Science Horizons Reveals an Exciting View of Chemistry’s Future

Science Horizons reveals an exciting view of chemistry’s future

It’s an incredible time for chemical sciences research – and a recently-published piece of Royal Society of Chemistry research details the opportunities, challenges and excitement for its future.

Science Horizons, a research report based on interviews, surveys and workshops with more than 750 leading scientists from around the world revealed these headline findings:

  • Finding paths to sustainable prosperity is the priority for governments funding research and development globally
  • Advances in three interdependent dimensions of scientific research will be important to meeting this global R&D agenda:
    • delivering solutions to global & industrial challenges;
    • answering leading-edge questions; and
    • developing frontier techniques
  • Curiosity, collaboration and leadership will all be crucial to enable these advances

“The chemical sciences are entering an unprecedented era of discovery and achievement. Taking advantage of the new science and technologies of recent years, we have encountered amazing opportunities to further our understanding of the world, and to design and create solutions to a wide range of challenges,” said Professor Dame Carol Robinson, President of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Science Horizons shows that hundreds of scientists worldwide are enormously positive and excited about what science will achieve in the near future – a view that every scientist I know would echo – and that the chemical sciences will play a vital and central role in leading these developments.”

“It is just the start, however. The thoughts and feelings shared in this report – the confidence and positivity – need to be repeated and multiplied, across the globe. Chemical scientists must be bold in communicating their ideas, bringing together diverse teams, and taking advantage of this amazing era for science.”

Collaboration across disciplines and countries is vital to advancing the chemical sciences – it is notable that 90% and 85% of researchers surveyed had collaborated in the last five years with people outside their field and country respectively.

The chemistry community enjoys both a remarkable diversity of aspirations and a unified vision of the role of the chemical sciences in global prosperity.

“This combination of creativity and drive is a hallmark of the chemical scientist, and is something we should encourage whole-heartedly among our peers and with the wider world. We are creators and innovators, with unquenchable curiosity in the world around us, and a keen sense of responsibility to consider the impact of our discoveries. We have the ideas and capabilities to lead scientific advancement,” said Professor Robinson.

“As chemical scientists, we must also have the confidence to step up, bring people together, and draw on the full extent of our diverse research community to discover new scientific knowledge and deliver amazing outcomes for society.”

Find out more

You can see and download the full Science Horizons research report, the Research Frontiers summary report, and associated promotional materials on our website at