Department of Energy’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences Asserts its Role in Influential Scientific Breakthroughs

Jun 22, 2018

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) recently released a report spotlighting some of the most influential scientific breakthroughs that were developed thanks to over 40 years of DOE support for BES research. The report explains that BES’ contributions are multifaceted, with multiple occasions finding that “basic research undertaken for one purpose has had unanticipated and major impact in other areas.” These multiple layers of scientific contributions can be directly tied to advancements in national security, artificial intelligence applications and more sophisticated scaling up of national laboratories.  The report explains that, “The scale and scope of the national laboratories enable them to launch coherent multidisciplinary attacks on large-scale, complex problems, with an emphasis on translating basic science to innovation.”

The report details research and development (R&D) and scientific advances made possible thanks to BES, with examples ranging from semiconductor and high-performance computing to clean energy technologies and biomedical science. The report notes that “the BES approach of investing in fundamental research and the development of new tools and capabilities create a foundation for addressing new scientific opportunities and mission challenges.”

Along with drawing attention to some of the major breakthroughs that have had groundbreaking impact on American technology and innovation, the report also provided strategies to adopt moving forward, to ensure ongoing U.S. leadership in this area. The report’s primary recommendation proposes that “BES be bold in choosing new research and facilities to support and experimenting with new funding mechanisms where appropriate.”

To view the full report, click here: https://science.energy.gov/~/media/bes/pdf/BESat40/BES_at_40.pdf