Chemistry cuts will prove toxic 2

March 24, 2006

Peter Atkins hit many nails firmly on the head in his opinion article about the demise of chemistry ("Stop counting beans, start planting trees", March 17).

How can any educational establishment dare to call itself a university without providing staff and students with an opportunity to at least rub shoulders with the scientific core of our cultural heritage? Sussex University appears to have changed the name of its department of chemistry to chemical biology, no doubt hoping to give the impression that the university will retain a chemical presence. But conventional chemistry is likely to disappear from the campus through redundancies and as funds are directed towards new staff in the biological sciences.

The final scenario is a national problem where the tree of biology is growing new branches at a tremendous rate, but its roots are withering through lack of the chemical support.

Jack Pridham Sunninghill, Berkshire

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