EDITORIAL

The Next Innovation Revolution

Science  27 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5918, pp. 1147
DOI: 10.1126/science.1170834

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Summary

U.S. Federal investments in basic research transformed life and commerce in the 20th century. They sent us to the Moon and beyond, revolutionized communications, helped to feed the planet, reinvented work processes, and drove the remarkable economic growth of the post-1950s era in the United States. These advances and more grew out of the convergence between engineering and the early 20th-century discoveries in the physical sciences. The United States can anticipate comparable world-changing innovations in the 21st century if we adapt our education and research funding strategies to capitalize on new opportunities emerging at the convergence of the life sciences with the physical sciences and engineering.