WASHINGTON – What happens when you invite six scientists from across the country to share their vision of what science will make possible in the next 20 years? You realize the future just might be amazing.


This is what happened in Washington, DC, on June 24 when The Science Coalition hosted “Science 2034 Live” in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill. A standing room only crowd heard federally funded researchers discuss their work and what they hope it holds for the near future.

The researchers, Matthew Tirrell of the University of Chicago and Argonne National Lab, Federico Sciammarella of Northern Illinois University, Angela Pannier of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Ken Hanson of Florida State University, Leen Kawas of M3 Biotechnology and Washington State University, and Justin Crepp of the University of Notre Dame, previewed what they believe will be the ‘big thing’ in their field of work within the next 20 years. This includes:

  • Nanoparticles that that circulate in the bloodstream to detect dangerous atherosclerosis before it leads to heart attack and death, prolonging and improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, as well as reducing medical costs;
  • Advanced 3-D manufacturing technologies that enable products to be better, stronger, lighter and faster, putting the United States back on the map for production of value-added products;
  • Oral DNA vaccines that are easy to store, transport and administer that will prevent millions of deaths each year across the globe and, in the case of a pandemic, the oral DNA technology enable a truly rapid response strategy to be developed;
  • Next generation solar cells that are flexible, transparent, more efficient and less expensive, dramatically changing the way buildings are designed and energy is consumed;
  • A treatment for Alzheimer’s disease based on a new class of regenerative drugs that restore lost function and prevent further deterioration; and
  • Discovering life elsewhere in the universe.

Moderated by Adam Belmar, a former host of “Polioptics” on Sirius XM’s POTUS Channel, the discussion covered a broad range of topics, from the role that scientific collaboration and multidisciplinary, multi-investigator centers play in solving our biggest problems to what motivates these researchers to go to work each day, and from the importance of federal funding for scientific research to the transformative impact that disruptive technologies will have on society and the way of life for future generations. Download and listen to their discussion here or at www.Science2034.org.

SCIENCE 2034 is a project of The Science Coalition focusing on the possibilities of the future and asking scientists and thought leaders to explore the next “Big Thing” and make educated predictions about how well-funded scientific research might change our lives and our world.

The Science Coalition is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization of the nation’s leading public and private research universities.  It is dedicated to sustaining strong federal funding of basic scientific research as a means to stimulate the economy, spur innovation and drive America’s global competitiveness. Learn more at www.sciencecoalition.org.

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