Bath scientists share their visions of the future

Drs Sofia Pascu (Chemistry) and Jonathan Dawes (Mathematical Sciences) have recently had articles published in a special issue of the Royal Society’s prestigious journal Philosophical Transactions A.

The special triennial issue has the title 'Visions of the future for the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary year 2010’ and offers younger scientists an opportunity to describe their recent research and predict future trends and challenges in physical science.

All 300 Royal Society Research Fellows were invited to contribute to the special issue, which forms part of the current celebrations for the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society. After peer review, a total of only 17 research reviews were selected for publication in the collection.

The articles provide brief surveys, accessible to a general scientific audience, of areas of recent rapid growth in physical science.

Dr Pascu’s article describes progress in the design of carbon nanotube-based nanomedicines which are poised to make a substantial impact in biomedical imaging and drug delivery.

In his article, Dr Dawes outlines how the formation of localised structures in a range of physical, chemical and biological systems have a common underlying mathematical structure and how this structure helps to explain their ubiquity.

The editor, Professor Sir Michael Pepper, concludes his introduction to the issue with the words: "In summary, this is a very stimulating issue and is commended to the reader as giving an idea of the current vibrant state of research in the physical sciences."

The entire issue is free to download from the journal’s website until the end of July.

Professor Jane Millar, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), commented: "This publication is focused on exciting and innovative research that will shape the future. I am delighted that two of our colleagues have been included; congratulations to them both."


Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society is the world’s longest running scientific journal: it was started on 27 March 1665 only five years after the foundation of the Royal Society itself.

It is divided into two sections: A for physical sciences and B for life sciences.

Philosophical Transactions A lies in the top four multidisciplinary science journals alongside Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) (Thompson 2007). Of these only Philosophical Transactions A has a maximum cited half-life of more than 10 years which indicates the long term significance of the material published by the journal.

During 2010, the Royal Society is celebrating its 350th anniversary. As part of this there is an ongoing programme of exciting activities including the Summer Science Exhibition (which includes the University of Bath’s exhibit 'Living in a Complex World’); lectures; conferences; journal issues including this one; a new book`Seeing Further’ edited by Bill Bryson; television and radio broadcasts.

Cited reference:
J.M.T.Thompson 2007
Ten years of science in Philosophical Transactions A: with the University Research Fellows.
Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 365, 2779-2797
Doi: 10.1098/rsta.2007.0016

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