Chemistry alive and well

April 24, 2008

In the article "Fashion victims" (17 April), you state "the slump (in the numbers studying chemistry) had already caused departments in some institutions - Queen Mary, University of London, and the universities of Kent and Exeter among others - to close".

I would like to correct this statement. While the department of chemistry ceased to exist at Queen Mary, it was merged to form a larger School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. Further, rather than accepting the decline in student numbers for chemistry, we have led initiatives to encourage students to study chemistry and have, over the past few years, reintroduced a number of chemistry degrees (as can be seen at, culminating in the reintroduction of a single honours chemistry degree for students starting in October 2008 - hardly evidence of a closed department.

Adrian Dobbs, Lecturer in organic chemistry and admissions tutor, Queen Mary, University of London.

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