UCL News


Adverse reaction among the chemistry set

15 March 2006

Students and staff of the University of Sussex rallied to save their highly rated chemistry department from closure yesterday.

The Society of Chemical Industry says the "hard sciences", particularly chemistry, are stuck in a "downward spiral" of declining popularity, "with fewer science graduates leading to fewer suitably qualified science teachers able to stimulate and inspire interest among students". …

Scientists elsewhere said it typified the country's uncoordinated approach to providing university courses in strategically important and vulnerable subjects.

Dr Andrea Sella [UCL Chemistry] says: "This is just the latest episode in the systematic destruction of academic chemistry in the UK driven largely by university heads (vice-chancellors) who see chemistry as an expensive, dated and unfashionable subject to be profitably replaced by popular low-cost subjects."

Clive Cookson and Jon Boone, 'Financial Times', 15 March 2006