Summary from Federal Science Partners
— Basic research and scientific facilities sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) have played a critical role over the past 40 years in the development of a wide range of present-day technologies according to a new report released today by the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC).
The report, titled A Remarkable Return on Investment in Fundamental Research, explores the connections between DOE-sponsored fundamental research in fields such as physics, materials science, and chemistry and the present-day technologies in information and other fields that pervade our lives. The critical role of DOE in these technological advances ranges from LED lighting and smartphone communications to more efficient internal combustion engines and lighter vehicles. The report cites multiple examples of familiar modern-day technologies whose origins can be traced to DOE-sponsored basic research. It focuses mainly on research supported by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES), the largest of six major program offices within DOE’s Office of Science.