During the past decade, the US experienced an explosion of benefits from long-term federal investments in science and technology. Those benefits have become increasingly visible and pervasive—from national economic growth driven by high-tech industries to science- and technology-based transformations in many areas of public and private life, including information and communication, health, and national defense.

Opportunities abound for even more remarkable advances in the future. In genomics, new possibilities have arisen for medical diagnosis and treatment and a “golden age of discovery” in plant biology. Computing will make it possible to process massive amounts of complex information at the high speeds needed for 21st-century science and engineering (see Physics Today, Physics Today 0031-9228 55

 February 2002, page 42 ). And in cosmology, innovations in instrumentation for the collection, manipulation, and detection of radiation at all wavelengths can serve as a foundation for important new communications...

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