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The Power and Promise of Early Research


The Power and Promise of Early Research



The late great American hero John Glenn once said, "The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds." Imagine if our 21 million American high school students were inspired and immersed in at least one year of original, hands-on research. Imagine the potential impact of even 0.1% to 1% of these students continuing to do more research in all four years of college. This is the clear and simple yet powerful vision that the editors and authors of The Power and Promise of Early Research offer as a fundamental and system-wide game-changer for American science education. It is a passionate advocacy for proactively engaging students in authentic research earlier than is traditionally done. They spotlight the pedagogical, professional and practical benefits of not waiting until graduate school when students have successfully run the conventional gauntlet of required courses before they are fully immersed in doing authentic research. Rather, their collective vision for this foundational shift in when students should be allowed to start conducting research is succinctly captured in three words: early, often, and universal. The editors express their conviction in the introductory chapter: " We believe that our young men and women, 18-24, across the United States can contribute to finding scientific and technological solutions to societal challenges. We can enlist them to combat diseases and addictions, to find alternative energy solutions, to create new materials for new industries, or to address the scientific and technological challenges of, for example, urbanization, healthcare, security, privacy, resource scarcity and climate change. We believe they will rise to, and even exceed, our expectations if we imagine research differently: early, often and universal."



Publication Date



ACS Publications


Washington, DC



First Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

The Power and Promise of Early Research