With the recognition that chemistry is ending an era, Georges Whitesides in the most eloquent maner foresses the expansion of the missions of chemistry from "molecules" to "everything that involves molecules".
New opportunites appear which are much broader in scope and greater in complexity.
They require abandoning distinctions between science and engineering, between curiosity-driven understanding and solving hard problems, and between chemistry and other fields, from materials science to sociology.
• What is the molecular basis of life, and how did life originate ?
• How does the brain think ?
• How do dissipative systems work ? Oceans and atmosphere, metabolism, flames.
• Water, and its unique role in life and society.
• Rational drug design.
• Information : the cell, public health, megacities, global monitoring.
• Healthcare, and cost reduction : “End-of-life” or healthy life ?
• The microbiome, nutrition, and other hidden variables in health.
• Climate instability, CO2, the sun, and human activity.
• Energy generation, use, storage, and conservation.
• Catalysis (especially heterogeneous and biological catalysis).
• Computation and simulation of real, large-scale systems.
• Impossible materials.
• The chemistry of the planets : Are we alone, or is life everywhere ?
• Augmenting humans.