This proposal requests partial support for a one-day symposium entitled "Elements in Transition: Are Chemistry and Biochemistry Facing Revolution or Recession?" to be held at the 247th American Chemical Society (ACS) national meeting March 16-20th, 2014 in Dallas, TX. The ACS national meetings routinely draw upwards of 20,000 attendees, due to the numerous and wide variety of technical talks hosted by the many divisions of ACS. These presentations give researchers an opportunity to present their scientific results for peer evaluation, but the scientific system within which such research is conducted is rarely subjected to public assessment and peer review. Therefore, this symposium is designed to assess current and pressing issues in scientific research related to ethics, funding, post-graduate employment, and the impact of technology on publishing in the context of rapid technological growth and economic uncertainty. The symposium will also evaluate the effect that such issues will have on the future of scientific research in health-related fields. This willbe accomplished through informative talks given by a diverse set of experts, with each presentation followed by a brief question and answer (Q&A) session. After all the speakers have addressed their individual topics, a final panel session, where the audience can interact with all of the speakers, is intended to generate an open discussion about the interdependence of these multiple internal and external forces and how the scientific process will ultimately be affected by them. Finally, since many of these issues are potentially polarizing, the symposium day will end with a reception intended to promote informal and relaxed interaction among the attendees and the speakers. At this reception, those who are reluctant to speak in a public forum will have an opportunity to discuss their opinions, and all attendees will be able evaluate the symposium's success through survey.
The field of medical and scientific research is experiencing significant changes. A stagnant economy and party politics are causing cutbacks on research funding and tightening of the job market for researchers. With increased pressure on researchers to publish and demonstrate success in order to get funding, lapses in ethical conduct are becoming more common. The internet is revolutionizing scientific publishing, but it remains to be seen whether open -access will be widely adopted by or forced on journal publishers and how that will affect the peer review and publishing processes. The importance of addressing these changes cannot be overstated. Many of these forces are outside of the control of researchers;however, members of the medical and scientific communities will be the ones to decide how the field adapts to external forces that demand change. If researchers assume a passive role during this time of change and do not actively participate in guiding the trajectory o the field, the result will be a poorly functioning research system that is unable to produce the most innovative and highest quality health research. Our symposium will define some of the most important issues that need to be addressed by the research community and begin a discussion of possible directions that can be taken to adapt to these challenges.