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Vol. 28 No. 5
September-October 2006

Beyond Classical Chemistry:
Subfields and Metafields of the Molecular Sciences

by Jesper Sjöström

The boundaries between both basic research and engineering and between the classical sciences are becoming increasingly blurred. This is partially a consequence of the increased interaction between science and society. For chemistry, the blurring of boundaries and an increased emphasis on applications have led to the emergence of two "supersciences," material sciences and biomolecular sciences, respectively. In these, chemistry is only a part, although an important one. The increased interaction between chemistry and society has also resulted in the emergence and development of metadisciplines such as green chemistry, chemistry education, and the philosophy of chemistry.

This article discusses—based on "knowledge maps" of chemistry—ongoing trends in the molecular sciences (MS). As a consequence of the more application-oriented research—mainly do with medicines, new materials, and the environment—the position of chemistry as an independent discipline has become indistinct.

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