN 0-309-03742-5 540'.72073 87-24000 Printed In the United States of America First printing, November 1987 Second printing, April 1988 Third printing, January 1992
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Acknowledgments Support for the original Opportunities in Chemistry was provided by the American Chemical Society, the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research under Grant No. AFOSR-83-0323, the Council for Chemical Research, Inc., the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, Inc., the U.S. Department of Energy under Grant No. DE-FGO2- 81ER10984, the National Institutes of Health under Grant No. CHE-8301035, the National Bureau of Standards under Contract No. NB835BCA2075, and the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CHE-8301035. Support was also provided by the following industrial companies: Aluminum Company of America, AT&T Bell Labora- tories, Calgon Corporation, Celanese Research Company, Dow Chemical Company, Eastman Kodak Company, E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Inc., Exxon Corporation, General Electnc Company, GTE Laboratories, Inc., Johnson and John- son Company, Mobay Chemical Company, Mobil Research and Development Corpo- ration, Monsanto Company, Pfizer, Inc., Phillips Petroleum Company, PPG Industries, Inc., Proctor and Gamble Company, Shell Development Company, Standard Oil Company (Ohio), Stauffer Chemical Company, TRW, Inc., and U.S. Steel Corpora- tion. Additional financial support has made this volume possible. The National Academy of Sciences contributed funds to subsidize the writing; and the American Chemical Society, Council for Chemical Research, National Science Foundation, Robert A. Welch Foundation, and a number of industrial companies provided support for distribution of copies of Opportunities in Chemistry: Today and Tomorrow to high school teachers, libraries, and selected students across the country. All of this generous support is gratefully acknowledged. A special thanks is given to Julian Systems, Inc., for their assistance. Finally, William Spindel's efforts and encouragement in every step of this project were essential to its successful completion. · -—
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Preface This book is based upon Opportunities in Chemistry, which described the contemporary research frontiers of chemistry and the opportunities for the chem- ical sciences to address society's needs. To accomplish that ambitious task, a committee of 26 eminent scientists was selected under the auspices of the National Research Council. The committee was broadly representative of the major subdis- ciplines of chemistry, of geographic areas, and of the full range of academic, industrial, and government research. These scientific leaders then called upon more than 350 chemical researchers to suggest topics and prepare commissioned papers on research at chemistry's frontiers. After 3 years of thoughtful deliberation, Opportunities in Chemistry was completed in October 1985 and published by the National Academy Press. Now, we have revised Opportunities in Chemistry in an effort to make such a comprehensive survey of modern chemistry more widely available. Our primary goal has been to make the volume valuable to a different audience by reorganizing the content, adjusting the technical vocabulary, and adding explanatory material and supplementary reading suggestions. We believe that this new book, Opportu- nities in Chemistry: Todlay and Tomorrow, will provide interesting resource material and supplementary reading for high school advanced placement chemistry courses and for college sciences courses developed for conscience majors. We are confident that it will provide, as well, important background reading for chemistry teachers at all precollege levels. Finally, we hope that all those who want to look ahead to the promising future of chemistry, who are intngued by the multitude of doors to be opened by advances in chemistry, and who are concerned about finding the difficult balance between maximizing benefits and minimizing problems, will find this volume illuminating and relevant. GEORGE C. PIMENTEE JANICE A. COONROD Berkeley, California v
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Contents I. INTRODUCTION No Deposit, No Return, No Problem, 4 II. ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY THROUGH CHEMISTRY III. HUMAN NEEDS THROUGH CHEMISTRY Whipping a Wicked Weed, 22 A. More Food, 23 Beauty Is Only Skin Deep, 35 B. New Processes, 36 A Lithium-Powered Heart, 47 C. More Energy, 48 Stone Age, Iron Age, Polymer Age, 62 D. New Products and Matenals, 63 Rx-Snake Bite, 76 E. Better Health, 77 A Pac-Man for Cholesterol, 91 F. Biotechnologies, 92 Magnetic Fluids Attractive Possibilities, 103 G. Economic Benefits, 104 IV. INTELLECTUAL FRONTIERS IN CHEMISTRY The Time It Takes to Wag a Tail, I l6 A. Control of Chemical Reactions, ~17 Jack and the Soybean Stalk, 136 B. Dealing with Molecular Complexity, 137 Something for Nothing, 150 C. National Well-Being, 151 V. INSTRUMENTATION IN CHEMISTRY .................... A Laser Flashlight, 168 A. Instrumentation for Study of Chemical Reactions, 169 The Ant That Doesn't Like f icorice, 177 .... 5 ..... 21 .. Il5 ... 167 ·— V11
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· -— V111 CONTENTS B. Instrumentation Dealing with Molecular Complexity, 178 Cisplatin—The Strong, Silent Type, 190 C. Instrumentation and the National Well-Being, 191 Investigating Smog Soup, 202 VI. THE RISK/BENEFIT EQUATION IN CHEMISTRY Libraries into Space, 222 VII. CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND EDUCATION IN CHEMISTRY INDEX 03 223 229