Investing in strong disciplines such as biochemistry while simultaneously eliminating the foundation on which this discipline is based exposes a crass ignorance at Sussex University of the role of chemistry in modern biochemical research ("Chemistry cuts lead to fears for other subjects", March 17). Does Alisdair Smith, the vice-chancellor of Sussex, really expect to recruit research stars in biochemistry on the back of the closure of the chemistry department at a time when life science research is dependent more than ever on interactions with the physical sciences?
Smith's strategic vision for life sciences at Sussex is backwards. That said, he might have more success in recruiting to the history department (another strong discipline at Sussex). A new chair in university decline in the 21st century would be an excellent start.
Nigel Scrutton Manchester University