I own a chemistry book that was published in 1849 written by Sulliman. The book is in English – which is rare – since most chemistry and science books of that day were written in German. Most science was happening in Germany. The first Nobel Prize winners in the early 1900’s were from Germany. Imagine that a chemistry book from 1849. This was before many men and women were considered human, before the civil war, about the time when the telegraph and Morse code were discovered, medicine resembled barbarism, and thirty years before the light bulb was discovered.Sulliman’s described how to make “chlorinating lime.” Yes, this was an early form of calcium hypochlorite. He even taught that the chlorinated lime “is effective at disinfecting" and "its strength is increased with the addition of weak acid.” Of course, we all know that adding acid to chlorinating lime shifts down the pH increasing the hypochlorous acid content and improves disinfection.Isn’t it kind of amazing that almost 160 years later, the one of the staples of the recreational water chemical industry is a similar composition? This realization is both extraordinarily amazing and kind of pathetic.How come society has come so far that about 68 million Americans voted for a U.S. Presidential candidate of mixed race and over 58 million voted for a woman vice presidential candidate? How is it we have come from a telegraph to an iPhone, from blood letting to micro-surgery, from a lantern to satellite digital TV. Hold it!! I think, “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader” is still airing. Maybe we haven’t come so far after all. . . I digress.Though our field has advanced, we have a long way to go. Our key to prosperity and relevance – like that in electronics, communication, medicine and other fields – falls on the lap of science. Many of the advances in our field have come from other scientific disciplines and research investments made there. For example, electronic controller technology, chemical testing, wireless control, even raw materials used in many ancillary products.John F. Kennedy once said, “Ours is not to fix the blame for the past, but to fix the course for the future.” Thus, let’s not linger on the past. Knowing our field’s advance – like other fields depends on science. How does our path forward look?Five years ago, the first scientific conference was held in our field – The World Aquatic Health Conference. In the spirit of scientific advancement, the seminars from the WAHC are available on the web so you can minimize our carbon footprint and still view the newest findings. There is no other conference in our field that post seminars on the web. The WAHC has for three years.Two years ago the International Journal of Aquatic Research & Education (IJARE), a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal launched. The journal is available in print and electronic form. A couple online articles even contain video. This is pretty cutting edge in the “journal business.” Over the last five years, NSPF has committed to over $ 3.5 million dollars in research on prevention and health benefit topics. This sounds like a lot of money. It is in fact over 30% of the total revenue NSPF earned over those years. In reality, contrasted against the size of our industry, this is a pittance. Yet, it is a step in the right direction.The question for pool geniuses is this. Have you attended one, read one abstract, viewed one seminar, read one published article, or donated one dollar to fund future research? This is a rhetorical question? Here’s another one. If 99% of members on this site or “professionals in our industry” answered this question the same way you did, how confident are you that our future will bring prosperity? Stated another way, will we look more like a telegraph, light bulb, a barber’s saw, and chlorinating lime or more like Intel, Macintosh, GE, and Merck. Or, will we make science and advancement part of our daily lives. It is in our hands.