Beyond Discovery™: The Path from Research to Human Benefit is a series of case studies produced by the National Academy of Sciences from 1996 to 2003 that identify and trace origins of important technological and medical advances. Each case study reveals the crucial role played by basic science, the applications of which could not have been anticipated at the time the original research was conducted. The articles were developed through a close collaboration between professional science writers and prominent scientists who were directly involved with the discoveries being described.

The articles from this series are available below as PDFs. Except as noted below, the articles have not been updated or revised to reflect subsequent advances in science and technology that have been made after the articles were originally published. In 2016, the new series From Research to Reward was launched to demonstrate how advances in our understanding of natural processes often lead to surprising and remarkable benefits for society.

        Watch the 2016 video of this case study.





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