FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | November 17, 2011

American Chemical Society hosts Capitol Hill briefing on critical materials shortages, Nov. 29

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2011 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) Science & the Congress Project invites news media to attend a luncheon briefing on “Critical Materials Shortages: Opportunity for Competitive Innovation.” It will be held Tuesday, Nov. 29, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in SVC 209-08 Capitol Visitor Center, Senate side.

Critical materials are defined as natural resources that are both threatened and limited in their availability and key to producing technology for which there is a growing demand. “Rare earths,” including lanthanide elements on the periodic table (e.g. cerium, neodymium, europium), and other elements, such as cobalt, indium and tellurium are particularly important critical materials. These materials are critical in producing magnets for defense applications, super-alloys for high speed jet engine turbines and low-energy lighting phosphors and photovoltaics for energy production. Thus, securing the supply chain for such materials, identifying technological alternatives and ways to recycle material stocks are vital issues for ensuring our nation’s security, developing clean energy systems and fostering economic growth in electronics-dependent sectors like medical instrumentation and information technology.

The briefing will feature the following panelists and an open discussion:

Opening remarks: Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO)

Moderator: Susan Morrissey, Chemical & Engineering News


  • Steven Duclos, General Electric
  • Karl Gschneidner, Jr., Iowa State University
  • Robert Jaffe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • David Shuh, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The Science & the Congress Project was established in 1995 to provide a neutral and credible source of scientific information targeted to policymakers on Capitol Hill. Expert speakers are chosen to provide a balanced presentation about the topic under discussion, and their comments are independent of any position that may be held by the ACS, the sponsors of Science & the Congress or its co-hosts. For more information, click here.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.###

Media Contact

Darcy Gentleman

Rachael Bishop